Skip to main content

News Release

Eighth Generation

Eighth Generation, a trailblazing lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe, has partnered with Rapid City Children’s Memorial to raise awareness on the history and impact of Indian Boarding Schools and money for a memorial with their newest wool blanket.

“The impact of the Indian boarding school era on Native people cannot be understated,” said Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee, Athabascan), Eighth Generation’s CEO. “This is a historic trauma that Native people have felt and carried for generations. Creating a blanket with the Rapid City Children’s Memorial to help them spread their message of healing and remembrance is so important to us as a Native company. I’m proud that we get to sell this blanket on their behalf, with proceeds going directly to their organization to help fund the incredibly important memorial they are building.”

The Remembering the Children Wool Blanket was designed by Travis Harden (Oohenumpa Lakota and Winnebago Ho Chunk) in collaboration with the volunteers, family members, descendants, matriarchs, and elders of the Rapid City Indian Boarding School Project in South Dakota. The blanket reflects the project’s commitment to the Native community’s children past and present, and to honoring the healing, strength, resiliency, hopes, and dreams of future generations impacted by the residential school system.

Eighth Generation and the Rapid City Children’s Memorial’s organization, Remembering the Children, are both selling the blankets with 100% of proceeds supporting the creation of the memorial.

Pictured: Eighth Generation's Rapid City Childrens Memorial Wool Blanket honoring children harmed by Indian boarding schools.

Pictured: Eighth Generation's Rapid City Childrens Memorial Wool Blanket honoring children harmed by Indian boarding schools.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

From the 1800s through the 1970s, untold numbers of Native children died or disappeared in and on the way boarding schools across North America. These children were stolen from their families and communities by the US and Canadian governments and forcibly placed in “assimilation schools” where the goal was to remove any traces of Indigeneity. Over the past few years, an international spotlight has been put on the true scope of the horrors of these boarding schools as thousands of children’s graves have been found. While this history is new knowledge to many non-Native people, Native communities have never forgotten these children: the culture and lives that were lost to the boarding school era are irreplaceable.

The Remembering the Children Wool Blanket can be found here: https://eighthgeneration.com/collections/blankets/products/remembering-the-children-wool-blanket

A blog on the collaboration and the memorial can be found here: https://eighthgeneration.com/blogs/blog/remembering-the-children

The Rapid City Children’s Memorial website, including history on the boarding school, the found graves of students, and the memorial can be found here: https://www.rememberingthechildren.org/

About Eighth Generation 

Eighth Generation is a Seattle-based art and lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. Founded in 2008, when Louie Gong (Nooksack)—an artist, activist, and educator widely known for merging traditional Coast Salish art with influences from his urban environment to make strong statements about identity—started customizing shoes in his living room. Now the first Native-owned company to ever produce wool blankets—with a flagship retail store in Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market—Eighth Generation is a proud participant in the global economy.

Eighth Generation provides a strong, ethical alternative to “Native-inspired” art and products through its artist-centric approach and 100% Native designed products. Our Inspired Natives™ Project, anchored by the tagline Inspired Natives™, not "Native-inspired,” builds business capacity among cultural artists while addressing the economic impact of cultural appropriation.

Eighth Generation logo