Native Americans tribes remain subject to an epidemic of poverty. Although tribal gaming has provided relief and a method of economic development for some groups, other tribes are unable to employ gaming to bring in revenue and grow out of poverty. One method to assist tribes that cannot use tribal gaming could be amending federal intellectual property law to better suit tribes needs and allowing them to better exploit the billion-dollar Native American arts and crafts industry.
Moreover, tribes are able to determine which artists qualify as “Indian” under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, which leaves individual artists subject to inequitable tribal membership requirements and thus unable to sell “Indian-made” creations, despite being a Native American descendent. Allowing the Indian Arts and Crafts Board to receive applications and evidence to certify an artist’s status as an “Indian artisan” provides the necessary protections to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the market while allowing Native American descendants to identify their goods as “Indian-made.”
Perez, Trey V.
"Native American Intellectual Property Protection: Altering Federal IP Law and the Indian Arts and Crafts Act to Aid Tribal Economic Development,"
American Indian Law Journal: Vol. 11:
2, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/ailj/vol11/iss2/6