A spark that was ignited in 2018 soon took form to create a space for Indigenous vendors and artists. The first Portland Indigenous Market took place on Black Friday in 2018. Started with zero budget but with determination, the participation of vendors and artists and the support of the patrons who showed up at the marketplace on Black Friday at the Rockwood Community Center led to continued events.
Consistent interests from vendors and artists and the public who supported the marketplace by spreading the word and purchasing from the markets lead to one event after another. All this while, marketplaces where held with no booth fee being charged to the vendors. Securing of grants opened new doors for the Marketplace and continued Markets with free vendor spaces, funding was used for ramping up advertising and hiring indigenous musicians, dancers and storytellers to perform at these events.
Portland Indigenous Marketplace has now successfully transitioned as a non-profit. The pandemic situation of 2020 created new avenues for the Marketplace and in March 2020 the Marketplace began to function virtually via facebook live and zoom sessions and is open 24/7 via this website.
Portland Indigenous Marketplace supports indigenous artists and entrepreneurs by providing barrier-free, culturally respectful spaces that encourage cultural resilience and economic sustainability by promoting public education through cultural arts.