Larry Yazzie of the Native Pride Dancers leads a "Fancy Dance 101" lesson in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
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Senate Committee on Indian Affairs headed to New Mexico for hearing

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is hitting the road again.

The committee will be holding a field hearing on the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, on July 7. The Santa Fe Indian School, a Bureau of Indian Education institution in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will host the gathering.

The hearing marks the committee's second road trip of the 115th Congress. The first took place in North Dakota, the home of Sen. John Hoeven, the panel's Republican chairman, in April.

The panel's vice chairman is Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico.

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act is a truth-in-advertising law that was first enacted in 1990. It requires goods that are marketed or labeled as "Indian" to be produced by Indian artisans or tribes.

The law has been updated in recent years to encourage individual Indian artists and tribes to pursue forgeries and unauthorized sales. The Navajo Nation, whose reservation is partly located in New Mexico, utilized the law to pursue a major fashion retailer in a landmark lawsuit. A settlement was reached late last year.

A witness list for the hearing hasn't been posted online. It comes ahead of a busy time for Indian artists -- the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, We Are The Seeds and the Indigenous Fine Arts Movement are hosting art shows in Santa Fe during the third weekend of August.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Notice:
Oversight Field Hearing on “Cultural Sovereignty Series: Modernizing the Indian Arts and Crafts Act to Honor Native Identity and Expression.” (July 7, 2017)