Ponca City, OK 74601
Traditionally the Ponca share common social and cultural characteristics with the Omaha, Osage, Kaw, and Quapaw peoples. They once lived in the area of northern Kentucky and southern Indiana along the Ohio River, then migrated west into what is today known as Nebraska. The Ponca first encountered Europeans in 1789 when they lived in villages along Ponca Creek near the Niobrara River in northeastern Nebraska.
Despite several treaties with the U.S., in 1868 due to an "administrative blunder" by federal agents, the entire Ponca Reservation was given to the Sioux. When the error was discovered, the U.S. government chose to remove the less powerful Poncas south to Indian Territory rather than admit the mistake. The tribe protested for nearly a decade, but under military escort, the Ponca's forced removal to Indian Territory began in the spring of 1877. Their trek was beset by great hardship and upon their arrival to northeastern Oklahoma, they found no shelter and little food.