Class takes a walk in Standing Bear’s footsteps

Via the Journal Star, here, with a h/t to  An expert:

NEAR WYMORE — The days must have been hotter, longer than anyone on this pleasant spring morning could begin to imagine.

Ryan Christensen knows he could never fully understand what the Poncas experienced on that long march south to Oklahoma from northeastern Nebraska, so he doesn’t try.

But he’s glad to be walking on this graveled former rail line near the path Chief Standing Bear once traveled.

“It’s more just like an educational experience for me,” the 19-year-old English student said. “It kind of gives you a different perspective.”

Nearly a dozen Peru State College students walked along the Chief Standing Bear Trail south of Wymore on Thursday, a field trip for a class that has spent much of the spring semester learning about Standing Bear’s quest for home and justice.

In 1877, Standing Bear led his people on a forced march to Oklahoma from their home in northeast Nebraska. Later, he would return to Nebraska with some members of his tribe. He was captured by the Army but was allowed to fight for his freedom in court.

Standing Bear’s trial in 1879 led to him becoming the first Native to be legally recognized as a person.

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