Wrangell Sentinel -

Washington state artists charged with faking Native American heritage

 

December 16, 2021

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Customers leave the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the Seattle waterfront last Friday. Two artists are facing federal charges that they faked Native American heritage to sell works the shop and another downtown gallery. The men were charged separately with violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

SEATTLE (AP) - Two Washington state artists are facing federal charges that they faked Native American heritage to sell works at downtown Seattle galleries.

Lewis Anthony Rath, 52, of Maple Falls, and Jerry Chris Van Dyke, 67, also known as Jerry Witten, of Seattle, have been charged separately with violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, which prohibits misrepresentation in marketing American Indian or Alaska Native arts and crafts.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Rath falsely claimed to be a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, and Van Dyke falsely claimed membership in the Nez Perce...



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