Vision Maker Media

Standing Bear's Footsteps

57 min | Documentary Feature | Christine Lesiak & Princella Parker

Standing Bear’s Footsteps is the story of an Indian chief who went to court to prove he was a person—and in the process redefined what it means to be an American. In 1877, the Ponca people were exiled from their Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. To honor his dying son’s last wish to be buried in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear set off on a grueling, six-hundred-mile journey home. Captured en-route, Standing Bear sued a famous U.S. army general for his freedom–choosing to fight injustice not with weapons, but with words. The Chief stood before the court to prove that an Indian was a person under the law. The story quickly made newspaper headlines–attracting powerful allies, as well as enemies.

Release: November 2011