By Casey Welsch
June 16, 2018

History was made, or perhaps remade, this week in the Nebraska Sandhills near Neligh, as activist farmers Art and Helen Tanderup willingly and officially gave up a portion of their land, returning it to its original owners, the Ponca people. Representatives for the Ponca Tribes of Nebraska and Oklahoma were on hand to oversee the transfer of the land, which lies on both the historical route of the Ponca Trail of Tears as well as the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska. The Tanderups have long been opponents of the pipeline, and for the last five years have allowed the Ponca to plant the tribe’s sacred red corn directly in the pipeline’s route. Now, the tribe officially owns that land, to do with as they please. KZUM News sat down with Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Chairman Larry Wright Jr. at the tribe’s Lincoln office to ask him about the land and its significance to the Ponca, and what its fate might be given that it is still in the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. The full interview is presented here.

Casey Welsch is the host of KZUM News.