Ponca Tribe opens casino in Carter Lake, giving members ‘self-sufficiency,’ chairman says

By Steve Liewer / World-Herald staff writer

With speeches and a ceremonial snip of a ribbon, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska opened the new Prairie Flower Casino in Carter Lake — bringing gaming even closer to Omaha’s doorstep and providing the tribe with an important new source of income.

The opening marked a milestone for the tribe, which was terminated by the federal government in 1966 and not restored to tribal status until Oct. 31, 1990 — a difficult period in the Poncas’ history.

“I’m excited, overwhelmed. This a great day for our people,” said Larry Wright Jr., the tribal chairman. “We have been able to grow, with eyes to the future. This is a symbol of our resilience.”