Ponca chief won't appear on Nebraska state quarter

Tribal members in Nebraska criticized Gov. Dave Heineman (R) on Wednesday for not picking Ponca Chief Standing Bear to appear on the state quarter.

"My heart is broken," Donna Wendzillo, a member of the Ponca Tribe, told The Lincoln Journal Star.

Indian leaders had hoped Heineman would pick Standing Bear, whose landmark court case on behalf of Indian rights was celebrated just a few weeks ago. But instead the Republican chose Chimney Rock, a natural formation that symbolizes western expansion.

"I think this would have given an opportunity to make amends for the Manifest Destiny tragedies that befell our people," Judi Morgan gaiashkibos, the director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, told the paper. She called Heineman's decision "unconscionable" and an "insult to Nebraska's first citizens."

Mark Peniska, the chairman of the Ponca Tribe, questioned whether Heineman was under pressure not to choose a Native person. "If it was just a political move, that would upset me," he said.

Get the Story:
Some say decision was missed opportunity (The Lincoln Journal Star 6/2)
Let the debate begin: Gov chooses Chimney Rock (The Lincoln Journal Star 6/2)
What is Chimney Rock? (The Lincoln Journal Star 6/2)
Artists: Good, but not art (The Lincoln Journal Star 6/2)

Relevant Links:
Nebraska Indian Affairs Commission -

Related Stories:
Nebraska to celebrate Ponca Chief Standing Bear (05/12)
Day proposed in honor of Ponca Chief Standing Bear (04/05)
Image of Ponca chief a finalist for Nebraska quarter (02/03)
Jodi Rave Lee: Native image on coin inspires pride (09/14)
Ponca chief design a finalist for Nebraska quarter (09/03)