Standing Bear High School proposed as name for new high school

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 10:21 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A naming committee in Lincoln presented a school name Tuesday for its new school going at S. 70th and Saltillo Rd. to the Board of Education. Instead of going the directional route, it’ll have a historical one.

The naming committee unanimously chose the name Standing Bear High School.

Banging on a drum isn’t something you see all the time at an LPS board meeting, but it happened Tuesday to honor Ponca Tribe Chief Standing Bear.

Ponca tribe member Steve Laravie, Jr. said, “The words Monchu Nonzhin means he stood up and did good for our people and for the goodness that you did for our people, you will live through this song.”

The proposed school in southeast Lincoln will also have district softball, football and soccer complexes.

Tribal chairman Larry Wright, Jr. said, “To have Chief Standing Bear as important as he is for our own people, but the history of Nebraska as a whole.”

Standing Bear and his family were removed from Nebraska in the late 1800s to Oklahoma. His son passed away in Oklahoma and he made it his mission to bury him back in Nebraska.

“The only way you will be with our relatives on the other side is if you’re buried in our homeland,” Wright, Jr. said.

He was later arrested and brought this matter to court. After that, it was declared Native Americans were considered people in the U.S.

Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry said, “It’s an amazing, traumatic, difficult, but poignant civil rights story .”

Standing Bear has a statue in the U.S. Capitol and local leaders hope to honor him in Lincoln.

The board will vote to approve the name at the next school board meeting. The school is set to be complete by the fall of 2023.

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