First Nations Artisans Association
Organization profile published 1983

Year Published:  1983
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2861

The FIRST NATIONS ARTISANS ASSOCIATON (FNAA) was formed in May 1982 to bring together artists and artisans of Indian ancestry in the province of Ontario, to develop and promote Native art and crafts. This includes the performing, literary and visual arts, and all crafts. FNAA also acts as a liaison between wholesalers, distributors, retailers, and dealers. All of the 15 current distributors are either Indian owned/managed business or associations on or near reserves. The ASSOCIATION also seeks to foster links between artists/artisans themselves, between them and government agencies, as well as various types of Native organizations.

The FNAA receives both its mandate and core funding from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (DINA). A similar organization exists in every other province and territory. Altogether these associations receive $3.36 million from DINA. Together they form the membership and board of directors of the National Indian Arts and Crafts Corporation, whose main role is co-ordination with national programs of interest to members.

The FNAA also acts as a "learning house" of information related to arts and crafts, a depository of information of all kinds (audio, visual, printed, technical, professional, commercial). It co-ordinates research, seminars, workshop, surveys, and lecture tours on a provincial scale. It will have a public relations unit, publish a newsletter, initiate projects Ontario-wide in various aspects of production and distribution, and support local arts and crafts groups in "any practical way." It will also register trade and certification marks. The FNAA has received the support of the Chiefs of Ontario and the Union of Ontario Indians.
One FNAA pilot has been to implement a decentralized approach to the distribution of hides, "to bring the hides closer to the artisans and in particular to the members of the isolated communities in North and Northwestern Ontario. Various Indian owned/managed businesses or organizations have agreed to distribute the leather on FASS's behalf.

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