NARA for Native Women’s Healthcare and #givingtuesday

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Indigenous Pink Day, NARA partnered with the American Indian Cancer Foundation and EPIC Imaging to provide a special mammogram night for AI/AN women on Oct 4, 2018, where they featured the cherry Chief Joseph blanket.  They also had a “wear pink” Indigenous Pink Day campaign at NARA, with information about breast cancer and how to schedule a mammogram in their clinic lobby.  Staff and volunteers at all locations wore special pink shirts!

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Thanks to all who participated!

Throughout October and November, Pendleton has increased our ongoing donation to NARA’s Women’s Wellness Program to support breast cancer awareness and treatment in Native American communities in the Northwest. 20% of proceeds from the Chief Joseph blanket and baby blanket in the special “Cherry” color support NARA’s work with Native women. This bold and beautiful blanket makes a difference.

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A purchase of this beautiful cherry-pink blanket benefits the women’s health program of NARA, the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, INC.

NARA is a Native American-owned, Native American-operated, nonprofit agency.

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The NARA Women’s Wellness Program provides culturally tailored breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women (and other women in need), 21 to 64 years of age.  These women include underserved, uninsured, underinsured and those that are rarely or have never been screened for breast and cervical cancer.  In additional to screening and diagnostic services, NARA offers assistance with referral coordination, transportation and navigation of health care appointments.

Thank you for making a difference!

Supporting Fisher House in honor of Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day: purchase one of three special blankets honoring veterans and we’ll donate 10% to the Fisher House Foundation to help military families. You can learn more about this non-profit’s important mission here: https://www.fisherhouse.org

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Here are the blankets that will help support this important mission–and remember, the Grateful Nation blanket generates donations year-round.

Grateful Nation

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The fabric of our nation is woven with the sacrifices of our veterans. This USA-made wool blanket honors the selfless service of these brave men and women. Centered on the blanket is a representation of the American flag. Each stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts from World War II on, and stars represent the 50 states, District of Columbia and five US territories. A portion of all sales of this blanket will be donated to the Fisher House™ Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing residences for the families of ill or wounded service members.

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Brave Star

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This contemporary interpretation of the American flag is a celebration of the patriotism of Native Americans. In 1875 Indian scouts carried messages from fort to fort in the West. Native American soldiers saw action with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Cuba. And soldiers from many tribes battled in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. Five Native Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery “above and beyond the call of duty.” The design marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations, using pulled out yarns, reflect an era when dyes were made from plants.

Mountain Majesty

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Inspired by Navajo hand weaving created in the Southwest in the early 20th century, this pattern incorporates symbols of hope, abundance and successful journeys. Muted colors and mountain-like steps evoke sunset over a western landscape.

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See all three the blankets here: http://bit.ly/2T1sNVu

Read more about our work with Fisher House here: FISHER HOUSE

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Special Blanket Makes a Difference for Native American Women

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and November is Native American Heritage month. Throughout October and November, Pendleton is increasing our ongoing donation to NARA’s Women’s Wellness Program to support breast cancer awareness and treatment in Native American communities in the Northwest. 20% of proceeds from the Chief Joseph blanket and baby blanket in the special “Cherry” color will support NARA’s work with Native women. This bold and beautiful blanket makes a difference.

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A purchase of this beautiful cherry-pink blanket benefits the women’s health program of NARA, the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, INC.

NARA is a Native American-owned, Native American-operated, nonprofit agency.

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The Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA) Women’s Wellness Program provides culturally tailored breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services for American Indian and Alaska Native women. NARA works to bring care to underserved, uninsured, and underinsured women, and those who are rarely or never screened for breast and cervical cancer.  In additional to screening and diagnostic services, NARA offers assistance with referral coordination, transportation and navigation of health care appointments.

We had a conversation with Yolanda Moisa, most current director of the newest clinic run by NARA and the BCCP Director (Breast and Cervical Cancer Program), to learn about NARA’s women’s health program.

PWM: Can you tell me about your organization’s mission?

YM: Our mission at NARA is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and anyone in need. Our purpose is to achieve the highest level of physical, mental and spiritual well being for American Indians and Alaska Native people.

Our women’s health program is a critical part of our larger physical health outreach.  It’s the women who make this program so rewarding.  Throughout the 20 years of this program, we have helped women from all backgrounds. Each person is unique and has a story to tell. We save lives daily.  Our hope and goal is prevention and no cases of cancer ever, however, the reality is that catching cancer sooner than later makes for a much better prognosis.

PWM: Can you tell us about some of your more rewarding moments?

YM: There are so many stories of success and how we help women, we are helping generations of women.  A story that comes to mind is that we had a woman who had just moved to the Portland area and came in for another visit and our staff noticed she was due for her yearly women’s exams.  When she received her results from her mammogram a small lump in her breast was detected. She did find out that it was cancerous, it was caught at Stage 1.  We walked her through her options and our team was there to answer all her questions.  Just having someone listen to her and help manage the many appointments that come with cancer treatment was a comfort.  More importantly, she brought her daughter in and sisters in to be tested, again changing lives.

PWM: When did NARA form and how many people have you served?

NARA has been in the community since 1970, and offering medical care since 1993. Since 1996 we have helped Women receive 5,160 MAMS and 6,391 PAPS.  We have two clinics, one at North Morris Street and our new Wellness Center on East Burnside. The women’s health program is housed in our clinic at 12360 E Burnside, Portland, OR 97233. The program offers women’s services at both clinics where screenings, and references for mammograms to low income, uninsured Native women. We want to provide early detection for breast and cervical cancer. As an urban facility, we’ve been able to serve members from over 250 tribes, nations, bands, who are all able to access any of the services here.

PWM: That’s fantastic. What drew you to this program, Yolanda?

YM: I came to NARA after many years in the corporate legal field. I’m a member of the Tule River Tribe in Porterville CA, and it was always my intention to return to working with Native Americans–to give back. Throughout my career I have volunteered and advocated for women and children.  Coming to NARA was like finding a family that truly “got it”, understanding what it means to help our community.  I see my family in the many faces in our waiting rooms: my grandmother, aunties, uncles, mother and siblings. I came in as a grants manager and was here for almost two years. I became clinic director  two years ago, and was pleased when we received a HRSA grant that helped set up the pharmacy and pediatric program at the site. I’ve been here close to five years and have continued to appreciate all that NARA does. It’s pretty amazing!

PWM: Are there special challenges within the Native American community?

YM: For Native women, there is a history of trauma around medical services. Along with assault, abuse and harassment, there is a documented history of forced sterilization. This painful history plays into fear and mistrust of medicine.

Our CDC (Center for Disease and Control)  grant  allows us to do something special for Native American and Alaska Native women—weekend clinic sessions that we call the Well Women’s Event. These events are designed as a safe place for women.  It’s not uncommon to have generations of women from families come together. The grandmother, mother and daughter will all come for the daughter’s first mammogram for support.  We open the clinic to women only. Our guests are welcomed to a Native crafts night, and a women-only talking circle. The nurse on staff gives one-on-one advice and education.  We offer cervical cancer screens here, and transport woman safely to and from an off-site mammogram facility.

Any woman who gets a screening receives culturally specific books about women’s health, including  “Journey Woman: A Native Woman’s Guide to Wellness”. Through the generosity of Pendleton we were allowed to use  Pendleton art forms in the books.

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When women see themselves in health materials, it builds trust and adds warmth to what can be a very cold environment. Some women come just for the community events, and that’s fine. Our goal is to make women’s healthcare safe and communal, almost a celebration of womanhood.

PWM: How does the Pendleton blanket help?

YM: Each purchase of the blanket generates a donation to NARA. The money will go into the women’s health program, helping us expand our outreach to various underserved and marginalized communities within Portland.  We hope to start momentum that leads to continuing healthcare. If we can save one life, we’re proud.  Hopefully with these added donations we will continue to help many more women.  Thank you Pendleton!

70000_1323If you would like to help NARA through direct donation, feel free to contact Yolanda Moisa at ymoisa@naranorthwest.org or 503-224-1044.

If you would like to help through the purchase of the special edition Chief Joseph blanket (Cherry color only), see it HERE:

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Chief Joseph child-size blanket

 

Celebrate Earth Day with the “Gift of the Earth” Blanket

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day, 2018. It is a day to remember the beauty and fragility of the planet we call home.

Earth Day History

The observance of Earth Day came from gathering national support for environmental issues. In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson both asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration in support of the planet.  Millions of people participated. Today, Earth Day is widely observed as a time to plant trees, clean up litter, and enjoy nature by getting out in it, through hiking, walking, gardening, or joining the many public observances held on April 22nd.

This Earth Day, you can celebrate for a cause with the Gift of the Earth blanket.

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Gift of the Earth features a bold design on a neutral backdrop is inspired by the traditional Hopi potters, who draw from generations of knowledge to create their beautiful, unique works of art. Their work, and this design, pay testament to the practice of learning from the past while moving into the future.

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Return of the Sun

IG_08_21_GiveawayImageThe Path of Totality has tracked across the United States, and the moment of total solar eclipse has passed. Millions of eclipse watchers were watching the skies of North American, which will not see another eclipse like this until April 8, 2024. We’re celebrating the return of the sun with an Instagram giveaway. Click here for details: INSTAGRAM

And if you win that giveaway? Consider treating yourself to a Return of the Sun Blanket.

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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. This blanket is a collaboration between Pendleton Woolen Mills and the American Indian College Fund to honor and reawaken a vital part of Native history.

Return of the Sun was designed for the American Indian College Fund Blanket Series by Alaskan artist Larry Ahvakana. Born in Fairbanks, Larry was raised in Point Barrow until the age of six, when his family moved to Anchorage. He left behind his grandparents, his native tongue, and many of the traditional cultural influences that had shaped his childhood. But these have re-emerged through his art, becoming the basis for his inspired work. He works in a variety of media, including stone, glass, bone, metal and wood. His masks bring tradition to life with mythic imagery in old-growth wood.

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mask image courtesy of the Blart Museum

Larry has been a working artist since 1972. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. Larry is widely recognized as an educator, instructing over the years at the Institute of American Indian Art, heading the Sculpture Studio at the Visual Arts Center in Anchorage, Alaska, and founding a teaching studio for glass blowing in Barrow, Alaska. His works are included in a large number of major museums, corporate collections, private art collections and as public art commissions. You can learn more about his work here. And you can see all of the AICF blankets here. The sale of these blankets supports scholarships for Native American students.

As for the sun? Welcome back.

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A New American Indian College Fund Blanket for 2017

Pendleton is proud to unveil our blanket for The College Fund for 2017, Gift of the Earth.

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For over 20 years, Wieden+Kennedy, the American Indian College Fund, and Pendleton Woolen Mills have worked together to create this amazing line of blankets as a way to raise money and promote the need for higher education in Native American communities. Our newest blanket, Gift of the Earth, was designed by Patty Orlando. A bold design on a neutral backdrop is inspired by the traditional Hopi pottery of Arizona. Today, Hopi potters draw from generations of knowledge to create their beautiful, unique works of art. This design pays testament to this practice of learning from the past while moving into the future.

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It joins a collection of blankets designed specifically for the American Indian College Fund, many of them 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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

To view the entire American Indian College Fund Collection, click here: The College Fund Blankets.

“Blessing Song” from the album Tribute to the Elders (CR-6318) by the Black Lodge Singers courtesy Canyon Records License 2017-023. All rights reserved.  www.CanyonRecords.com.

Photos courtesy of the always chic  Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

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Native American Inspiration: The Peaceful Ones and Gift of the Earth

Two of our 2017 blankets are inspired by Hopi culture.

“Hopi” is a shortened form of Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, or, “The Peaceful Ones.” The Hopi reservation covers almost 2.5 million acres of northeastern Arizona, near the Four Corners area east of the Grand Canyon. The Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation. Its 14 villages sit on three rocky mesas; First Mesa, Second Mesa, and Third Mesa. The Hopis have lived here for over a thousand years. They follow a yearlong calendar of rituals and ceremonies, and carefully maintain their traditions.

The first blanket is our newest American Indian College Fund blankets, Gift of the Earth, which celebrates Hopi pottery.

Gift of the Earth

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The Hopi have a sacred relationship with the ancient caretaker of the earth, Masaw, and respect every gift given to them. The clay they and their ancestors have sourced from the land for centuries is treated with the utmost regard. Because of this, the Hopi people maintain a beautiful and unique pottery tradition on the mesas in Arizona. Craftsmanship and creativity drawn from generations of knowledge flow through the potters today as they work. This blanket draws on the design elements from these brilliant pieces as a testament to learning from the past while moving into the future.

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(source – photo by Holly Chervnsik)

Interesting facts about Hopi pottery:

  • The golden hues of early Hopi pottery might have sparked the tales of fantastic wealth that lured early Spaniards to the Seven Cities of Cibola.
  • Smooth, symmetrical vessels might appear to be wheel-thrown, but are formed by hand through “coil and scrape.”
  • The most common shapes are shallow bowls and flat-shouldered jars.
  • Paints are made from natural materials, such as tansy mustard and beeweed.
  • Hopi pottery is open-fired with sheep dung and cedar.
  • Today, most pottery is made on First Mesa.

Like all our College Fund blankets, sales of Gift of the Earth help support scholarships to Native American Scholars. Learn more here: The College Fund

Our second Hopi-inspired blanket for 2017 is The Peaceful Ones.

The Peaceful Ones

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They call themselves Hopi, a shortened version of their true name: Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, the Peaceful Ones. Members of this Southwest nation follow the Hopi Way, based on the instructions of Maasaw, the Creator and Caretaker of Earth. The Peaceful Ones strive to be mannered, polite, and peaceable in all interactions. Their path will eventually lead to a state of complete reverence for all things. This design is based on an embroidered Manta, the garment worn by Hopi women in ceremonies that follow the lunar calendar. Through their traditional ceremonies, the Peaceful Ones hope to bring tranquility and harmony to the entire world.

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Interesting facts about the manta:

  • The manta is a rectangular cloth, fastened at the right shoulder and held by a sash.
  • Mantas were originally woven of undyed cotton. Over time, dyed threads and geometric patterns added beauty to the garment’s simple shape.
  • The practice of wearing blouses or shift dresses under mantas came much later, under pressure from missionaries.
  • Once the everyday wear of Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi women, the manta is now worn during important ceremonies.

We are excited to be sharing these blankets soon at  www.pendleton-usa.com.

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Gifts that Give Back: The American Indian College Fund Blankets

2016_fall1_blankets_throws_aicfToday is #GivingTuesday. Each year, as you plan your holiday shopping, please remember gifts that give back. Since 1990, Pendleton Woolen Mills has been proud to support the work of the American Indian College Fund. Sales of these blankets fund scholarships to tribal colleges, and make a difference in the lives of students throughout the country.

We have already featured this year’s blanket, the Naskan, so we’re showing you some others. Go see them all here: The College Fund Blankets

Nike N7

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Innovation meets tradition with this collaboration between Nike N7 and Pendleton Woolen Mills. For inspiration, Nike designer Derek Roberts (the design genius behind our popular Star Wars blankets) looked to traditional Native American dress and how the patterns work together to create a garment.

Return of the Sun

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This graphic design was created in partnership with Native American artist Larry Ahvakana. The changing of the seasons plays a central role in many Iñupiat traditions and activities, and in Mr. Ahvakana’s sculpture work. This blanket celebrates the arrival of the sun back to the Arctic and the start of hunting season.

Raven and the Box of Knowledge

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Internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest. 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

Earth Blanket

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Inspired by a blanket in an Edward S. Curtis photograph, the Earth Blanket embodies the elements of earth and sky, with a grey triangular step pattern in the center called the mountain design. Each cross represents the four directions.

Water Blanket

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Also inspired by an early 20th-century photograph by Edward S. Curtis, this blanket is inspired by the peerless weaving of the American Southwest. It incorporates classic Navajo elements in an eye-dazzling pattern. The central dragonfly, an emblem of water, symbolizes life.

We’ve shown you only four of these beautiful blankets. See the other choices, including saddle blankets and two children’s sized blankets, at our website: The College Fund Blankets

Learn more about the work of the College Fund here:   www.collegefund.org

Adopt a Native Elder fundraiser: 100% of proceeds going to benefit a Navajo weaver

Editor’s note: It’s Native American History Month. The Navajo /Dine elders are part of a living history; keeping alive the traditional ways of living, weaving, and producing food. We are offering a handwoven 100% Pendleton wool rug at auction to benefit the Adopt a Native Elder program. Please read more, and visit the auction. Thank you!

pwm_10_2016_-837_webThis authentic Navajo rug is being offered by Pendleton Woolen Mills in support of Utah’s Adopt-a-Native-Elder program. This outreach program helps Navajo elders, as they carry on the oldest cultural and spiritual traditions of the Dine People. Many elders are located in remote areas, living in hogans and raising sheep. The program provides food, clothing, fabrics, yarns and other needs. In return, the Elders share their expertise, especially in weaving.

For this project, Pendleton donated bales of dyed virgin wool, which ANE volunteers divided into bags and distributed after an Adopt-a-Native-Elder dinner. The Grandmothers were invited to choose their own wool, and were quite enthusiastic to be involved.

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The weavers returned fifteen completed rugs for judging. From a host of beautiful entries, this rug was the winner.

It was woven by Gloria Hardy with assistance from her mother, Louise. It is spun and woven from 100% Pendleton wool. Mother Louise spun the wool, and daughter Gloria designed the pattern and did the weaving. The size is impressive (48″ x 46″), and it is a beautiful pattern.

See the rug here: Hand-woven Navajo Rug

The stripes in the pattern represent the calm and steady wind of the desert sky. The crosses represent the Prayer of the Four Directions:  I pray with beauty before me, behind me, above me and all around me. May I walk in beauty.

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This rug is one-of-a-kind, authentically Navajo, and is being offered to support the fine work of Adopt-a-Native-Elder. Pendleton is proud to support Adopt-a-Native-Elder.

More information on Adopt a Native Elder can be found here: http://www.anelder.org/

See the rug and bid on it here: Navajo handwoven wool rug