Indian Arts and Crafts Acts for Attorneys

Springboard for the Arts

January 27, 2022


Casey L. Matthiesen


Pronouns: she/her

On Thursday, January 27, 2022, Casey Matthiesen moderated a CLE workshop titled “Indian Arts and Crafts Acts for Attorneys.” This webinar was presented by the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, Minnesota Lawyers for the Arts, the Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance and the American Indian Community Housing Organization.

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in the marketing of Native and American Indian art and craft products within the United States. Under the Act, an Indian is defined as a member of any federally or officially State recognized tribe of the United States, or an individual certified as an Indian artisan by an Indian tribe. Minnesota, South Dakota and other states in the region also have similar state-specific acts on the books. This CLE workshop examined the basics of the Act, how it affects enrolled and unenrolled Native artists in the Upper Midwest, certification processes for unenrolled direct descendants, and what to know when working with Native artists and culture bearers making and selling original artwork, crafts and handmade goods.