Tribal Elder Mildred Burley, Certified Indian Artisan and Traditional Miwok Basket Maker

Tribal Elder Mildred Burley, Certified Indian Artisan and Traditional Miwok Basket Maker

On Monday, August 5th, 2013, the California Valley Miwok Tribe is honored to feature Tribal Elder Mildred Burley on the official Tribal website. It is with great pleasure that the Tribe acknowledges tribal elder, Mildred Burley whom is a fluent speaker of the Plains / Central / Sierra Miwok language. Mildred received her official certification from the California Valley Miwok Tribe in 2000 and is listed as the only federally recognized certified Indian Artisan for the California Valley Miwok Tribe at the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington DC.

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States. It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States. For a first time violation of the Act, an individual can face civil or criminal penalties up to a $250,000.00 fine or a 5-year prison term, or both. If a business violates the Act, it can face civil penalties or can be prosecuted and fined up to $1,000,000.00 Under the Act, an Indian is defined as a member of any federally or State recognized Indian Tribe, or an individual certified as an Indian artisan by an Indian Tribe. All products must be marketed truthfully regarding the Indian heritage and tribal affiliation of the producers, so as not to mislead the consumer. It is illegal to market an art or craft item using the name of a tribe if a member, or certified Indian artisan, of that tribe did not actually create the art of craft item. The law covers all Indian and Indian style traditional and contemporary arts and crafts produced after 1935.

Tribal Elder Mildred Burley is very active in the community and has recently presented one of her traditional Miwok Pine Needle Baskets (for display) to Mr. David Stuart of the San Joaquin Historical Society and Museum, located at the Micke Grove Regional Park 11793 N. Micke Grove Road, Lodi, California 95240. In April 2011, Mildred presented a traditional basket and medallion to Congressman Jerry McNerney at his office at 2222 Grand Canal Blvd. #7 Stockton, California 95207. In December 2010, Mildred donated a traditional Miwok Pine Needle basket to the California Museum located at 1020 O Street, Sacramento, CA; and in July 2000, a traditional Pine Needle medallion created by Mildred was presented to Former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Mr. Kevin Gover, at the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington DC.

Besides baskets and medallions, Mildred makes, traditional necklaces, earrings, bracelets, regalia, beadwork, and cradle boards. The California Valley Miwok Tribe is very proud to feature Tribal Member/ Tribal Elder, Mildred Burley whom is always willing to teach those whom want to learn. Mildred is currently working on a traditional Pine Needle Basket (in representation of the California Valley Miwok Tribe) to be raffled off at the upcoming Annual ‘Acorn Gathering’ Big Time which usually takes place after the 4th Friday in September at the Chaw’se Indian Grinding Rock State Park. Directions to the park, take State Highway 88 East through Jackson to the town of Pine Grove. Take a left on the Pine Gove-Volcano Road, and about a mile and a half later you will enter the Park. The SECOND turnoff is the main entrance (the first is to the small campground).

For more information, visit the Chaw’se Indian Grinding Rock State Park at: