2014 in Indian Country: What Will Be the Issues?

April 26, 2014  |  Archive  |  Share

This website and blog lay dormant for a period of time in 2013 as I worked intensively on my Southwestern Indian mystery book. This new development has come about because of my enduring interest in writing publishable fiction, after years of nonfiction publication. I also admit that my desire to make this happen was stimulated by friends and colleagues in the Southwest and elsewhere who have repeatedly told me that “we need another good Southwestern mystery series to read.” Even more compelling have been comments from Indian friends who say that they would love to read about realistic and fantasy Indian heroes and villains in a contemporary context. Wish me luck, everybody, as I attempt to make Thirty Pieces of Sage a debut reality.

But for the purposes of this blog, I’d say that certain issues remain critical to consider this year. Pre-Appraisal remains a free service intended to link the neophyte seeking to connect with a reputable dealer and/or appraiser who can help them with determining what their inherited or personal Indian arts pieces are worth in the marketplace.

I will continue to comment on Marketplace topics in the role of impartial critic and writer. I do not engage in the sale of Indian arts and have no vested interests in specific galleries, museums, or dealers. Unfortunately, Indian arts are not always represented genuinely, fairly, or in a manner that accounts for the effects of an active black market inside and outside the United States. I also think the impact of e-Bay™ needs more evaluation…

For my ongoing Blog, I wish to cover some “big picture” issues in the months ahead. This winter was unusual compared to those in recent years. The Southwest had unprecedented wind, water, and severe temperature changes not usually encountered all in one season. A number of chilling articles have popped up in news sources as varied as The New York Times and the Huffington Post. While Native American water rights have always been imperiled, they may be more so now as Southwestern and Western states struggle with droughts that have crippled local livestock, crop, and related food industries.

This website also asks for your contributions. I teach an American art history course at a business college. While my students come from diverse backgrounds, they know woefully little about Native Americans, who are featured in the course along with the contributions of African-American and Hispanic artists. They learn and sympathize with the painful past of our American Indians but I am more interested in telling them about the triumphs and the needs of the future for our Native peoples. In other words, can we move beyond cowboys and teepees?

Mural in Fort Worth, TX, showing the end of the Chisholm Trail.

Mural in Fort Worth, TX, showing the end of the Chisholm Trail.

 

Cement Teepee in Globe, AZ.

Cement Teepee in Globe, AZ.

 

 

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