Pendleton is proud to partner with the American Indian College Fund on blankets which help support the mission of the College Fund, empowering communities through scholarships and education. Through sales of these blankets and other contributions, the Pendleton Endowment has grown to over 1.6 million dollars.
You can read more about our work with the College Fund here: Partnership
So let’s take a look at just a few of these special blankets, designed by Native American designers.
Pathway by Bunky Echo-Hawk
Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee/Yakama) is an internationally recognized visual and performing artist. His provocative, exuberant work is exhibited in private collections, galleries and museums throughout the world. He has done design work for non-profit organizations and tribal communities, VANS, and more. He has been designing the Nike N7 collection since 2010. He has painted murals in various tribal communities, towns, and public places, and recently installed a mural in American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, the home of the Miami Heat. His design for the Pathway blanket is best described in his own words.
Echo-Hawk has saturated his modern design with traditional Pawnee symbology. Red, white, yellow, and black signify the four races of humankind, the four stages of life, the semi-cardinal directions, and animals, plants, and stars associated with those directions. Bands of turquoise surround the design as Sky surrounds Earth. Black and red parfleche elements from Pawnee burden straps alternate with four-pointed stars of the Milky Way, or Path of Departed Spirits. A winding path through the blanket’s center traces life’s journey.
You can see the blanket here: Pathway
7 Generations by Tracie Jackson for Nike N7
In addition to its place the College Fund blanket program, the “7 Generations” blanket is part of our partnership with Nike’s N7 Fund, a trust whose mission is to bring sports to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the US and Canada.
This blanket was designed by Tracie Jackson, a Diné artist and designer from Star Mountain in the Navajo Nation. She is a 4th generation artisan. Her grandparents and mother are silversmiths, and both her maternal great grandmothers are rug weavers. Her family encouraged her to study the traditional art forms of her tribe, and with their support she became a painter, jeweler, beader, and graphic designer. Tracie studied design at the University of Oregon and currently works in Portland, Oregon, designing for the Nike N7 program. This has been her dream job since she was 14 years old, when she first saw N7 at a Native basketball tournament. “I was taught to get an education and use it to help our Native community, which pushed me to become a designer for N7.”
This USA-made wool blanket illustrates the past, present and future of Native peoples. The central N7 motif represents the impact of each person (the diamond) on the three generations before and after (arrows). A storm pattern with zigzags of lightning honors heritage, while steps show the path to overcoming life’s challenges. The rich colors were inspired by traditional dyes, and reflect the beauty of the southwestern landscape.
You can see the blanket here: 7 Generations