An International Organization Honoring The Artistic Vision Of Indigenous People

We are an association of tribal arts dealers and collectors dedicated to establishing and maintaining the highest standards of ethics and integrity. Learn More ➤

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Legal Issues: Updates | Legislative Alerts | Documents

Legal Issues


Legal Committee Report - Winter 2018-2019

Proposed Legislation: HR 7075
We worked together with tribes on alternative proposed legislation, the Native American and Native Hawaiian Cultural Heritage Protection Act of 2018, H.R. 7075, to ensure that unlawfully obtained objects do not leave the U.S., and that the rights of art collectors and dealers are preserved against expansion of NAGPRA.

Legal News Summary - Summer 2018

2017 STOP Act

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

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 STOP Act

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**

2016 TAAR Act

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

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!

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Files for Download:

2018 Documents

H.R. 7075 Native American and Native Hawaiian Cultural Heritage Protection Act of 2018


Legal News Summary - Summer 2018

A summary of the Summer 2018 Legal Committee Report.

Response Letter

Letter to Chairman Hensarling regarding HR 5886- Proposal to Extend Money Laundering Regulations to Art and Antiquities Dealers 

Algeria MOU Statement

Statement of ATADA Concerning the Request for a Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Algeria

Meeting of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, July 31, 2018

2017 Documents

Below are copies of written testimony submitted to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on the STOP Act of 2017. 

Below are full copies of the Senate and House versions of STOP 2017.