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Standing Bear proposed for dollar

standingbear.jpgOne of the Native American dollar designs due to appear one a year starting in 2009 could feature Chief Standing Bear if a Nebraska congressman gets his way.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., favors depicting Standing Bear on a dollar.

Standing Bear, a chief of the Ponca people who had resided in what is now Nebraska, was arrested with 30 others after returning to his home lands to bury his son, who did during a forced relocation to an area that today is part of Oklahoma.

At the trial that followed in U.S. District Court in 1879, Judge Elmer S. Dundy determined that Native Americans had rights under the U.S. Constitution. Standing Bear spent four years traveling in the eastern United States speaking about Native Americans? rights.

Nebraska considered honoring Standing Bear on its state quarter in issued in 2006, but instead chose images of a covered wagon and the Chimney Rock landmark.

In 2008, it will have been 100 years since Standing Bear?s death.
Fortenberry said he will write to the U.S. Treasury and seek support from colleagues on Capitol Hill in pursuit of a Standing Bear design, even though it was not one of seven concepts suggested in the law authorizing new dollar designs.

Events and individuals suggested in the law include the creation of Cherokee written language, the Iroquois Confederacy; Wampanoag Chief Massasoit; the ?Pueblo Revolt?; Olympian Jim Thorpe; Ely S. Parker, a general on the staff of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and later head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and code talkers who served the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I and World War II.

The law says the designs for native American dollars shall be chosen by the secretary of the Treasury ?after consultation with the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate, the Congressional Native American Caucus of the House of Representatives, the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Congress of American Indians,? with additional review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. 

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