Native American market in Cedar City invites public to learn about culture

CEDAR CITY — As the season of outdoor farmer’s markets heats up in Southern Utah, Cedar City News recently stopped by one of the newer markets in town.

Local artist Rita Walker shows an eagle design at the Native Goods Marketplace in Cedar City, Utah on Friday, April 28, 2023 | Photo by Haven Scott, St. George News

The Native Goods Marketplace, held on the grounds of the Utah Paiute Tribal Housing Authority, is a once-a-month opportunity to shop for locally produced Native American gifts and delicacies.

Jamee Vargas, resident opportunity and self-sufficiency, or ROSS coordinator at the tribal housing authority, said the market is showing success to start their second year. Native Americans can display their wares with no fee for booth rental, she added. A limited number of non-Native American vendors are also allowed each month.

“The marketplace gives the tribal members a chance to market their handmade goods and food,” Vargas said. “We have lots of jewelry, some baked goods, Indian tacos, lumpia — a variety of things.”

April Jimenez, who works with the housing authority human resources, said another goal of ROSS program events is to aid in the preservation of local culture, art, language and history.

“The marketplace also provides Southern Utah residents a chance to talk to the artists, ask about the products they make and experience the culture,” she said.

The housing authority’s ROSS program is funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Items on display at the Native Goods Marketplace in Cedar City, Utah on Friday, April 28, 2023 | Photo by Haven Scott, St. George News

And according to the department’s website, ROSS funds are awarded to successful grant applicants who design a well-planned program for public housing residents to provide supportive services, resident empowerment activities and tools to promote economic self-sufficiency.

“This program works to promote the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of assistance under the public housing program with public and private resources, for supportive services and resident empowerment activities,” the government website states.

The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, consisting of five bands — Cedar, Indian Peaks, Kanosh, Koosharem and Shivwits — was without government aid for more than a quarter century.

In 1954, the U.S. Congress passed the Termination of Federal Supervision over the Paiute Indians of Utah, Title 25, Sections 741–60.

As with similar tribal agreements during the time, the act provided for “termination of federal assistance and distribution of tribal lands to individuals or tribally organized entities,” according to the now revoked legislation.

Dancers perform during the grand opening of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah’s 42nd annual Restoration Gathering Powwow, Cedar City, Utah, June 10, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah’s recognition and assistance was officially restored by Congress in April 1980. The current reservation consists of 10 land parcels in four southwestern Utah counties.

The next Native Goods Marketplace will be held Friday, May 26, at 565 North 100 East, in Cedar City between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The community commerce continues at the same time on the last Friday of every month until colder weather prevails.

For information on becoming a vendor in future events, contact Vargas at this link.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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