Page of 116Fish and Game Stamps of the Crow Creek Sious Tribeby David R. TorreIntroductionInformation about stamps issued by Indian Reservations in South Dakota was ﬁrst published in revenue publications in the early 1960s (see Figure 1). FIGURE 1. EDITOR DAVID STROCK INFORMED COLLECTORS ABOUT FISH AND GAME STAMPS ISSUED BY THE SIOUX TRIBES OF SOUTH DAKOTA IN THE SATE REVENUE NEWSLETTER IN EARLY 1964.
Page of 216Since then, a relatively small group of state revenue and ﬁsh and game collectors have avidly pursued these paper artifacts. As the early tribal stamps feature printed text only, they may not appear especially attractive in comparison to many classic pictorial ﬁsh and game stamps issued during this period (see Figures 2 and 3). FIGURE 2. THE ROSEBUD SIOUX BECAME THE FIRST TRIBAL GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE FISH AND GAME STAMPS IN 1959. FIGURE 3. THE LOWER BRULE SIOUX STARTED ISSUING STAMPS IN 1962.Despite this fact, they have held a special interest for many collectors as they link stamp collecting with the study of Native American culture. The choice on the part of tribal governments to adopt the system of stamps and licenses previously developed by the federal and state governments represent an effort on the part of the Indian peoples to assimilate with an American institution of special interest to revenue collectors. Collections that include these interesting stamps serve to document this accomplishment.In 1989 and 1990, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe introduced several different types of pictorial stamps. These attractive stamps are likely to be of interest to a much broader spectrum of collectors, and will hopefully bring attention to this important area of American revenue philately.
Page of 316The Turbulent 1970sIn the 1970s the Indian rights movement swept the country and precipitated the temporary decline of non-tribal member hunting and ﬁshing on the reservations (Moum, McGee). This was punctuated by bloodshed at the Incident at Wounded Knee in 1973. Few tribal stamps are known to have been issued during this decade and the State of South Dakota attempted to negotiate limited hunting on the reservations (see Figures 4 and 5). FIGURE 4. RARE SOUTH DAKOTA STAMP OVERPRINTED FOR ARCHERY HUNTING ON THE LOWER BRULE RESERVATION DURING THE MID 1970S FIGURE 5. SOUTH DAKOTA STAMP PRINTED FOR HUNTING ON THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION IN 1975.
Page of 416The 1970s not withstanding, there exists a high level of interest on the part of all parties involved to have non-tribal members hunt and ﬁsh on Indian reservations. The interest on the part of non-members stems from the fact that the relatively undeveloped reservations still retain abundant wildlife resources, in contrast to many areas of the country which have witnessed the phenomenon of urban sprawl (see Figure 6). FIGURE 6. DEER HUNTING WITH A TRIBAL GUIDE ON THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION, SOUTH DAKOTA.Interest on the art of tribal members may be viewed as proprietary in nature. The reservations often have a harvestable surplus, and it makes sense to allow hunters and ﬁshermen to come into the area if they are willing to pay fees and abide by Indian laws. It should be noted that hunters and ﬁshermen, not unlike tourists, often patronize local eating, lodging and sporting goods establishments. In short, they positively affect the local economy.Tensions subsided and starting in 1979, non members once again were welcomed onto the reservations. Along with the increase in non-member hunting and ﬁshing during the 1980s, came the ill effects of widespread poaching and over-harvesting (McGee). Concerned tribal members brought this to the attention of the Department of the Interior, which is still somewhat responsible for maintaining the welfare of the reservations. This resulted in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service encouraging the tribal governments to formally organize local ﬁsh and wildlife programs whose intent is to protect, conserve and manage these vital resources (Catlin). Tribal hunting seasons were established, game wardens were hired and many of these programs were made to include stamp and license requirements in their general provisions.
Page of 516South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks ofﬁcials worked with many of the tribal governments to develop their stamp and license requirements (Catlin). The state formally recognizes the tribal hunting seasons and the validity of the stamp and license requirements when used on reservation trust lands and within the guidelines established by the tribe (Catlin, Neilson). Additionally, speciﬁc agreements exist between the state and tribal governments. Purchase of a tribal waterfowl stamp for example, not only conveys hunting rights on the reservation, but allows hunters to transport game off the reservation, through South Dakota and to their destinations (Neilson). When the 1980s came to an end, at least six reservations had issued ﬁsh and game stamps (see Figures 7 and 8). FIGURE 7. TRIBAL MEMBER BIRDS & SMALL GAME STAMP ISSUED BY THE CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX TRIBE IN THE 1980S. FIGURE 9. SIMILAR STAMP PRINTED FOR NON (TRIBAL) MEMBERS.
Page of 616The Cow Creek SiouxThe Crow Creek Sioux Tribe are descendants of a nomadic people that once occupied Minnesota. Following the invasion of their territory by whites, and the subsequent ﬁghting that has become known as the Minnesota Uprising of 1862, the remnants of the tribe were relocated to their present home by the U.S. Department of the Interior (Anonymous). The Crow Creek Reservation is located adjacent the Missouri River in central South Dakota between the cities of Chamberlain and Pierre (see Figure 10). FIGURE 10. THE CROW CREEK RESERVATION.Of the approximately 270,000 acres comprising the reservation, about half is Indian owned land held in trust by the U.S. Government. The State of South Dakota considers the Crow Creek Reservation, as it does all of the reservations, to be a part of the state (Catlin). Although they enjoy a degree of self-government, the tribes cannot be viewed as completely sovereign nations in that tribal members enjoy state beneﬁts such as welfare, full voting privileges and are represented in the state legislature (Catlin).Page of 716The Federal courts have conﬁrmed that it is the tribal governments which have the authority to regulate hunting and ﬁshing on the reservations (Moum). There are approximately 65,000 acres of tribal land within the Crow Creek Reservation which can be hunted with a valid tribal hunting license (Authority, 1990). Since the reservation is centered within the Central Waterfowl Flyway, there are massive numbers of migrating ducks and geese. Small and upland game is abundant, including ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, prairie chicken and Hungarian partridge (see Figure 11). White tailed and mule deer are plentiful, as are a variety of animals and birds that the Indians classify as varmints. These include coyotes, skunks, porcupine, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, jack rabbits and crows. Game ﬁsh include sturgeon, salmon, trout, bass and walleye (Authority, 1988, 1990). FIGURE 11. RING-NECKED PHEASANT ROOSTER ON THE CROW CREEK RESERVATION.
Page of 816Stamps IssuedThe earliest known stamps used at Crow Creek were reported by E.L. Vanderford to have been ﬁrst issued in 1961, and were required by non-Indian hunters only. Very little is known about these stamps, as tribal records for this period were lost in a ﬂood (McGee). There were at least two types, one for small game and migratory waterfowl and another for big game. The stamps are imperforate and feature printed text in black on white paper with red serial numbers. They measure approximately 44 x 35 mm. The earliest known stamp in collectors’ hands has the date typeset “1962”. The same stamps are known to have been used in 1963 and 1964 with the only difference being that the date was changed manually with a ballpoint pen (see Figures 12, 13 and 14). FIGURE 12. CROW CREEK SMALL GAME ISSUED IN 1962. FIGURE 13. STAMPS WERE USED IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS BY CHANGING THE DATE MANUALLY WITH A BALL POINT PEN. FIGURE 14. ALTHOUGH ISSUED IN 1964, THIS STAMP PROVIDES EVIDENCE CROW CREEK ISSUED STAMPS AS EARLY AS 1961.Page of 916In the 1970s and early 1980s, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe experimented with a variety of different types of licenses, but no stamps are known to have been issued during this period (see Figures 15, 16 and 17). Collectors of waterfowl stamps and licenses will take note of the interesting boating permit reproduced in Figure 16, which also allowed the holder to hunt migratory waterfowl (from a boat only?). FIGURE 15. CROW CREEK GENERAL HUNTING LICENSE USED IN THE 1970S. FIGURE 16. CROW CREEK OUT OF STATE BOATING PERMIT. NOTE THE PERMIT CONVEYED THE RIGHTS TO HUNT WATERFOWL ON THE RESERVATION. FIGURE 17. CROW CREEK NON MEMBER COMMERCIAL FISH TRAPPING LICENSE.