Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., is urging the Treasury Department to honor Standing Bear with the first one, set to be rolled out in 2009. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of Standing Bear's death, he noted.
Standing Bear was born on Ponca land in what is now Nebraska. His son died during the tribe's forced relocation to Oklahoma, and he was arrested after returning to bury his son in his homeland.
Standing Bear's eloquent speech during the ensuing trial and the judge's decision that American Indians had rights under the Constitution were landmark developments in the Indians' struggle for civil rights.
Apropos of popular choices, a 2006 Internet poll chose the top 100 Natives. Leonard Peltier was first and Wayne Newton was third. Standing Bear was tied for 36th.