The American Indian Community Housing Organization dreams big and its Food and Art Market is no different – offering so much more than buying and selling.
“Boozhoo my name is Khayman Goodsky. I’m a Bois Fort tribal band member. I live in Duluth and I work at AICHO. That’s the American Indian community housing organization.”
Khayman is the Indigenous First Co-Coordinator at AICHO. Indigenous First showcases and sells art from majority Native artists. And the upcoming Food and Art Market is helping inform future plans to expand AICHO’s food and retail operations, to provide goods to the Hillside area.
“Duluth has a lot of food deserts and so it’s really hard to get out, to travel where healthy food is and that’s something that we’re addressing,” said Khayman, “This is kind of gearing us up to when we’re ready to open the Niiwin Market market and to see how well that’s going and to, you know, keep finding more and more producers who need that retail space that we’re able to provide.”
This focus on providing for the community is mirrored in the market’s goal of providing opportunity to vendors.
“There is a lot of indigenous food producers, a lot of artists who don’t necessarily have the means to find retail space, to start promoting their businesses and to have these markets where they’re being highlighted is really important because then they can see there’s a community who is willing to like help them and support them,” said Khayman.
Providing for the community and Economic opportunity is a great example of AICHO’s role in the area. It’s also… fun and delicious.
“We bought prints from Kelly Martinson who does really beautiful paintings. So I just wanna give ’em a shout-out, but there’s so many great vendors there. There was Kambucha the best Kambucha I’ve ever had… Baby Cakes was there.” Said Khayman.
That’s Baby Cakes Wild Rice Bakery… with items like wild rice cupcakes and cakes…
“Spirit Lake will be there selling their maple syrup. Like there’s so many great people to meet and talk with about art and food and just everything,” said Khayman.
Two markets are happening in July and they are open to everyone.
“It’s not just Indigenous people. Everyone is welcome. And hopefully, see the market grow and grow because I know there will be people who get that spark from coming to meet these people and wanna start their own stuff and we wanna support you too.” said Khayman.
If there’s inclement weather, the market will move inside of the AICHO building. https://www.aicho.org
Leah Lemm reporting for MN Native News
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