This is a story of a great and noble man. A man of courage and determination who was willing to face arrest for leaving the government’s reservation without its permission – all because of his love for his son and his people. 

Standing Bear was a man who fought for his freedom, not with armed resistance, but with bold action, strong testimony and heartfelt eloquence. He knew he and his people had been wronged. All he wanted was the right to live and die with his family on his own land – on the beloved land of his Ponca ancestors.This story is a civil rights victory for Native Americans, unprecedented in American history. 

For the first time, a federal court declared a Native American to be a “person” – a human being, having rights and privileges to file an action for a redress of grievances in a federal court, like every other person in America.  

Standing Bear won his fight for freedom. His victory began a movement of change, a slow change, but a change, nevertheless. The pervading sense of indifference toward Native Americans was broken. America would never be the same because of what Standing Bear did.