About the Legal Fund

ATADA is working for you. In 2016 and 2017, the ATADA legal committee and ATADA’s legal and legislative representatives have fought successfully to defend art dealer and collector rights and to preserve and protect heritage for all. 

Damaging legislation was introduced in 2016 and 2017 covering both Native American and international tribal art. ATADA launched critical initiatives in response, including legislative work, grassroots action and building public awareness.

Click below to learn more about ATADA's legislative work and our efforts to promote public awareness of these issues. 

+ 2016 STOP Act • Read More

The 2016 STOP Act prohibited the export of Native American and Hawaiian objects deemed tribal cultural patrimony. STOP swept away constitutional and legislative protections for grandfathered objects under ARPA and NAGPRA. ATADA worked directly with legislators to clarify STOP’s constitutional flaws and the economic damage to the entire Indian market. STOP died in committee in 2016.

+ 2017 STOP Act • Read More

ATADA’s legal committee conferenced with Congress members and tribal leaders on the 2017 “Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act” (STOP). ATADA’s legal advocacy prompted a rethinking of STOP that eliminated some of its worst elements and added a federal voluntary return provision instead of forcing repatriation. Constitutional questions and a lack of due process remain, along with a disastrous federal policy statement that no one can support. ATADA is actively engaged in Washington and around the country on the 2017 STOP Act.

+ 2017 Modernizing the Indian Arts and Crafts Act • Read More

ATADA submitted testimony to the Senate to support amending the Indian Arts and Crafts Act to provide greater protections from misrepresentation and to promote authenticity in the art market.

+ 2016 TAAR Act • Read More

ATADA worked successfully in 2016 to inform key members of Congress of the damage to the international tribal art trade from “The Terrorist Art and Antiquities Revenue Prevention Act” (TAAR). TAAR died in committee, but similar US legislation is expected in 2017.

+ Public Awareness • Read More

ATADA led the way to resolve tribal concerns without government interference. The Voluntary Returns program is acknowledged by all parties to be a preferable, community-based alternative to federal encroachment on collector rights.

ATADA sponsored a major symposium in May 2017, Understanding Cultural Property, covering the STOP Act, legal and economic issues in the Indian Art trade, and promoting cultural awareness.

ATADA has expanded its public and media outreach through its online Newsletter and direct contacts with newsmakers.

ATADA testified recently on behalf of religious minorities and the tribal art community at the Dept. of State.

Failure to act means acquiescence to: Collector and museum liability for possessing Native American art and antiquities. Criminal charges against individuals or museums believed to be in possession of “illegal” antiquities. Diminution or even total loss of value for collections built up over years at great expense.

Please make your contribution today.  We need your help to continue this vital work to preserve your rights!

We Need Your Support...

Questions about contributions to the fund can be sent to director@atada.org