Support Our Community With Red FridayTweet
By : Dana Lone Hill
With the holidays coming up, we also have the unofficial holiday of Black Friday. A day when greedy, money grubbing corporations take advantage of consumers who are out to buy the latest gadgets so everyone can be as cool as their neighbors and have the same overpriced item that is probably made in third world country for pennies by a factory worker who makes pennies in more than likely poor working conditions. All this purchased with an in store credit card to add insult to injury by not only taking advantage of the holiday rush but charging you interest on top of that, to boot.
World, world, world since there is no reset button yet, here is what we suggest you do. Apache/Lakota artist Joy Parton began thinking of Red Friday about a month ago while at the memorial service for Russell Means. Remembering how he was always there to support his people, she thought Black Friday should be Red Friday and everyone should buy something original or handmade from an Indigenous person. There are so many Native artists out there, and this is their lifestyle. This is how they pay bills and put groceries on the table. What may be a beautiful one of a kind piece to you may be dinner to the family of the artist who created it.
Many people are familiar with Rez Hoofz items which are created by Joy along with her husband Gabe. They handpaint and sell beautiful boots, purses, shoes, earrings, mugs, and just about anything that can hold paint, she will paint. They have an Etsy shop and markets her items via social networks Facebook and Twitter. When Joy realized back in September that so many of her friends on her friends list on Facebook were artists, she started a group where they could all showcase their artwork.
The Natives Buying, Selling, and Trading group is a closed group of over 6500 people who buy, sell, and trade their Native arts and crafts on a daily. You can find everything from jewelry to shoes to dolls to five minute frybread mix to coloring books to heirloom seeds to wild rice to smoked salmon to drums to t-shirts….I could go on and on but I think you get it. I nicknamed it the Native Mall of America. Big props to Joy for starting this page to help everyone find what they are looking for and to help the artists support their families.
Also promoting Red Friday, Gyasi Ross highlighting an artist a day and Dr. Jessica Metcalfe , main author of the Beyond Buckskin website and owner of the Beyond Buckskin Boutique with her Buy Native campaign.
And I will also be promoting Red Friday along with my mother and two sisters on our facebook page Lakotaheart with our sweetgrass candles, prayer candles, beadwork, and quillwork starting at midnight, Friday. I remember back when Dances With Wolves came out (way back) I worked at a trading post and a tourist told me “You better ride this Native bandwagon for all its worth and bead while you can, because this is going to be out of style in a year. “ Twenty-three years later, bad back and messed up fingers, my sisters, mother, aunts, and I haven’t put our beading needles down yet. The demand only grew.
Thank you for your support, from all Indigenous artists of Turtle Island and Lastrealindians.
“You know how us Natives are, we just like to make the world beautiful.”-Joy Parton, Apache/Lakota