Geographically a purchase from a Native American Reservation might be a sure way to guarantee or authenticate a purchase of arts or crafts. But, not very many people intend to travel to a reservation to make a purchase. Most people will make purchases from a Native American local product store, catalog, or at a gathering such as a Pow-Wow.
The Indian blood quantum method of purchase might be very intrusive. It would even be considered rude to ask the seller, artist, or craftsman to see his or her official state or federally recognized Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) quantum card. So, the honor system is respected for purchases.
A reference to handmade products would focus on the fact that historically Native Americans utilized their hands and creativity to skin animals, whittle tree limbs, pound rocks, stones, and jewels, and collect clay or reeds to make clothing, tools, jewelry, baskets and pots. So, if the item to be purchased was made by hands through passing down of tradition, rather than on an assembly line a purchaser might be satisfied with authenticity.
Or lastly, the arts and crafts have a label or engraved stamp that indicates Native American agreement of authenticity.
Whatever the method used to justify ‘authenticity’ the most valuable measure is for the purchaser to feel an obligation to support Native American people and their attempt for self-determination and co-operative economics.
Article by CherokeeCloud
Written September 1, 2006