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The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) has announced its newly elected executive committee and board chair. 

Board member Dawn Houle (Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana) has been elected Board Chair. Houle succeeds Stephine Poston (Pueblo of Sandia), who completed her term of office. 

Launched in 1922 with the Sante Fe Indian Art Market, SWAIA has a significant role in shaping Native American art. Held in August, the market draws up to 100,000 visitors from around the globe to purvey the works of thousands of artists from across Indian Country. The Sante Fe Indian Art Market Best in Show award is considered by many to be the most prestigious honor for Native art. 

In a press release, Houle acknowledged the pivotal role SWAIA plays in elevating Native American artists onto a global stage. 

"The new board members play a big role in supporting and advocating for Native Artists and I'm excited to join this world-class leadership in shaping how we continue to elevate Native Artists to the world stage," Houle said in a statement. "We have a century of legacy work that we can build upon and I'm grateful to Ms. Poston for the tremendous efforts she provided to the organization. In a world of pressing issues and challenges, the expression of art helps us learn and celebrate. I welcome this new role to strengthen member commitments while bringing in new resources to support SWAIA and the artists."

New appointments to the executive committee include Michael Trujillo, Vice-Chair, and JoAnn Chase (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara), elected Secretary. Tom Teegarden will remain in the position of Treasurer. Natasha K. Hale, the Director of Native American Partnerships for the Catena Foundation, is also a newly elected board member. 


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