Artist sues over Missouri’s ‘Indian-made’ law

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A California woman is suing over a Missouri law that says only artists from federally recognized tribes can market their creations as “Indian-made.”

The Kansas City Star reports that the issue is that Peggy Fontenot is a member of the Patawomeck, a tribe recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia but not yet by the federal government. She says the law is a violation of her right to free speech.

The lawsuit was filed in August in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. She previously sued over a similar law in Oklahoma and won.

The sponsor of the Missouri bill said the goal was to crack down on fraudulent artists. But Fontenot says the legal restrictions don’t allow her to identify her work “as what it is.”
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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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