Congressman Jeff Fortenberry plans to introduce a resolution that would designate the trail Chief Standing Bear and his people took on their way to Oklahoma in 1877. The trail also would commemorate the chief’s return to Nebraska and subsequent trial in 1879, when he became the first Native to be recognized as a person in a federal court decision.

“I think this story needs to be told and retold to America,” Fortenberry said. “Chief Standing Bear is one of the most important civil rights leaders in our history.”

The Standing Bear Trail would differ from those trails because it is circular and charts the chief’s return to Nebraska and subsequent trial, said Judi M. gaiashkibos, executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs and a Ponca tribal member.

“Standing Bear got to come back, and we’re here,” she said.

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