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The Native American Arts & Crafts Act

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    History

    • Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell and the Indian Arts and Crafts Board assisted in getting the Indian Arts and Crafts Act passed in 1990. All original Indian artwork created since 1935 is included under the act.

    Penalties

    • Under this law, an individual or company found guilty of fraudulently advertising an item as made by an Indian in the United States could face civil and criminal repercussions as well as fines.

    Significance

    • Congress passed this law to protect the rights of Indians who were creating original pieces of art and to help eliminate the false advertising associated with the sale of Indian crafts, art and jewelry.

    Fake Items

    • If you bought a fake item and are unable to get a refund, contact the Better Business Bureau or the Indian Arts and Crafts Board Association to file a complaint.

    Benefits

    • The Indian Arts and Crafts Act helps compensate artisans by putting the money back into the Indian community for real Indian artwork.

    Warning

    • You should always inspect merchandise purchased at flea markets and small roadside shops because these places sometimes market jewelry and pottery as Indian items.

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