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Pendleton Weaves New American Indian College Fund Blanket

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-17Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

We are proud of this year’s blanket to benefit the American Indian College Fund.  Naskan Saddle Blanket tells the story of Johano-ai, the Navajo sun god, who begins his day in the east and rides one of his five horses across the sky to his post in the west while dragging his shining, golden orb – the sun. As his horse gallops across the sky, gorgeous hides and ornately woven blankets, known as naskan, lie beneath its hooves.

aicf_naskan_saddleblanketNaskan Saddle Blanket derives its mountain pattern and name from sacred Navajo blankets. It joins a collection of ten blankets designed specifically for the American Indian College Fund, designed by Native artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of College Fund blankets provides scholarships for Native students to attend tribal colleges and universities. The College Fund has been the nation’s largest philanthropic effort supporting Native American higher education for more than 25 years.

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-3Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota), American Indian College Fund President and CEO, said “The American Indian College Fund is delighted with the  Naskan saddle blanket, the newest design in our collaboration with Pendleton Woolen Mills. Just as this blanket represents a path taken by a sacred being across the sky, our students also take a journey toward realizing their dreams by walking a sacred path toward success. We honor and celebrate both our students’ journey and our longtime successful partnership with Pendleton Woolen Mills as they work alongside us to make our students’ visions for success a reality.”

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-2Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

Today, slightly more than 13% of American Indians age 25 and older have a college degree, less than half the U.S. national average. What’s more, 40% of the American Indian population is under the age of 18.  The College Fund is helping more American Indians of college age to start and complete their college degree through scholarship support.  The College Fund also provides program support for students once they are in school to help them succeed both academically and in their careers.

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-1Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

“Pendleton is proud to be a part of the American Indian College Fund’s mission, and its purpose to transform Indian higher education,” said Mort Bishop, Pendleton President.  “By creating an awareness of the unique, community-based accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities and offering students access to knowledge, skills and cultural values, the College Fund enhances their communities and the country as a whole.”

 

About the American Indian College Fund – Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 25 years.  The College Fund has provided more than 100,000 scholarships since its inception and an average of 6,000 scholarships per year to American Indian students and a variety of programs to support their academic efforts ensuring they have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers.  The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators.  For more information, please visit www.collegefund.org.

 

Our gorgeous model is photographer Shondina Lee Yikasbaa of New Mexico. See more of her work on Instagram: @shondinalee

See the blanket here: NASKAN SADDLE BLANKET

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