WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator Deb Fischer, Governor Pete Ricketts, and Senator Tom Brewer unveiled the new Chief Standing Bear Statue yesterday at the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
Chief Standing Bear was a Ponca Chief who became the first Native American to be recognized as a person by the U.S. government in an 1879 court case. The new statue replaced William Jennings Bryan, known as the Great Commoner.
Senator Fischer says that America needs to know Chief Standing Bear’s story.
It is the story of a deep love for your homeland. It’s a story of the denial of basic human rights and a historic trial that followed. And it’s a story of a devoted father who won a brutal a journey to fulfill his promise to his dying son, changed America for the better.
LB807, which was introduced by Senator Burke Harr of Omaha, allowed Nebraska to recall the statues and replace one with the likeness of Willa Cather. Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon added an amendment to the bill, calling on the state to replace the statue of Bryan with Chief Standing Bear.
They both said that replacing the statues would better reflect Nebraska’s rich history and diversity. The statue of Willa Cather has not been put up yet.