Indigenous Spring Market opens ahead of All Nations Pow Wow

Indigenous peoples playing music drums

The Indigenous Spring Market, a collaborative event from the Indigenous Student’s Association at York (ISAY) and the Centre for Indigenous Student Services, will run from March 7 to 9 to raise funds for the 21 annual All Nations Pow Wow.

ISAY and the Centre for Indigenous Student Services are hosting the Indigenous Spring Market from March 7 to 9 at York's Vari Hall Rotunda, Vari Link and Central Square.

Throughout the event, more than 20 unique Indigenous artisans, craftspeople and business owners will set up vending stations everyday at 9 a.m. across York’s Keele Campus, clustered around Vari Hall Rotunda, Vari Link and Central Square. A wide range of authentic handmade Indigenous products from bead work, jewelry, leather work, scented candles, paintings, wall art and clothing items will be available.

“We are inviting the entire York community to come and check out the Indigenous Spring Market,” says Christina Da Costa, president of ISAY and graduating student of the BA Indigenous studies and certificate in law and society programs.

The Indigenous Spring Market takes place during the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Week; the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion’s Inclusion Week; and spans International Women’s Day on March 8. Together, each of these events serves as a reminder of the contributions made by the many diverse groups that make up the York community, and of the importance of collectively laying foundations for an equitable, sustainable future.

The money raised by the Indigenous market will help support York’s annual All Nations Pow Wow. In prior years, the market and Pow Wow ran concurrently, but ISAY has decided to run each event independently in 2023.

Students peruse wears produced and sold by local Indigenous craftspeople at the Indigenous Spring Market
Students peruse wears sold by local craftspeople at the Indigenous Spring Market

“[The market] is a fundraiser for the upcoming All Nations Pow Wow scheduled for Saturday, April 29 at the York Lion’s Stadium,” says Da Costa. “We are bringing back the Indigenous arts and crafts vendors to these spaces where they were set up in the days leading up to the Pow Wow, [that had been] held in the Vari Hall Rotunda for many years.”

This year’s Pow Wow will be the second consecutive event of its kind to take place outdoors – a change made under Da Costa’s leadership – and the first event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to take place without lockdown restrictions.

A call to Indigenous vendors for the Pow Wow will be released on ISAY’s social channels following the completion of the market fundraiser. Indigenous dancers and dance groups will be able to register to participate up until the date of the Pow Wow. Tickets will not be required to attend the Pow Wow.

For more information on the Indigenous Spring Market and the All Nations Pow Wow visit the ISAY Facebook page and Instagram.