May 21, 2011

Standing Bear's increasing exposure

Last year I covered the fifth annual Chief Standing Bear Breakfast. This year's breakfast occurred Friday. An article describes it and some of the exposure Standing Bear has received in recent years.

Lakota author:  Remember your ancestors, your past

By Kevin AbourezkMarshall, a Lakota author, told more than 500 people at the sixth annual Chief Standing Bear Breakfast on Friday that it's important for all people to remember the sacrifices of their ancestors, including Ponca Chief Standing Bear. In 1879, Standing Bear made history after being declared a person before the law during a trial in which the U.S. government tried to prosecute him for leaving his tribe's Oklahoma reservation.

The story of Standing Bear has inspired an opera, a trilogy of plays by New York writer Christopher Cartmill and an award-winning book, "I Am a Man," by Lincoln author Joe Starita. Next year, the University of Nebraska Press plans to publish a children's book about Standing Bear written by Lakota author Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, said Judi Morgan gaiashkibos, executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs.

On Friday, Christine Lesiak of NET said her documentary, "Standing Bear's Footsteps," will air locally and will run nationally next year on PBS. She shared portions of it Friday, including interviews with Starita and gaiashkibos' daughter, Katie Morgan, an attorney in Washington.

"Ultimately, there will be people outside of Nebraska who will know who Standing Bear is," Lesiak said.
Comment:  I described how popular Standing Bear has become in Ma-chu-nah-zha: I Am a Person. Obviously the trend is continuing. If Americans haven't heard of Standing Bear yet, they will eventually.

For more on Standing Bear, see Nebraskans to Read Standing Bear Book and Standing Bear Place Mats.

Below:  "Ponca Chief Standing Bear was part of a landmark case that helped determine the rights of Natives. Standing Bear later was the first Native admitted to the Nebraska Hall of Fame."

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