A monumental tribute to all Native Americans, this 22-foot bronze statue is of Ponca Chief Standing Bear, created by Cowboy Artist of America, Oreland C. Joe. The magnificent monument of Standing Bear is majestic as a very realistic depiction of Standing Bear - with right hand extended to the east and his eyes, gentle and wise, overlook the ancient Arkansas River valley, where the original Chief Standing Bear is believed to have walked more than 100 years ago.
The 63-acre park encompasses more than eight fully developed acres that includes off street parking; a one-acre pond with central arrowhead island; a walking trail winding through native grasses and wildflowers to the monument site, and a shaded memorial grove at a peaceful sitting area along the way.
A colorful 60-foot diameter circular viewing court is located at the feet of Standing Bear and contains large sandstone boulders around its parameter affixed with the official brass seals of the six area tribes, Osage, Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria Kaw, Tonkawa and Ponca. The names of eight clans of the Ponca Tribe are inlaid in the floor of the plaza in earth tone colors of terra cotta red, pine green and various shades of browns. A center pool reflects the sky and at its center the eternal flame of "grandfather fire" burns on a large round sandstone pedestal.
The published mission of the dedicated group is "To educate all nationalities about the Native American heritage and the important role Native Americans have played in developing our country diverse culture; To promote better understanding and communication among all our nations cultures; To increase economic and educational opportunities for Native Americans; and To provide a catalyst to enhance the self-worth of all Native Americans.
The Standing Bear Museum and Education Center features tribal displays, traveling exhibits, artwork, and other educational material.
Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 9:00 to 5:00 and Saturday 10:00 to 2:00. No admission charge.
Located at Standing Bear Park, Ponca City, Oklahoma at the intersections of U.S. 60, U.S. 77 and U.S. 177 - (580) 762-1514.