‘It makes me proud’: Indigenous craft marketplace embodies reconciliation

First Nations crafters were showing off their work Sunday afternoon at an Indigenous craft marketplace in the north part of Winnipeg.

The Dagwaagin Indigenous Community Marketplace was organized by Prairie Tipi Indigenous Home & Gift, and took place at Sergeant Tommy Prince Place, 90 Sinclair Street.

It was an opportunity for First Nation crafters to get more recognition for their work, said Jennifer Wood, Community and Commemoration Liaison Officer for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

“If you’re a crafter, you don’t make a lot of income,” said Wood. “So this is a way to give back to the crafters, so they could expose their crafts to the larger public of Manitoba.”

The event was co-organized by Wood’s daughter, part of a series of craft sales she says have been expanding recently.

“Last December they had some crafters coming in from the Kenora area and the northern area, so it’s gaining more and more momentum every time they put on a craft show,” said Wood.

She said Indigenous art and craftwork is becoming very popular in Manitoba, “Ribbon skirts, the earrings are very popular, as well a lot of the t-shirts, the sweatshirts with the floral designs on them … and of course the orange t-shirts, every child matters,” she said.

Wood said it makes her proud as an Indigenous woman to see events like this take place.

“It makes me proud to see that we are wearing, and that we’re not ashamed to wear our regalia, our traditional wear, our colours, our beadwork,” said Wood.

She added that we are living in the days of reconciliation, “With non-native people coming out to want to purchase some of our artwork, that’s reconciliation to me.”

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