Ponca Tribe Leader Championed Native American 14th Amendment Rights
The U.S. Postal Service holds reverence for Chief Standing Bear by honoring him with a Forever stamp. In 1879, Standing Bear won a landmark court ruling that determined a Native American was a person under the law with an inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The first-day-of-issue event is free and open to the public. News of the stamp is being shared with the hashtag #ChiefStandingBearStamp.
The Honorable Anton G. Hajjar, vice chairman, U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors
Candace Schmidt, chairwoman, Ponca Tribe
Judi M. Gaiashkibos, executive director, Nebraska Commission of Indian Affairs
Friday, May 12, at 11 a.m. CDT
Centennial MallBetween P and Q streetsLincoln, NE 68508
Dedication ceremony attendees are encouraged to RSVP at: usps.com/chiefstandingbear
In 1877, the U.S. Army had forcibly relocated some 700 Ponca to Indian Territory (what is now Oklahoma) after the federal government had given away the tribe’s homeland in the Niobrara River Valley in what is now northeastern Nebraska.
In a landmark civil rights case, Standing Bear v. Crook, Standing Bear sued the government for his freedom after being arrested, along with 29 other Ponca, for attempting to return to his homeland. Lawyers filed a writ of habeas corpus to test the legality of the detention, an unprecedented action on behalf of a Native American.
After winning the case, Standing Bear and the members of the Ponca who had followed him were allowed to return to their old Nebraska reservation along the Niobrara River.
One issue that his 1879 trial had raised was finally resolved in 1924 when Congress adopted the Indian Citizenship Act, which conferred citizenship on all Native Americans born in the United States.
This stamp features a portrait of Chief Standing Bear by illustrator Thomas Blackshear II. Blackshear created the portrait based on a photograph taken of Standing Bear in 1877 while he was in Washington, DC, as part of a delegation of Ponca chiefs appealing to government officials for the right to return to their homeland. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.
Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 844-737-7826, by mail through USA Philatelic or at Post Office locations nationwide.
The United States Postal Service is an independent federal establishment, mandated to be self-financing and to serve every American community through the affordable, reliable and secure delivery of mail and packages to nearly 165 million addresses six and often seven days a week. Overseen by a bipartisan Board of Governors, the Postal Service is implementing a 10-year transformation plan, Delivering for America, to modernize the postal network, restore long-term financial sustainability, dramatically improve service across all mail and shipping categories, and maintain the organization as one of America’s most valued and trusted brands.
The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
For USPS media resources, including broadcast quality video and audio and photo stills, visit the USPS Newsroom. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the USPS YouTube Channel and like us on Facebook. For more information about the Postal Service, visit usps.com and facts.usps.com.
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