chief standing bear addresses civil rights

Chief Standing Bear Forever Stamp Unveiled by US Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service has released the Chief Standing Bear Forever stamp, honoring the influential Native American civil rights icon. Standing Bear secured a landmark court ruling in 1879 that recognized Native Americans as persons under the law with inherent rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit.

commemorative stamp - chief standing bear

The dedication ceremony took place near the Chief Standing Bear Sculpture at Centennial Mall.

Chief Standing Bear (circa 1829–1908) belonged to the Ponca tribe in what is now northeastern Nebraska. In 1879, after being forcibly relocated and facing numerous hardships, he sued the federal government for his freedom.

The historic case, Standing Bear v. Crook, resulted in Judge Elmer Dundy declaring that an Indian was a person under common understanding and had inherent rights within the United States.

This significant decision marked a turning point for Native American civil rights. The new stamp features a portrait of Chief Standing Bear by illustrator Thomas Blackshear II and will be issued in panes of 20.