By Angel Minh
Dec. 1, 2017
The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska will hold a Native American Craft Fair will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m at 1701 E St., to celebrate native pride, native talent, heritage, and skill.
A range of authentic art pieces will be for sale, ranging from native-inspired jewelry, native crafts and other homemade gifts created by local artists. Indian tacos will also be available. Cash will be needed to make most purchases. Although, some booths will be accepting cards.
For more on the fair, visit the event page on Facebook.
A history of the Ponca in Nebraska
The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska currently has about 4,100 members. One of the most significant moments in the Tribe’s history was the “Trial of Standing Bear” in 1879, when the Ponca were forcibly removed from their home in northeastern Nebraska to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Many died during the journey, including Standing Bear’s daughter. He also lost his son upon arrival. To honor his wish to be buried in his homeland, Standing Bear traveled back to Nebraska but was ultimately arrested for defying the orders to not leave the reservation. After his trial, they were able to return to Nebraska. Standing Bear has a bust sitting in the Nebraska’s State Capitol Hall of Fame to honor him for his efforts on behalf of Native American rights.
The U.S. government terminated the tribe after passing a policy in 1945 that affected approximately 109 tribes and almost 1.5 million acres of trust land. 442 Poncas were removed from tribal rolls by 1966 when the tribe’s termination was complete. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska maintained a vigorous program of educating and lobbying state and federal legislator officials to ensure full recognition. In 1988, they were granted state recognition and earned an endorsement to support their effort to become federally recognized.
President George H. W. bush signed the Ponca Restoration Act on October 31, 1990. While the Ponca regained federal recognition in 1990, much of their cultural heritage had been lost when their land and holdings were dissolved with their termination. Although they don’t have a reservation, the Ponca Restoration Act established their fifteen-county Service Delivery Area across Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota where they offer a broad range of health, social, educational and cultural services.
They hold annual powwows with dancers, drums, and vendors to celebrate their elders and leaders. Their 2017 Powwow was held on from August 11-13 in Niobrara.
For more information, visit poncatribe-ne.org.
Angel Minh is an editorial intern with KZUM.