The Jeanette C. Rudy Duck Stamp Collection

Crow Creek Indian Reservation Stamps

Refer to caption
1989 Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Reservation Waterfowl Stamp

Though a handful of Indian reservations have sold hunting and fishing stamps since the 1950s, the Crow Creek reservation, located in central South Dakota, produced the first Indian Reservation stamps featuring images. In 1989 Crow Creek tribal authorities released sixteen different stamps depicting deer, geese, pheasants, and prairie dogs, and four "sportsman'" stamps featuring the tribal seal. Once again in 1990 they issued stamps, all featuring the same images as the 1989 series. The stamps were numbered continuously by series and printed on white paper. The South Dakota Department of Natural Resources provided stock photos for the stamps, which the State Printing Office in Pierre produced.

Indian Reservation stamps offer tribal authorities one means of controlling hunting on the reservation and are not intended to raise revenue or protect wildlife. Categories of hunters determine the price paid for the stamp—for instance, tribal members pay less than non-tribal members, and those not residing in the state pay even more.

While collectors immediately found Indian Reservation stamps appealing, Crow Creek tribal authorities have taken little interest in satisfying that market and hence produce very few of the stamps. For instance, they produced only 200 of each 1989 denomination and 250 of each 1990 denomination. This can also be said of other tribal authorities issuing stamps. To insure an adequate supply for actual sportsmen, collectors could not purchase the stamps until the hunting season closed.

Crow Creek reservation did not issue stamps in 1991, 1992, and 1993, but resumed in the fall of 1994, using a color-coded system for the various categories of hunters—green for tribal members, blue for both affiliate members and reservation residents, and red for non-residents. The nation issued its first multi-colored stamps in 1995, which resemble the 1989 and 1990 releases. As with earlier issues, the number produced was small. Numbers of stamps and regularity of issue since 1995 has been fluid, influenced by tribal authority preferences.