Our Commissioners

An artwork entitled "Buffalo Hunt (Mural)" by Victor Pepion, Blackfeet

 

Harvey Pratt, Chairperson

Chairperson Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne Arapaho) is an accomplished and self-taught master artist who uses a variety of media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, metal, clay, and wood.  He is an award winning artist whose sculpture design was selected for the National Native American Veterans Memorial, to be installed on the National Mall, Washington, DC, in 2020.  Chairperson Pratt was also named The Honored One by the Red Earth Festival, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  His paintings and sculptures include themes of tradition, warriors, the Cheyenne people, and tribulation and humanity's essence.  He has served as a consultant on Native American art and culture to many organizations in the State of Oklahoma, and has been inducted in the Southern Cheyenne Chief's Lodge as one of their traditional Peace Chiefs.  Chairperson Pratt retired following over 50 years in law enforcement experience, where he was employed as the police forensic artist by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and served as the Assistant Director and Interim Director for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation in Oklahoma City.  Chairperson Harvey Pratt received a degree in police science from Oklahoma State University.

To view Chairperson Pratt's public service announcement, please watch this video.

 

Joyce Begay-Foss, Vice Chairperson

Commissioner Joyce Begay-Foss is Diné (Navajo) and an accomplished museum professional, lecturer, writer, and Diné textile weaver.

In 2019, as Director of Education at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she received the 2019 Award of Excellence in National History Leadership. The American Association for State and Local History honored the museum with this award for her Lifeways exhibition which explored the lives of regional Apache tribes bound by the Athabaskan language. She also curated the museum’s highly regarded Spider Woman’s (Na ashje’ii 'Asdzáá) Gift: Navajo Weaving Traditions exhibition of weavings from the 1850s through the 1890s, and contributed to the exhibition catalogue. She recently retired from the Museum, operated by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, which preserves and interprets historic and contemporary collections and information about New Mexico's Native peoples.

As a Diné weaver for over 40 years, she has won numerous awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Eight Northern Pueblos Arts and Crafts Show, and the San Felipe Arts and Crafts Show. She draws on this expertise as a writer, instructor, curator and lecturer on traditional Native textiles and dyeing techniques.

One of Ms. Begay Foss’s main concerns is the impact of the import market and fraudulent misrepresentation of Native American art forms in all aspects, including the material culture of Native peoples throughout the country and internationally. Ms. Begay-Foss is also committed to addressing issues of cultural and intellectual property rights of the Southwestern Tribes, especially with Diné weavers.

 

Charles Harwood, Commissioner

Commissioner Charles Harwood is an attorney and the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Northwest Regional Office in Seattle.  He has been the Director of the FTC’s Seattle office since 1989, except for 2009 through 2013, when he was Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in Washington, D.C.  Commissioner Harwood is an expert on laws concerning advertising and marketing.  As the Director of the Northwest Regional Office, he oversees the FTC's consumer protection and antitrust law enforcement and public education activities in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and the northern Rocky Mountain states.  For more than twenty years, the FTC’s Northwest Regional Office has supported efforts to educate consumers and businesses about laws and practices that help ensure truthful and accurate marketing and sale of Indian and Alaska Native arts and crafts. 

Commissioner Harwood is an attorney and a member of the Oregon State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar.  He received his B.A. in Political Science from Whitman College in 1980 and his J.D. from Willamette University in 1983.  Before joining the FTC, he was a counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

To view Commissioner Harwood's public service announcement, please watch this video.

 

Marcus Monenerkit​, Commissioner

With 23 years of experience in the museum field, Marcus Monenerkit is still energized about the universal constructive possibilities for American Indian Art. Beginning his career in 1996 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, Monenerkit has continually made efforts to increase awareness and recognition of the inherent, interwoven, and key roles of art and culture in American Indian communities. In 1998 he moved to Arizona, was appointed Assistant Registrar at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, and joined the ranks of the Museum Association of Arizona. Serving in multiple positions within the Association over the years, he has held the position of Vice President since 2018.

Currently Director of Community Engagement at the Heard Museum, his work focuses on producing cultural art workshops in regional Indian communities, documenting the process of the transference of cultural art knowledge where permissible, and sharing that documentation with the broader American public through special films and lectures. Monenerkit has a firm belief that art works for the greater public benefit, creating expressive patterns of understanding between individuals, communities and beyond. He believes art provides a vital link in a tripartite model of human development, establishing lessons for increasing the capacity of human, social, and economic capital.

To view Chairperson Monenerkit's public service announcement, please watch this video.

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