Native Arts and Policy: Resilience and Rights

A collaboration with IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA)

Date and Time
Saturday, August 18, 2018
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
108 Cathedral Pl, Santa Fe, NM 87501


Contemporary Indigenous Discourse Series presented by the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in partnership with the Association of Tribal Archives Libraries and Museums and Creative Santa Fe

Native Arts and Policy: Resilience and Rights explored the increasing importance of artists and cultural institutions in implementing international human rights standards into American law and policy.  September 13, 2017, marked the tenth anniversary of the United Nations approval of the landmark United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Around the world, over 350 million indigenous peoples in 90 countries celebrated the endorsement of this landmark UN declaration. For this event, a panel of esteemed attorneys and cultural leaders addressed the cross-generational challenge for indigenous institutions to implement human rights standards laid out in UNDRIP into domestic laws and policies of nations around the world.  

The event opened with a poetry reading by Inaugural Navajo Nation Poet laureate Luci Tapahonso, whose poetry and prayer addressed the critical need to include artists and cultural institutions in policy efforts to advance human rights for indigenous nations.

Distinguished speakers included Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) Author and Attorney, Laura Harris (Comanche) Executive Director, Americans for Indian Opportunity, Robert (Tim) Coulter (Potawatomi) Founding Director, American Indian Law Resource Center, and Dr. Rosita Worl (Tlingit) President of Sealaska Heritage Institute. The event was moderated by W. Richard West (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), President and CEO, Autry Museum of the American West.

About IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts: The mission of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) is to advance contemporary Native art through exhibitions, collections, public programs, and scholarship. MoCNA’s outreach through local and national collaborations allows us to continue to present the most progressive Native arts and public programming. MoCNA’s exhibitions and programs continue the narrative of contemporary Native arts and cultures.

The museum is located at 108 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Hours: 10:00 am-5:00 pm Monday &WednesdaySaturday / 12:00 pm-5:00 pm Sunday / Closed Tuesdays / $10 for adults; half-price for seniors (62+), students w/ valid ID, and NM residents; and free for members, Native people, veterans and their families, youth (16 & under), and NM residents visiting on Sunday. Events are free with admission.

For more information please contact: 505.983.1666 or visit

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts marketing is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and the 1% Lodgers’ Tax.

About IAIA: For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through the IAIA Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures — and committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities. Learn more about IAIA and our mission at

"I want to say how much I enjoyed and how honored I was to moderate the MoCNA panel session. It was like watching thoroughbreds take to the track. All the panelists are such stars…. Luci’s opening reading and blessing, and co-sponsorship of other community collaborators all made the session important and easy for someone like me to oversee."
-Rick West, President & CEO, Autry Museum
"Thanks for putting on the awesome human rights panel. Best to everyone--I was honored to be on the panel with you!!"
-—Walter Echo-Hawk Speaker, Author, Attorney (Pawnee)