A symbol of sovereignty: Ponca Tribe comes full circle with Prairie Flower

By Kevin Abourezk
CARTER LAKE, Iowa – The chief kept walking.

Even after his adult daughter Prairie Flower died and Standing Bear buried her, he continued his long march south to his people’s strange new home in Oklahoma.

He kept walking even after his granddaughter died three days later after a tornado struck the procession of 500 Ponca people.

He kept walking for hundreds of more miles, each step a reminder of what he had lost, knowing he might never again see the chalk bluffs and valleys of his homeland along the Niobrara River in northeast Nebraska.