Statue Now Located In U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) joined Nebraskans, members of the Ponca tribe, and House and Senate leadership at a dedication ceremony for Nebraska’s statue of Chief Standing Bear in the U.S. Capitol.
“Chief Standing Bear is a Nebraska treasure and an American hero. It was a privilege to join so many Nebraskans, Ponca tribe members, and colleagues today at his statue dedication ceremony. The statue will inspire the millions of people who visit National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol every year to learn about his enduring commitment to equality and human freedom,” said Senator Fischer.
The unveiling ceremony took place in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall, where the statue is now located. The ceremony featured remarks from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Sen. Fischer also provided remarks, as did Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, and State Sen. Tom Brewer.
More information on the statue of Chief Standing Bear:
Each state is granted two statues for display in the Capitol. In 2018, Nebraska state senators voted to replace both of Nebraska’s existing statues—of presidential candidate and orator William Jennings Bryan and former Agriculture Secretary Julius Sterling Morton—with statues of Chief Standing Bear and writer Willa Cather respectively.
The Chief Standing Bear statue, which was sculpted by Ben Victor two years ago, is made of bronze and stands 11 feet tall from its base. It honors the former chief of the Ponca tribe, who was arrested while traveling back to Nebraska to bury his son. During the subsequent 1879 trial, Chief Standing Bear’s speech lead to the recognition of Native Americans as people under the law with full civil rights. The statue of William Jennings Bryan, which stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1937, now returns to Nebraska for display.