In 1962, the Congress of the United States decided that the Northern Ponca Tribe should be terminated. In 1966 the Northern Poncas were completely terminated and all of their land and tribal holdings were dissolved.
This termination removed 442 Ponca from the tribal rolls, dispossessing them of 834 acres and began the process of total decline.
During the 1970’s members of the Ponca Tribe, unwilling to accept their status as a terminated tribe, initiated the process of restoration to federal recognition.
In 1986 representatives from the Native American Community Development Corporation of Omaha, Inc., Lincoln Indian Center, Sequoyah Inc., National Indian Lutheran Board and Ponca Tribe met to discuss what they needed to do to once again become a federally recognized tribe.
In the spring of 1987, the Northern Ponca Restoration Committee Inc. was incorporated as a non-profit organization in Nebraska and was the base for the federal recognition effort.
In April of 1988 the Nebraska Unicameral passed Legislative Resolution #128 giving state recognition to the Ponca Tribe and their members. This was an important step in the restoration efforts.
The Ponca Restoration Bill was introduced in the United States Senate on October 11, 1989 by Senators James J. Exon and J. Robert Kerry. The Senate passed the Ponca Restoration Act by unanimous consent on July 18, 1990.
The bill was signed into law on October 31, 1990 by President Bush. Today the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska headquarters is located in Niobrara Nebraska.
The Ponca Tribe, which was dissolved by an act of Congress over 30 years ago, is once again rebuilding its traditional culture.
The Ponca are now rebuilding their land base, on their aboriginal homeland.