IACA Board of Directors Guidebook - page 4

The Indian Arts and Crafts Association (IACA)
was established in 1974 in response to growing problem
of misrepresentation of American Indian arts and crafts in
the marketplace and its adverse effect on the ability of
artists to make a living. The original founders were
American Indian artists and reputable businesses located
primarily in the Southwest. Today, IACA is an
international organization representing every link in
American Indian arts – Native artists from the U.S. and
Canada, along with consumers, retailers, wholesalers,
museums, collectors, government agencies, suppliers and
supporting members.
In the early 1970s, the American Indian arts and
crafts industry was booming. As so often happens with
successful businesses, unscrupulous dealers, knockoffs
and imported goods appeared in the market to the
detriment of the unsuspecting consumer and respectable
artists, wholesalers and retailers. Legislation governing
the industry and the labeling of authentic arts and crafts
produced by Native Americans was weak or nonexistent.
Where it did exist within several of the States, it was
rarely enforced.
In 1974, the small group of concerned artists and
reputable businesses realized that if these conditions were
to continue, the buying public would soon lose confidence
in the intrinsic value of American Indian products. If this
were to happen, everyone in the industry would be hurt.
Rather than face the issue privately, the group
banded together and founded an association that would
provide strength of numbers. They formed the "Indian
Arts and Crafts Association" and incorporated under the
laws of the State of New Mexico. Its original mission was
"to enhance and maintain the image of marketing of
handmade American Indian arts and crafts." The mission
was later refined and stands today, “to promote, preserve
and protect authentic American Indian arts and crafts.”
IACA’s basic mission became easier by the passage of
Federal legislation. Public Law 101-644, the Indian Arts
and Crafts Act of 1990, amended an older law, and
described the intent of the U.S. Congress to provide legal
protections for the industry. The bill was introduced by
former Senator, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a founding
member of IACA and, at that time, the U.S. Congressional
representative from Colorado.
IACA continues to advocate for stronger laws and
enforcement. To improve the cause of action for
misrepresentation of Indian arts and crafts, the Indian Arts
and Crafts Enforcement Act of 2000 was written and
passed. This Act expands the Indian Arts and Crafts Act
by allowing and adding that an Indian arts and crafts
organization or an individual American Indian may seek
damages for violations of the Act. In 2010, further
amendments expanded enforcement of the Act from the
BIA and FBI to all Federal law enforcement agencies.
IACA has established itself as a highly respected
trade association, and for more than thirty-five years has
hosted the largest trade show of authentic handmade art
made by American Indian artists from the United States
and Canada. To complement the trade show, IACA added
“The Business of Art” seminars before each show, as well
as a number of educational programs and publications to
promote the understanding of the arts.
IACA has played an integral role in the
strengthening of the Indian arts and crafts industry.
Through our markets, educational publications, cultural
programs, seminars and networking, IACA helps
American Indian art reach a global market. Buyers and
collectors have learned to look for the IACA logo as a
standard of authentic American Indian art; they know that
if they see the IACA logo, they can buy with confidence.
Code of Ethics
Members of the Indian Arts and Crafts Association, a national association of
Indian artist, traders, dealers, collectors, museums and others concerned with
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