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Navajo Nation Reaches Settlement With Urban Outfitters Over "Navajo" Label

Justine C.
Creative Commons

The Navajo Nation has reached a settlement agreement with Urban Outfitters over charges that the specialty retail company was selling items labeled “Navajo” without the tribe’s permission.

The Navajo Nation had filed suit against the Philadelphia-based corporation in February of 2012, saying it was peddling jewelry, clothing and other merchandise that bore the tribe’s name or used Navajo-inspired designs. The company argued that the name was a generic term for a style. In a press release, Navajo President Russell Begaye said the nation believes in protecting its “artisans, designs, prayers and way of life” and any company considering the use of the Navajo name, designs or motifs must ask permission. The two parties have reportedly entered into a supply and license agreement and plan to collaborate on authentic Indian jewelry.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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