Each year, customers spend over a trillion dollars on e-commerce sales. By launching online businesses, Native people are able to access markets that reach beyond the confines of reservations or geographical borders and connect with customers throughout the world.
However, many non-Native businesses and individuals falsely suggest that their products are Native-made in an attempt to garner more sales. This is illegal. If you come across a non-Native business that states that their products are Native American or if they use Native names in product titles (for example, if they sell an "Apache Poncho," "Navajo Purse," or "Native American Earrings," etc.) please report them to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board at this link. Furthermore, the Navajo Nation has trademarked their name, so any unauthorized use of the word 'Navajo' is in violation of trademark law.
We have all encountered these unethical businesses, and we need to report each one of them. These brands are taking valuable business away from actual Native American artists and small businesses. Please join us in creating a network of people who support Native American creativity, history, and legacy, as well as much-needed economic development in Indian Country.
Check out this list of Native owned e-commerce businesses (which includes Kristen Dorsey Designs!), by visiting Beyond Buckskin.
(Logo by Victor Pascual)