January 20, 2007

Ponca opera to debut

Leaders:  Standing Bear opera has modern-day lessonsSurrounded by murals of Native people in the great chamber, Ponca Chairman Larry Wright Jr. attempted to explain the importance of Ponca Chief Standing Bear’s story to the plight of his people today.

The fight for his people’s rights didn’t end with Standing Bear’s 1879 court victory, which secured constitutional rights of all Native people.

“This story is alive and well and with us today,” he said. “That’s what drives our tribe today and what we’re trying to do.”

Wright joined Native and state leaders and others Thursday in the Warner Chamber of the Capitol to talk about the 1879 trial’s impact on the lives of Native and non-Native people today.

It was part of a series of events hosted by Opera Omaha before the March 7 debut of “Wakonda’s Dream,” an opera about a Ponca family’s struggle to embrace its cultural identity.

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