PORTLAND, ORE. – May 2, 2017 Pendleton Woolen Mills, the acclaimed- lifestyle brand headquartered in Portland, Oregon, introduces a new, exclusive blanket for 2017, Gift of the Earth, to benefit the American Indian College Fund. For more than 25 years the College Fund has supported access to higher education for Native American students.
Gift of the Earth is a collaborative effort between Pendleton®, the College Fund and creative partner Wieden+Kennedy, honoring the rich storytelling, history and culture of the Hopi tribe of the American Southwest.
“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.” says designer Patty Orlando of creative agency Wieden+Kennedy. “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.”
Gift of the Earth joins the Pendleton American Indian College Fund collection, a series of ten blankets, many of which are designs created by some of the finest Native American artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of College Fund blankets provides scholarships for Native students to attend tribal colleges.
Today, only 13% 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 of college age start and complete their college degree through scholarship support. The College Fund also provides the program support of students once they are in school to help them succeed both academically and in their careers.
American Indian College Fund President and CEO Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota) said, “The College Fund appreciates our long-term partnership with Pendleton Woolen Mills which has resulted in scholarships that support Native student higher education success. 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.”
Mort Bishop III, Pendleton President, added to Crazy Bull’s remarks, “Pendleton has a high regard for the significance of education and its role to underscore the continuation of American Indian traditions and culture. 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. ”
Gift of the Earth is available at specialty retail stores across the country and at www.pendleton-usa.com. Find a store near you at Pendleton’s store locator on the website.
Download the entire press release here.