MACY, Neb. (KCAU) — A sculptor known for depicting Native American culture in his work spoke at a Siouxland school on Thursday.

Sculptor Benjamin Victor spoke to students at Umonhon Nation Public School in Macy, Nebraska. He talked about how art can preserve the memory of Native American historical figures. Victor said Native American students today can benefit by embracing their past.

“The theme of knowing your history and knowing things about their ancestors is very important because what these men and women stood for will benefit them in their lives,” he said.

Victor is working on a bronze sculpture of Chief Big Elk, who led the Omaha Tribe in the 1800s. The sculpture will be on display in downtown Omaha and Victor said city officials are excited to showcase this artwork.

“It looks like there’s a change to think very carefully about who we represent and why and these Native leaders are absolutely wonderful examples of what we can strive and aspire to be,” he said.

Teia Saunsoci is a 10th grader at Umonhon Nation Public School and a member of the Omaha Tribe. She said she enjoyed Victor’s visit to the school.

“With the speech, going through that, and him talking about every other sculpture he did and also the history of Big Elk, I thought that’s pretty cool. It’s pretty cool what he’s doing,” Saunsoci said.

While the sculpture will be more than 70 miles from Macy, Saunsoci said the artwork will remind people the long history of the Omaha Tribe.

“Not many people know that Omaha people still exist,” Saunsoci said. “Not many people know that we’re still a tribe here and still have a lot of people in our tribe, so it means if that sculpture gets put up, then our tribe would be known more.”

The Chief Big Elk sculpture will be 10 feet tall and displayed in downtown Omaha right on the riverfront for all to see.