The Culture Department aims to restore and preserve traditions, culture, customs, language, genealogy, and history of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. Members are helped to understand where they come from and who they belong to through the following:
The Ponca Flag Song honors the veterans who went to war in World War I.
The words to the song are: Nuzhiⁿga haska … Thenoⁿ dexti … Moⁿzon they tho day, and the meaning is “These young men who carried the flag under hardship for this country or land.”
The Ponca Museum and Library houses artifacts, historical archives, a Tribal Library, and a Community Learning Center, and Culture Department offices.
The Ponca Cemetery was established in 1880, and is located near the Ponca Community Building, and one of our bison herds views it daily. There are still members being buried on this traditional site.
Plans to expand to the east are in place to prevent overlapping of unmarked graves. The Cemetery Committee has plans to work with Tribal Members in 2012 to mark known graves with names and dates. The newly placed sign designates, for the first time, where many of our ancestors rest.
The top of the hill marks where the first repatriation took place for those of our ancestors that were in museums before being reburied here. There was repatriation later, and another one was done in the fall of 2012.
More than 200 titles are available for the community to checkout from the Tribal Library. The main topic is Native American Literature, but materials related to the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery, Nebraska Outdoors, Midwest religion, and other reference and study materials are also available. Some books and tapes are also for sale.