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David Cornsilk (Cherokee) - The Indian Arts & Crafts Act

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David Cornsilk is a modern day Martin Luther King to the Cherokee Freedmen and an outspoken critic of wannabe Indians and frauds
David Cornsilk is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation who lives in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He is a genealogist and has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northeastern Oklahoma State. He is a leading Cherokee nationalist today.
He also held a voluntary position as Managing Editor for the Cherokee Advocate, the only non-tribally controlled newspaper in the community. He was also heavily involved in the passage of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act in 1990. This act made it illegal for non- Indian artist to identify his/her art as "Indian art" unless they show proof of tribal enrollment. In 1990 he worked with John Guthrie to expose the problem of Indian art fraud in eastern Oklahoma. Literally hundreds of artists were claiming to be Cherokee with no proof, so they set out to bring the issue to the attention of the public by handing out fliers and writing letters to the editor of local papers. The ensuing conflict, which lead to Cornsilk being physically attacked by one of those artists, is referred to as the "Indian Art War." The attention drawn to the issue helped Congress move on the issue and pass the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990.
Both Cornsilk and his father, John Cornsilk, are active in Cherokee Nation and United Keetoowah Band politics and were instrumental in winning citizenship rights for the Cherokee Freedmen as well as equal rights for gay Cherokee citizens. He and his father run the Cornsilks.com website and political blog.