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On Dec. 4, the River Cree Resort and Casino gave people a chance to witness the first in-person Indigenous holiday market in Edmonton. The event ran from Dec. 3 to 5, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event was lively and vibrant as different Indigenous singers and entertainers played live music. The singers performed throughout the day with sincerity, which kept the crowd energetic and interested. There were seats and tables near the stage for those who wanted to watch the singers more closely. 

There were also food options at the event. There were food stalls near the entrance, so you could definitely grab something to eat before you looked around the market, or sit down and listen to the singers. 

The holiday market featured a variety of shops with local Indigenous artists’ products. The local stores sell clothes, accessories, paintings, bags, home furniture, and more.

While walking around the stores, the local artists were very friendly and welcoming. It was amazing because you could feel that they were proud of their products and the things they do. I had a quick chat with several local artists.Jshine Designs sells different handmade accessories. I talked to one of their artists, and she explained how everything they sold is handmade locally. A single pair of earrings took the artist more than four hours to complete. She added that the accessory she was in the process of making would probably take at least two hours. Seeing the artist create all of their products by hand was truly amazing, as I’ve got to see the dedication and work put into these accessories.

Next, I came across the artists behind Dene Divas. They sell different artisan-crafted goods such as bracelets, pens, dreamcatchers, blankets, earrings, and much more. Their products are also very eye-pleasing, because of their vibrant colours. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the things they sell. In addition to their beautiful products, the shop is also very affordable. 

Lastly, I talked to Tammy Ward, who owns a family business called Family Cree-ations.

She said that it was her first time joining as a seller in this type of local market. Ward’s products are proudly handmade. Ward and her husband are local artists who create accessories and clothing such as bracelets, necklaces, and toques. She also concluded that she would make more toques after the event to replenish her stock. If anyone is interested in ordering her products, Ward says to contact her directly. 

Overall, I was incredibly impressed by the craftsmanship of the local artists featured at the market. 

The event was indeed successful, and I encourage others to attend in the future if given the opportunity. 

Image credits: Julia Magsombol

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