Indian Market criticized for accepting energy industry sponsorship

Oil and gas development stirs strong feelings in New Mexico


September 7, 2023

Dancers perform at the Santa Fe Indian Market, an event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the third weekend of August. The event celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022 and its 101st in 2023. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

The organization that puts on the largest juried Indian art market in the world continues to face criticism on social media after thanking a sponsor of the popular event.

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts hosted the 101st Santa Fe Indian Market from August 16-20. The event attracted upwards of 100,000 visitors to New Mexico's capital city for a busy weekend of art, fashion, food, film, song, dance and more - all created by American Indian and Alaska Native artists from the United States and First Nations artists from Canada.

But it was a post-market show of gratitude that sparked fury online. The non-profit SWAIA thanked ExxonMobil, one of the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas companies, for being one of the sponsors of a multi-day event that features more than 1,000 artists and relies on dozens of volunteers to be a success.


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