Pendleton Woolen Mills has introduced a new, exclusive blanket for 2017 called Gift of the Earth, which will benefit the American Indian College Fund. The blanket honors the storytelling, history and culture of the Hopi Tribe.
“The blanket tells of the Hopi nation and their sacred relationship with the ancient caretaker of the earth, Maasaw, and the respect of every gift given to them,” designer Patty Orlando of creative agency Wieden+Kennedy said in a press release. “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. Gift of the Earth draws on the design elements from these brilliant pieces as a testament to learning from the past while moving into the future.”
The blanket is a collaborative effort between Pendleton, the American Indian College Fund and creative partner Wieden+Kennedy. It joins the Pendleton American Indian College Fund collection, a series of ten blankets, many of which were designed by Native American artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of American Indian College Fund blankets provides scholarships to Native American students attending tribal colleges and universities.
“The American Indian College Fund appreciates our long-term partnership with Pendleton Woolen Mills, which has resulted in scholarships that support Native student higher education success,” said American Indian College Fund President and CEO Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota). “Students face many barriers and having financial support means they can not only pay for tuition and books but they can pay for food and shelter. Our students know that people cared when they receive a scholarship through this partnership.”
Today, only 13 percent of American Indians age 25 and older have a college degree, less than half the U.S. national average. Forty percent of the American Indian population is under the age of 18. The College Fund is helping more American Indians get their college degree through scholarship support. The American Indian College Fund also provides program support to Native American students once they are in school to help them succeed both academically and in their careers.
“Pendleton has a high regard for the significance of education and its role to underscore the continuation of American Indian traditions and culture,” Mort Bishop III, Pendleton President, said in the release. “Pendleton is proud to join the College Fund in this important mission and creating awareness of the accredited tribal colleges and universities that offer students access to knowledge and new skills.”