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Various Spellings: Ponca Tribe, Ponca, Poncar, Poncarar, Ponka, Puncahs
The Ponca Tribe was located in villages along Ponca Creek near the Niobrara River in what is now northeastern Nebraska when they first encountered the European settlers.
The Ponca Tribe today is primarily associated with the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma.
- 1 Tribal Headquarters
- 2 History
- 3 Records
- 4 Important Web Sites
- 5 References
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska
PO Box 288
Niobrara NE 68760
official website of the Nebraska/Northern Ponca Tribe
Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma
20 White Eagle Drive
Ponca City OK 74601
official website of the Oklahoma/Southern Ponca Tribe
The Ponca Tribe signed four treaties with the United States government -- the first in 1817, the second in 1825, the third in 1858, the fourth in 1865. Each was an attempt to affirm their peaceful intent and to regulate trade in the area in which they lived.
Treaties between the government and the Sioux/Lakota in 1868 gave the land claimed by the Ponca to the Sioux. As a result, in 1877, the Ponca were forced by the U.S. to remove to Indian Territory, specifically to the Quapaw Reservation. Two groups were removed that year, for a total of just under 700 tribal members. The following year, the Ponca established their own settlement from land on both sides of the Salt Fork River, from the west bank of the Arkansas River. An agency was established on the Salt Fork River, two miles from where it joined with the Arkansas.
In the 1880s, the Ponca split into two -- the Northern Ponca Tribe on the Niobrara River in Nebraska and the Southern Ponca Nation in what is now Oklahoma.
- 1789 -- First contact with Europeans
- 1817 -- First treaty with the U.S. government
- 1825 -- Second treaty with the U.S. government
- 1858 -- Third treaty with the U.S. government
1865 -- Fourth treaty with the U.S. government
1868 -- U.S. treaty with the Sioux/Lakota that included all Ponca lands
1877 -- Forced Removal to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) of 681 Ponca
- 1878 -- Reservation established on Salt Fork River west of the Arkansas River in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma
- 1878 -- Chief Standing Bear left the reservation in Indian Territory to take his son's body back to the tribe's traditional grounds for burial. His arrest resulted in a famous trial that recognized Indians as legal persons
1881 -- lands returned to Ponca in Nebraska; half of tribe returned
- 1966 -- Ponca Tribe of Nebraska ("Northern Ponca") terminated in U.S. policy to terminate tribes (tribal membership 442, 838 acres tribal land)
1990 -- U.S. Congress approved Ponca Restoration Bill, created Ponca Tribe of Nebraska
Additional References to the History of the Tribe
Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Ponca tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods. Additional details are given in John Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America and in David Bushnell's Villages of the Algonquian, Siouan and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi.
For additional history of the tribe, read more....
- 1817 June 17,
- 1825 June 9, Poncar Village,
- 1858 March 12, Washington D.C., reservation, annuities
- 1865 March 10, Washington D.C.
Many of the earlier records kept by the Ponca Agency (later the Winnebago Agency) in Nebraska have been transferred to the Kansas City Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Adminstration. Included among the records housed in this facility are copies of the Indian census rolls 1880-1928, family record books 1886-1891, vital statistics records 1885-1906 and 1937-1947, marriage registers, 1900, copies of birth and death certificates 1938-1945, annuity payrolls 1884-1907, and allotment rolls 1869.
Some records for the Ponca are included in the collections of the Pawnee Agency in Oklahoma which are now housed in the Fort Worth Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration. A brief inventory of records available at this facility is available online.
Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Ponca Agency, 1859-1880
Copies of Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Ponca Agency for the years 1859-1880 are included in Microcopy 234 of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Rolls 670-677. Copies of those rolls are also available at the Family History Library (their microfilm numbers 1661400 - 1661407).
Annual Census Rolls, 1885-1939
Census records for the Ponca Tribe in Nebraska are included in the rolls for the Santee Agency, 1888-1927,(FHL Films 580765-580779) the Yankton Agency, 1918-1931, (FHL films 583130-583138) and the Winnebago Agency, 1934-1939 (583128-583129).
Census records for the Ponca Tribe in Oklahoma are included in the rolls for the Ponca Agency, 1886-1927, (FHL films: 580765-580770) and the Pawnee Agency, 1920-1939, (FHL Films: 579747-579753).
Reports of Field Offices
Copies of the Reports of Inspection of the Ponca Agency, 1874-1880 and of the Ponca, Pawnee, and Otoe Agency, 1881-1900, are included in Microcopy M1070 of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Rolls 37-39. A copy of that roll is also available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (their microfilm number 1617710 thru 1671712)
Important Web Sites
- The Official Web Site of the Ponca Nation
- Indian Nations, Indian Territory, Archives -- Ponca Tribe
- Constitution and By-Laws of the Ponca Tribe of Indians Oklahoma
- Constitution and By-Laws of the Ponca Tribe of Indians Nebraska
- Ponca Tribe Wikipedia
- Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
- Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
- Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
- Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
- Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
- Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
- Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
- Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
- Volume 1 -- Not yet published
- Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
- Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
- Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
- Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
- Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
- Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
- Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
- Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
- Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
- Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
- Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
- Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
- Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
- Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
- Volume 18 -- Not yet published
- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published