Indigenous artists and makers gather for Haskell Holiday Bazaar

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About 20 vendors gathered to sell art, jewelry, baked goods, holiday decorations and even muktuk Saturday at Haskell’s fifth annual Holiday Bazaar.

One vendor, Sharon Tah Romero, enrolled Apache, Ponca, Tonkawa, and Kiowa, has been an artist for decades.


She studied at Haskell Indian Nations University in the 1970s and now shares her experiential knowledge with other artists. She leads the Native and Indigenous Tribal Artists group, which was formed in April. The intertribal group is a place for Indigenous artists to learn and reconnect with traditional art, including making medicine pouches, beadwork, quilts and ribbon skirts.

The group meets at the Indian Avenue Baptist Church. The funds they earned from the bazaar will go toward supplies for the group.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Joel Hernandez holds his niece, Cedar.

Joel Hernandez, Navajo and Sicangu Lakota, learned to bead as a student at Haskell and helped start a beading club.

For Hernandez, beadwork is a way to share cultural knowledge and ways to be, it helps him reconnect with and continue his culture and express himself, and it’s therapeutic. His great-great-grandma, who lived to be 106, was a beader.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Tweesna Mills holds her “Indigenous Creatures.”

Tweesna Mills, Shoshone-Yakama-Umatilla Nations of Wyoming, Washington and Oregon, brought some Indian humor to the show in the form of her “Indigenous creatures.” 

Mills made the Grogru/Baby Yoda “Indigenous Creatures” in response to the 2022 incident in which an ABC reporter misspoke and referred to Indigenous people as “Indigenous creatures.” Native social media immediately memed the mishap, many expressing that “we’ve been upgraded” from “something else” to “Indigenous creatures.” 

She said she wanted to make these to “reclaim the negative and make it into a positive.” Mills added that “through our art, we express our artivism — activism through artwork.”

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Kris Wilson

Kris Wilson, Akimel O’odham, learned to bead in the Haskell beading club while a student.

Learning to bead provided a path for healing and growth for her, despite initially learning artistic elements from tribes other than her own. She has grown as an artist and now has a distinct style.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Falonda Henry

Falonda Henry, Navajo, started beading a year ago. Her mother has since passed on, and she said she finds beading therapeutic. She finds inspiration in Diné basket weaving patterns and in fire colors.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Joey Tosee

Joey Tosee, Comanche and Kiowa, graduated from Haskell in 2018. After working as a firefighter and EMT, he said he finds creating art to be a therapeutic outlet for stress.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Shannon White Hat, Rosebud Sioux, left, learned to bead at Haskell.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Shelby Herrod, enrolled Muscogee Creek and Cherokee, vends at the Haskell Holiday Bizarre and the First Nations Student Association powwow. This is her third year vending.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Peaches’ Frybread
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times “Indigenous Creatures” by Tweesna Mills
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Molly Adams (she/her), photojournalist and news operations coordinator for The Lawrence Times, can be reached at molly (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Check out more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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Lawrence Indigenous, queer communities and allies mourn death of nonbinary Oklahoma teen

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Members of Native American and queer Lawrence communities joined in solidarity for a vigil in honor of Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old nonbinary student from Oklahoma who died this month after suffering injuries from a fight in the girls’ bathroom at school — the bathroom state law required them to use.


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