Crow Tribe hopes minting own currency will spur spending

08/17/2013 7:26 AM

08/17/2013 7:32 AM

The director of the Crow Tribe's business development department hopes creating a tribal currency will spur tribal members to spend money on the reservation – and encourage the creation of more businesses.

The tribe is minting copper, silver and gold coins called “scouts” to serve as its sovereign currency, according to a story in the Billings Gazette.

Ceivert LaForge, director of the tribe's LLC Department, has been working on the project since March with Eddie Allen, director of the Dallas-based Sovereign Economics. The company's website says it helps “nations, states, communities and groups” establish their own currencies.

The tribe hopes to introduce the currency gradually, possibly by having tribal employees receive some of their pay in scouts, with the proportion of Crow currency increasing over time.

The Crow scouts will include six coins – two copper, two silver and two gold – each stamped with the image of a different Crow chief.

LaForge said the tribe is working to create an Office of Currency to oversee the monetary system.

The Sovereign Economics website lists several examples of groups and nations that have established their own currencies, including the Lakota Nation in South Dakota, the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi and the American Redoubt, a group of survivalists who hope to set up a “safe haven” in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and eastern Washington and Oregon.

LaForge said he hopes the scouts are more successful on the Crow reservation than the Lakota currency has been. He said it is still little used on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, six years after it was first issued.

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