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The US constitution and the Poncas story are bonded by a historical revelation of the interpretation of law and constitutionality In particular the current purpose scope of authority and meaning of the 14th amendment is infused in the fascinating story of the Ponca tribe whose story is told in Joe Staritas book I Am a Man The Ponca were a peaceful people settled on the Niobrara they were prosperous and rich in culture culture infused with and mounted on the banks of the running water Standing Bear was a chief among his people who was born raised and dependent upon the Niobrara However beginning in 1817 he would have to stand up for his people and fight a war against an intimidating and distant enemy to uphold the right of his people to keep and live on their own landWhat started out as a plight for their homeland became a revolutionary stance for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness In 1817 the Poncas signed their first treaty with the United States government 17 They were very trusting people and had faith that the American government would keep their promises But by 1877 after much protest the tribe was making their first journey across the Mississippi The first treaty between the Ponca and the United States established peace between them 17 The second treaty signed on June 9 1825 was a power play on the part of the United States The United States offered the Ponca protection from their enemys in exchange for recognition of US supremacy and control of their trade However after the signing the Ponca were still plagued by vicious enemies A fact the US government tried to use to its advantageThe government had its own ideas about how to deal with Native Americans In the words of Jefferson Native Americans only had two choices either incorporate with us as citizens of the United
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