Sacred Ponca Corn

The sixth annual sacred Ponca corn planting will begin Saturday, June 8, at 11 a.m., eight miles north of Neligh.

The farm is located just west of Highway 14.

The event will be an opportunity to hear from Nebraska farmers and ranchers, and tribal nation members, who are reeling and struggling to recover from historic flooding, as well as other issues that have come during the middle of planting season.

The farm has been in Art and Helen Tanderup’s family for generations, and for the past five years has been used to restore the Ponca Tribe’s sacred corn to the indigenous people’s ancestral homeland, following a 137-year absence, after the tribe’s forced removal from their lands by the U.S. government along the “Trail of Tears” route that also crosses the Tanderup farm.

Last summer, the Tanderups signed a deed returning the ancestral tribal land on which the corn has been restored back to the Ponca Nation.

The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska has been working, along with many Nebraskans who wish to preserve this sacred and culturally significant area, to establish federal and local protections and an official historical designation for the Ponca Trail of Tears.