Fish and Game Stamps of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

The Turbulent 1970s

In 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 Lowere Brule Reservation during the mid 1970s



Figure 5. South Dakota stamp printed for hunting on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975.



The 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.

South 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.




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