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S

ANTA

F

E

C

RACKS

D

OWN ON

P

HONY

A

MERICAN

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NDIAN

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Trading Post Times

Volume 14, Issue 1

January:March 2017

SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST:

River Trading Post Scottsdale 14th Arts of

Native America Show and Sale—March 2—5

Heard Museum Indian Market

March 4—5

R i v e r T r a d i n g P o s t

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Remembering Millie

2

Favorite Places: Cow

Canyon

3

Arts of Native America

14th Annual Show & Sale

3

Native American

Images: An Education

Resource.

4

Once the mecca for authentic American Indian Art, Santa

Fe has seen the encroachment of retail establishments that

make huge dollars selling imported goods that they represent

as authentic American Indian art. Over the years, consumers

have recognized this and many have literally stopped visiting

Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe Plaza and Canyon Road have been hit particu-

larly hard by the sleaze, and many places carry cheap im-

ports (usually jewelry) which is misrepresented as American

Indian made. There are still a few places owned by reputa-

ble dealers who sell the real deal—and guarantee it—and the

vendors under the Portal at the Palace of the Governors

continue to be strictly regulated.

The magic of Santa Fe as a center for creativity, arts

and culture is diminishing, and the many shops with

knock-offs and deceitful selling practices has hurt its

overall appeal.

Whether to protect legitimate dealers or American Indian artists, restore lost tax revenues, or restore

Santa Fe’s reputation, Santa Fe has passed new legislation that establishes a special “cultural dis-

trict” where those businesses selling American Indian Art must hold a special business license and

must adhere to some special business practices—many of which are “truth in advertising” practices.

It also requires that a certificate of authenticity be available for every piece of art sold as Native

American. Those who do not comply will have their business license revoked.

It is good to see Santa Fe take steps to protect consumers from sales of “fake” American Indian art,

and we wish more communities would take similar action. We do wonder though how Santa Fe

will enforce the new legislation. A federal law, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act was passed in 1990

which prohibits the sale of items that are misrepresented as authentic American Indian art. Enforce-

ment falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice and the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.

While that legislation is great in concept, the IACB has had only limited success in enforcing the

legislation due to manpower and budget issues. It seems that Santa Fe may have similar problems

and the City Council will have to address efficient and effective ways of enforcement.

The vaunted Santa Fe plaza (top) and

Canyon Road have been badly

damaged by misrepresented sales of

American Indian art.