WASHINGTON – Joyce Begay-Foss (Diné) and Rebecca Webster (Oneida) have been named the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, respectively, of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.
The Board carries out the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990; combats counterfeit activity in the Native American arts and crafts market; promotes the economic development of American Indians and Alaska Natives through their creative work; and operates three Indian museums in the Plains Region.
“I am honored to serve as Indian Arts and Crafts Board Chairperson and look forward to working with Vice Chairperson Webster, the other Commissioners, and the staff,” Begay-Foss said. “We must ensure that the Board continues to advance and protect the vitality and integrity of the American Indian and Alaska Native arts and crafts market and producers of true American treasures from Barrow, Alaska, to Miccosukee, Florida.”
“In addition, I would like to invite Native American artists and tribal communities throughout the country to engage in discussions and recommendations about the issues that impact their work and livelihood by contacting the Indian Arts and Crafts Board with their concerns, Begay-Foss noted.”
Chairman Begay-Foss is the Director of Education at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The museum, operated by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, preserves and interprets historic and contemporary collections and information about New Mexico’s Native peoples.
An accomplished Navajo weaver for over 25 years, Begay-Foss has won numerous awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show, and the San Felipe Arts and Crafts Show. She draws on this expertise as a writer, instructor, and lecturer on traditional Native textiles and dying techniques. She has been involved in addressing issues and concerns of intellectual and cultural property rights of the Southwestern Tribes, especially with Diné (Navajo) weavers.
Vice Chairperson Webster serves the Oneida Tribe as a staff attorney, providing legal advice focusing on tribal land issues and government-to-government relations. She is also an accomplished artisan, specializing in unique Iroquois raised beadwork which has won her awards at Oneida art shows.
As an active community member, Webster has dedicated herself to preserving Oneida culture, arts, and crafts by teaching others forms of Oneida craftwork, including traditional corn husk dolls, moccasins, clothing, and silver jewelry. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her Masters degree in Public Management from the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs, and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
"Serving as a Commissioner on the Indian Arts and Crafts Board has provided me with an excellent opportunity to gain a better understanding of the diverse, rich, and complex spectrum of Native American arts and crafts,” Webster said.
“As Vice Chairperson, I look forward to advancing the levels of education, compliance, and enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act among consumers, Native American artists and artisans, and the arts and crafts industry,” said Webster. “One of my goals is to assist in promoting Woodland Indian art and encouraging Native American artisans from the Woodland Indian tribes through Indian Arts and Crafts Board outreach efforts.”
The three additional members of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board are Elmer Guy (Diné), president of the Navajo Technical College, Crownpoint, New Mexico; Rose Fosdick (Nome Eskimo Community), vice president of Kawerak, Inc.’s Natural Resources Division, Nome, Alaska; and Chuck Harwood, director of the Northwest Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission, Seattle, Washington.
For more information on the Indian Arts and Crafts Board commissioners, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, and the activities of the Board, please visit www.iacb.doi.gov, or call 1-888-ART-FAKE (toll free).