Monday, April 8, 2013

Call to Action - Proposed Changes to the Indian Arts and Crafts Act

If you haven't heard, there is a "Drastic Amendment Proposed to Indian Arts and Crafts Act." If we want to protect the integrity of our authentic Indian made arts and crafts, it is urgent that everyone contact their Congress people and insist they stop these changes. This will affect Indian artists of every tribe so it is not strictly a Cherokee problem. Please get involved!

Wise words from my Cherokee friend, David Cornsilk:

The Cherokees in Oklahoma fought the Indian Art War in 1990 that culminated in the passage of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. All other tribes remained silent. We endured being cursed, slandered and even physically assaulted from fake Indians claiming to be Cherokee and selling art as Indian made. But since the Acts passage Indians artists of all tribes have benefited from the protections afforded by the by the Act. 

Back in 1990 when wannabes, fake Indian artists, claimed to be Cherokee, everyone thought fakes were solely a Cherokee problem. That has not changed much today. But there are other fakes out there today representing the Blackfeet, Apache, Creek, Sioux and others. They are also claiming tribes mentioned in history books no one has heard from in 200 years. These fakes join together to form fake tribes and several states have granted recognition to them without one iota of authenticity. The fakes sell art as Indian made, teach a bastardized Indian culture in schools and to the public. They stand over the graves of our ancestors in our stolen homelands and perform disgusting pseudo ceremonies when the graves of our ancestors are uncovered. But most dangerous of all is the very real threat to tribal sovereignty. These groups have so watered down the definition of tribe that we may soon no longer recognize ourselves. When the U.S. looks at Indian country and sees fake tribes, they may no longer recognize us. 

This amendment to the IACA must be stopped. Your tribal councils must pass resolutions to condemn it. You must get your federal reps to quash it. And by all means use social media to spread the word. We cannot afford to be silent.

Working together, we can stop this proposed change! Please get involved.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2013, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

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