Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Arts Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Rachel Shane, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Heather Hope Kuruvilla, J.D.


The Indian Arts and Crafts Act (IACA) is America’s only federal arts policy. This study explores the IACA and the challenges contemporary prosecution cases identify for arts stakeholders, along with the implementation and effectiveness since the 2010 Act, to understand better the social and public policy implications and challenges for arts stakeholders. A qualitative study using multiple legal case studies, document analysis, and semi-structured interviews, along with an elite theory theoretical framework, anchors the research. Findings support existing research by indicating the main challenge is the definition and complexity of Indian identity; additional significant findings that contribute to future policy changes and cultural understanding included the absence of environmental considerations in the IACA, the lack of the policy to live up to its goal to successfully promote Native arts and crafts, and the need for more education around the IACA. For arts stakeholders knowledge of IACA is essential given America’s colonial history and ongoing relationship with Native Nations, wherein the political relationship intersects and interacts with the successful administration of arts at policy, regulation, and compliance levels.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)