Nebraska reservoir named Big Elk Lake for Omaha tribe leader

June 11, 2020 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new flood mitigation reservoir in Nebraska is being named Big Elk Lake in honor of Chief Big Elk, a leader of the Omaha tribe.

Directors of the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board announced the unanimous decision Thursday.

“Big Elk played an important role in Sarpy County history and naming this flood mitigation reservoir after him is a meaningful way to not only commemorate the historical imprint Big Elk left, but keep it alive by educating others on this great leader’s life, death, and all he accomplished in between,” director Kevyn Sopinski said in a news release.

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Rudi Mitchell, the great-great-great grandson of Chief Big Elk, said Big Elk had a gift for peacefully bringing settlers and the Omaha tribe together.

“This says a lot about the kind of leader he was and I’m grateful he will be remembered in an area of beauty and nature,” Mitchell said.