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Indigenous Holiday Market showcases passion, purpose in artists

Posted at 9:12 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 11:12:02-05

MISSOULA — The Missoula Public Library was a busy place this weekend, hosting the first Indigenous Holiday Market.

Indigenous artists from around Montana showcased their work and people were able to show their support for the craftsmanship.

There was a purpose behind their passion as 27 Indigenous artists — some of whom came as far as Browning — showcased and sold their work.

Event organizer Dre Castillo says this showcase is important because it doesn’t highlight just one Indigenous artist, but a plethora of great art work.

“And oftentimes are being one Indigenous person as being highlighted and all the smaller tables are around it," said Castillo. "And to acknowledge that all artists and craftspeople are equally as important.”

Big Sky teacher Matt Bell used various modes to express his view on the native culture while incorporating education into some pieces.

“The Nakota people, that's the Lakota language with the animals that correspond to those words," Bell told MTN News.

Beadings, jewelry, clothes, painting, and photographs could be found at the Indigenous Holiday Market.

Some artists there used their work to not only express their creativity but bring purpose to their craftsmanship.

“So, the red handprint really just stands for, you know, women being silenced and for their voices not being heard and for this issue not being talked about,” said photographer Jen Buckley.

Buckley’s photo series brings to the forefront the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement.

Buckley sells the photos and donates all the money back to aid in finding these women.

The event was held in partnership with the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center.