New West Craft and Shop First Nations to host 3rd Annual Indigenous Market

New Westminster, BC – The New West Craft Indigenous Market, co-hosted by Shop First Nations and Arts New West, returns for its 3rd annual event on Saturday, June 8th, 2024, running from 11 am to 5 pm at River Market. This vibrant celebration of Indigenous creativity and culture promises an expanded showcase of artisans and performers, offering an authentic and engaging experience for all attendees.

This market aims to bolster First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists and small businesses by encouraging consumers to invest in Indigenous made art, goods, and services. By introducing the community to local Indigenous artisans and entrepreneurs, the event hopes to foster a connection through food, art, and craft and create relationship-building and learning opportunities.

Shaw Multicultural video story on the inaugural Indigenous Market event.

The event will run 11am to 5pm and feature over 60 vendors stretched out along the boardwalk in front of River Market.

“For a third year running, we are honoured to partner with Arts New West to create meaningful opportunities for Indigenous businesses,” says Rob Schulz, President of Shop First Nations. “This event is a powerful demonstration of how Canadians and community organizations can contribute to economic reconciliation and help grow the Indigenous economy in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call-to-Action #92.”

Indigenous market in front of River Market in New Westminster, BC.

Expanded Vendor Space

With over 60 Indigenous artisans and entrepreneurs participating this year, the market will offer a diverse selection of handmade goods, artwork, and crafts, ranging from intricate beadwork to authentic Indigenous snacks. Multiple bannock vendors will be serving up delicious treats, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Jewellery by Andee Jasper
Spirit Bear Coffee Company & Shop First Nations
Artwork by Chantelle Trainor-Matties

Indigenous Artist Showcase

This year’s event will also feature the Expressions of Reclamation series. Curated by Art New West Indigenous Curator James Groening, Expressions of Reclamation is a series of free artist showcase events that provide a safe and welcoming space for the community to learn about Indigenous practices and creative expressions. Live performances and talks will take place on the boardwalk and inside River Market.

“Join us to experience Indigenous culture and commerce firsthand, and be part of the movement towards a truly inclusive Canada. We look forward to seeing you there and sharing this vibrant celebration together!” – James Groening

Arts New West Indigenous curator, James Groening

Indigenous Cultural Experiences & Performances

The Spirit of the Children Society, a local Indigenous non-profit, will set up their Tipi to host story time inside, fostering community engagement and sharing traditional stories.

The exciting performance lineup includes:

  • Stars of the North Drum Group: A powerful and mesmerizing drum group offering traditional songs and rhythms.
  • Métis Jiggers and Dancers: Energetic and colourful performances showcasing Métis heritage.
  • Powwow Dancing: An immersive experience that brings vibrant Indigenous dancing to life.

New West Craft Indigenous Market Details

Join Us at the New West Craft Indigenous Market

Admission to the event is free, and no registration is required. However, we’d love to know if you’re coming! RSVP to our Facebook event and please share the event with your family and friends. See you there!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shop First Nations (@shopfirstnations)

All-Indigenous Selection Committee for New West Craft Indigenous Market

A newly formed, all-Indigenous Vendor Selection Committee has carefully curated this year’s event to ensure fairness and authenticity, highlighting the best of Indigenous artistry.

This year’s Selection Committee volunteers are:


Owner and Creator of Sweetgrass Soap, Francesca is a proud Indigenous entrepreneur with Ojibwe roots from Lac Seul First Nation. Her journey began after seeking natural remedies for her son’s eczema, leading her to soap making and other skincare formulations. Based in Langley, BC, her business has flourished since launching in 2021, with her handcrafted products now available across Canada. Francesca holds a Business Administration diploma and is dedicated to providing effective, natural skincare while sharing her passion for holistic wellness.

James Groening

As Arts New West’s Indigenous Curator and owner of Blue Sky, James Groening is a Woodland-style artist who shares cultural legends and whimsical wildlife through his work on drums and eagle head staves. His art is a journey of healing, growth, and rediscovery, aiming to convey cultural teachings and identity. Dedicated to learning and teaching, James finds balance in his art and hopes to contribute to the cultural heritage by creating, sharing, and helping others reconnect with their roots.

Diane Sugars

Owner and Developer of Whale Song Creations, Diane is from T’kemlups te Secwepemc First Nation. Several years ago Diane started making natural stone healing jewelry and sun-catchers with her granddaughters as a way to connect with them. Today Diane and granddaughters continue to meet at the kitchen table and enjoy visiting while creating hand-made crafts. Diane holds her masters in business and has dedicated her career to helping others in the non profit sector. Though semi retired, Diane continues to work with organizations on topics such as UNDRIP and Indigenous relations.

Rob Schulz

President of Shop First Nations and a citizen of Métis Nation BC, Rob is a dedicated advocate for Indigenous businesses. With a diploma in Computer Systems Technology, he helps Indigenous companies navigate the digital economy through e-commerce and digital transformation. As a member of the Selection Committee and Co-host, Rob brings a passion for economic reconciliation and community collaboration, ensuring a vibrant and fair market.

Media Contacts for New West Craft Indigenous Market

Laura Grady
Executive Director, Arts New West

Rob Schulz
President & Founder, Shop First Nations

About Shop First Nations

Shop First Nations is an Indigenous-owned digital platform seeking to enable Reconciliation through impactful consumer purchasing, e-commerce and digital marketing, and education initiatives. Our mission is to support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses by encouraging consumers to invest in Indigenous goods and services, and supporting such businesses in the digital economy while honoring the Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to action.

You can follow Shop First Nations on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or by joining our Facebook group for supporting Indigenous businesses in BC.

About Arts New West

Founded in 1967, Arts New West is a community arts organization built by artists and arts groups who share an interest in visual, performing, and literary arts. The organization’s role in the community is to advocate for the arts and foster support for those engaging in artistic and cultural endeavours.

You can follow Arts New West on Instagram and Facebook.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share by Email

Leave a comment