Media Type: Op-Ed

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Op-Ed

When “Indian” art becomes contraband

For more than 30 years, Peggy Fontenot has sold her beadwork and photographs at American Indian art shows across the country But this year, at the behest of politically connected tribes, Oklahoma passed a law that prohibits anyone who is not a member of a federally recognized tribe from marketing their art as “American Indian-made”

This Indian Arts and Crafts Sales Act excludes countless Native people who are members of tribes that are recognized by states but not by the federal government

Fontenot, for example, belongs to the Patawomeck tribe — one of 11 tribes recognized by the state of Virginia For Fontenot, and artists from scores of other tribes recognized

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Op-Ed

Why won’t Oklahoma let American Indian artists say they’re American Indian artists?

For over 30 years, Peggy Fontenot has sold her beadwork and photographs at American Indian art shows across the country But this year, at the behest of politically connected tribes, Oklahoma passed a law that prohibits anyone who is not a member of a federally recognized tribe from marketing their art as “American Indian-made” This “Indian Arts and Crafts Sales Act” excludes countless native people who are members of tribes that are recognized by states, but not by the federal government Peggy, for example, belongs to the Patawomeck tribe — one of 11 tribes recognized by the state of Virginia For Peggy, and artists from scores of other tribes

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Op-Ed

High Court Should Hear First Amendment Case Against Bullying Bureaucrats

For most of his career, Nebraska resident Bob Bennie happily conducted his business as a successful financial advisor without government harassment

But that changed after he was quoted in a newspaper making controversial remarks about President Obama

Suddenly, Bennie had a bullseye painted on his back by regulators who oversee his industry The regulators relentlessly harassed Bennie’s employer until Bennie’s managers fired him from his job

Now, the US Supreme Court is poised to decide whether to hear Bennie’s civil rights lawsuit against these vengeful bureaucrats  Everyone who values free speech should hope the justices take his case and make it clear that government can’t treat the exercise of First Amendment freedom

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Op-Ed

Time for North Dakota’s music therapy license to go

Nearly 27 percent of North Dakotans can’t work unless they have a license from the government But many of these government permission slips are needless: they create red tape that serves to protect industry insiders from competition, not the health or safety of the public

Take North Dakota’s requirement that music therapists be licensed

Music therapy is often used to help people work through their stress, anxiety or depression, and is also used to help people deal with diseases that cause memory loss When engaging in their profession, music therapists typically play a musical instrument and encourage their clients to play along

Six years ago, North Dakota became the first state in

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