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Descendant of Chief Standing Bear wants Harvard to return tomahawk

Standing Bear was a Ponca chief and civil rights leader
Posted at 1:50 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 14:50:39-04

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Native American lawyer in Oklahoma wants Harvard University to return a tomahawk once owned by his pioneering ancestor, Chief Standing Bear.

Brett Chapman told GBH last week that he's reached out to the university's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology to return the heirloom.

He says Standing Bear gave the tomahawk to one of his lawyers after winning the 1879 court case that made him one of the first Native Americans granted civil rights.

A university spokesperson says the museum is open to repatriation, but that other family members and tribal representatives should be part of the discussions.