Monday, December 4, 2023

American Indian Artists and Indigenous Market Vendors

The 17th IIAmericas Celebration is an annual event sponsored by the Indigenous Institute of the Americas. Our outdoor venue is on the sacred buffalo trails of north Texas, known to the Kiowa as ahn daw gaw been -where the prairie meets the big trees.  We are a little of everything. Gourd Dance, Children’s Pow Wow, Educational Seminars, Food, Activities, Contests, Performances, and much more. It is a welcoming event for people of all backgrounds.

The Venue, Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, 101 Chisholm Trail, Cleburne, TX  76033, is located 30 miles south of Ft. Worth, Texas. The land is next to Lake Pat Cleburne, Federally protected wetlands, and in the beautiful Eastern Cross Timbers ecosystem. It is a bird-watching paradise, home to nesting Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron cranes, and other wonderful plants and wildlife. 

This year we will have 2 vendor categories. American Indian Artists and Indigenous Market Place vendors We will ask both types of vendors to present items that are handcrafted and/or handmade by the artist and/or their family. No mass-produced items or items produced outside the Americas will be allowed. This year for the first time, we are allowing artists to sell family items because of the new challenges to the health of our elders and travel expenses. 

Artists should plan on bringing their canopies, tables, and chairs. You are welcome to bring in your food. We will have a host hotel and camping sites at our venue. We will not prorate your fee if you do not stay for the entire three days.  We know how hard it is to set up in a hurry so we welcome you to come to town and start setting us Friday, March 31st, between 9 am and 3 pm. If you can’t arrive until Saturday, April 1st, please plan on a window of set up between 7 am and 9 am. We also encourage you to sign up early so we can mail your wristbands to you early. Our first year was our learning experience, so be prepared to pay the entry fee at the gate of $8.00 for adults and $5 for children, veterans, and seniors if you register the week before the event. We will not be reimbursing these fees, so please consider it as a donation to ensure our venue’s long-term protection.


American Indian Artist category: will comply with the Indian Arts and Crafts act through documentation of their Tribal enrollment. The IIA committee focuses on educational initiatives to explain compliance with the Act, its history, importance, and impact on preserving traditional and contemporary art. 

Indigenous Market Place category: will also identify their tribal affiliations and provide information about the geography and culture of their tribes. Items for sale must represent the vendors’ or the family/tribe’s craftwork. The Indigenous Market Place would be the appropriate vendor category for products such as Traditional medicines, soaps, plants, teas, foods, regalia, fabric, basketry, or other items unique to their traditional homelands.

Our overall goal is to honor the American Indian/Native Tribes from the North Pole to the South Pole and maintain our cultural event’s spirit and integrity.


Your booth will be confirmed when we receive the following information and review your booth reservation as an American Indian Artist or Indigenous Market Place Vendor for 2023.

1. Completed Application. Payment is not due at this time. If you must cancel, we will roll over your reservation fee to our next annual event. We cannot prorate your payment if you must leave the event early. Your vendor fees are critical to the organization providing a quality event.

2. For American Indian Artists, provide a copy of your official enrollment documentation in a Federal or State recognized Tribe or Certification as an Indian artisan. American Indian artists are welcome to bring contemporary and traditional arts and crafts that reflect our culture. In addition, we want your booth to reflect your unique craftsmanship and/or a family member you represent. 

3. For Indigenous Market Vendors, provide information about your family Tribal affiliations and include helpful information for our committee about the traditional homelands and unique culture of your Tribe. Our event and organization focus on education; we hope the market can be that opportunity.  

4. Description of original work that reflects what you will sell at the event. Please send 2 or 3 recent pictures (with descriptions) of your work that we can post online to promote you. These can be sent as JPG, PNG, or PDF. 


Please do not bring items mass-produced. This includes items with a Native theme, but the companies that manufacture them are not from the Americas. Vendors can sell items from Native Owned businesses (not their own business), but this should account for no more than 1/4 of their products. (Please keep your documentation related to the makers of your extra products should someone ask you for verification)

American Indian artists and Vendors can bring both contemporary items as well as traditional arts and crafts. All items, however, will need approval by the event committee. Also, as with all Native events, please avoid references to alcohol or drug use in your items or signage.

Volunteers: Please remember that everyone working at our event is a volunteer of the organization or a volunteer of the museum. Please be kind and considerate if we make mistakes or are having difficulty. Any problems or concerns can always be brought to your liaison, Alicia Crook. She will know who to involve if something needs to be fixed or needs to be addressed. Some of our volunteers, even with training, will not know or completely understand our cultural lifeways and protocols, so try to approach any concerns in an educational approach and share what is happening with our committee so we can address concerns for you.



• Personal Checks are accepted if received before March 15 so they can be processed through the bank.

Checks made out to:

“Indigenous Institute of the Americas.” 


3908 Coronado Dr. Plano, TX 75074.

Payments by credit card, debit, or Square can be paid through our square account

A donation for our raffle will be very welcome but not required. 


The average temperature in Cleburne, TX, on April 1 is 53°F to 70°F. We discovered there has been no rainfall recorded for several years during the days of our event. Sunrise is at about 7:15 am, and sunset is at 7:50 pm. We are a rain-or-shine event, but we recognize today’s world can be impacted by the pandemic and other surprises. Therefore, we are committed to returning any event fees should we be forced to shut down due to the pandemic; a decision to close will be communicated to the artists and other participants no later than March 19, 2024.


We want the public to experience the beauty and expertise of traditional and contemporary American Indian arts and crafts. The arts and crafts act is about truth in advertising. American Indian artists at our event have provided the documentation of enrollment or certification as artisans by their Tribe. We ask all artists to help us honor this commitment to authenticity and artisanship. Sells should be primarily one-of-a-kind products made by the artist representing the booth. Some Tribes and families produce products meeting the guidelines of Indian-made items, but they may appear Mass-produced. Information about the items such as blankets, clothing, t-shirts with Native-style symbols should be presented to our committee before the event with information about their origins and, if approved, clearly labeled. These products may be trendy, but the primary items for sale at the artist’s booth should reflect the individual artisan. 


****The Indigenous Institute of the Americas is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting accurate knowledge about Indigenous people from all over the Americas. We want the public to be aware that the first American Indian Nations, who were protectors of what is now known as Texas, were harshly impacted by the political struggles that have taken place on these lands by foreign governments since 1528. These struggles are reflected in their many years of fighting to regain their inherent legal sovereignty.

Our Texas Tribes have been working on Texas State Recognition to receive the protections under the Federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, and more. We hope this event can bring awareness to our unique history and legal struggles. The federal agency which oversees The Indian Arts and Crafts Act has stated that verification of state recognition comes from the Attorney General’s office in a state like ours with no Indian Commission. Unfortunately, we have not been successful in receiving this verification/validation from the State of Texas Attorney General’s office for any non-federally recognized tribes. If your Tribe/Nation can provide a letter from the Texas AG’s office to verify state recognition, we would be eternally thankful! Any Texas tribe can apply under the Indigenous Market Place for a booth space and we would appreciate your help in educating people that visit your booth about your tribe and its history! 

Email us at

or contact Alicia Crook – Artist Liaison, at 469-626-8099