For #GivingTuesday, please consider a donation to the American Indian College Fund. The fund provides educational opportunities for Native American students and disburses 6,000 scholarships annually.
The effect of education is direct and longlasting. Currently, less than 1% of Native Americans attend college or any kind of higher education. We can help to change that.
We’ve been partnering with the AICF to produce and distribute blankets that directly contribute to their efforts to make a difference in native American communities through education. You can make a direct donation here: DONATE
If you would like to give a gift that makes a difference, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each AICF Pendleton blankets goes to the fund. Here are some of the beautiful blankets.
Return of the Sun
The traditions and activities of the Iñupiat, today, as in the past, revolve around the changing of the seasons. This blanket, inspired by the artwork of Larry Ahvakana, celebrates the arrival of the sun back to the Arctic and the start of hunting season. The Iñupiat mark this special time with the Messenger Feast—a ceremony where the spirits of the past season’s harvest are ushered back into the spirit world. Today, the celebration fosters cultural pride and the regeneration of traditional values.
Thunderbird and The Whale
The image on this baby blanket is inspired by the artwork of Larry Ahvakana and the Iñupiat legend of the Great Spirit Eagle. Legend states that there once was a massive thunderbird so large and powerful that it could hunt and carry a whale—the main source of sustenance for the Iñupiat. To honor the whale, the Iñupiat created the Messenger Feast. The ceremonial dancing and feasting prepares the community for the coming year and ensures the success of future generations. Return of the Sun and Thunderbird and the Whale are designed by Larry Ahvakhana, who is Inpiaq/Eskimo of Barrow and Point Hope, Alaska. He is an educator and leader in the Alaskan arts community, and founded a teaching studio for glass blowing in Barrow, Alaska.
Raven and the Box of Knowledge
This intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest – both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasures – the sun, the moon and the stars – in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum.
Sons of the Sky
Daughters of the Earth
“Ah-Day” means “special” in Kiowa, and this beautiful, intricate blanket is surely an unsurpassed gift for a special child. These blankets are produced exclusively for the American Indian College Fund by Pendleton Woolen Mills, and designed by artist Virginia Stroud. This blanket was inspired by a Plains Indian tradition according to which new parents place their child’s remaining navel cord inside an amulet shaped like a sand lizard. The amulets represent the sand lizard’s quick movements that will guard the spirit of the child and ensure a long, protected life. Virginia Stroud is an enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. She is based in Oklahoma. Her work is shown at numerous museums. In 2000, she was given the Cherokee Medal of Honor.
You can see all the AICF blankets here: AICF
Make a difference this #GivingTuesday