New Mexico strengthening Indian arts protections

New Mexico Senate Bill 107, which unanimously passed the legislature, amends the penalty provisions of the New Mexico Indian Arts and Crafts Sales Act.

Attorney General Gary King says: “These amendments will provide an important tool for law enforcement in the fight against fraud in the Native American arts and crafts industry which has been severely affected over the past 20 years by a flood of foreign imports and domestic copies, much of which is misrepresented as authentic Indian art.”

Secretary of Indian Affairs, Alvin Warren testified before the Senate Indian and Cultural Affairs and House Judiciary Committees that fraud has had a devastating economic impact on many families who have made their living for generations as artists. It has also attacked the cultural integrity of the entire industry, he said. King has asked Governor Bill Richardson to sign the bill into law.

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