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Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund

Colleen R. Billiot, Public Education Coordinator, American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund Student-Designed Pendleton Blanket Available for Purchase

Little Big Horn College Student Deshawna Anderson Created “The Courage to Bloom”

Denver, Colo., March 25, 2021 — Pendleton Woolen Mills, the acclaimed lifestyle brand of Portland, Oregon, together with the Denver-based American Indian College Fund, are announcing its Tribal College Blanket Design, The Courage to Bloom, is available for purchase in Pendleton’s American Indian College Fund collection.

Pendleton has created wool blankets in partnership with the American Indian College Fund for more than 20 years. A portion of the blanket line’s sales support about $50,000 in Native student scholarships annually. Pendleton also contributes to a scholarship endowment, today valued at over $1 million.

Deshawna Anderson, a College Fund scholar and student at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana who is studying business administration, created The Courage to Bloom, for the Tribal College Blanket Design contest. It was selected as the winning design from 48 entries. Anderson received a $5,000 scholarship, $2,000 for books and incidentals, and six blankets for her design portfolio.

Photo2 Courage_To_Bloom Pendleton Blanket Winner

The Courage to Bloom

Anderson explained the arrow designs in her blanket symbolize finding a good path in life, while acknowledging the pitfalls and opportunities along the way. To honor missing and murdered Indigenous people, the hourglass shape at the base of the largest blossom symbolizes life’s spiritual journey in the most difficult circumstances. “It’s sad that it has to be something like this, but I hope that whoever is able to put on the design or wear it is able to get comfort from it…I hope it makes them feel good because I put good thoughts into it,” she said.

A visual learner, Anderson became interested in art as an educational tool and a way to communicate her perspectives and experiences to others. She said she is inspired by the Apache and Crow cultural landscapes of the Salt River Canyon of Arizona and the Crazy Mountain Range in the Northern Rockies of Montana. Her work also incorporates elements of both historic and contemporary Apache beadwork, quillwork, and burden baskets (conically shaped fringed baskets that were traditionally used by women to carry items like food and firewood).

The Courage to Bloom (folded)

The Courage to Bloom (folded)

The Tribal College Blanket Design Contest is open to all Native TCU students and applications open every November on the College Fund’s website at The contest seeks to create greater recognition for promising artists’ work, to provide valuable design experience working with an internationally known brand, and to give students scholarships and cash awards to assist with college costs. The program also helps the College Fund and Pendleton honor the richness of Native arts, cultures, and stories by sharing original Native student designs with the public.

About Pendleton Woolen Mills- Pendleton Woolen Mills is a heritage brand and the leader in wool blankets, apparel and accessories. Founded in 1863 and located in Portland, Oregon, Pendleton weaves iconic designs in two of America’s remaining woolen mills, located in Pendleton, Oregon and Washougal, Washington. With six generations of family ownership, Pendleton is focused on their “Warranted to Be a Pendleton” legacy, creating quality lifestyle products with timeless classic styling. Inspiring individuals from the Pacific Northwest and beyond for over 150 years, Pendleton products are available at

About the American Indian College Fund- The American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 31 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided $9.25 million in scholarships to American Indian students in 2019-20, with scholarships, program, and community support totaling over $237 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit

The American Indian College Fund does not use the acronym AICF. On second reference, please use the College Fund.

Photo 1: Deshawna Anderson, an American Indian College Fund scholar and business student at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana. Deswahna designed The Courage to Bloom, which is available for purchase in Pendleton’s American Indian College Fund Blanket Collection.

Photo 2: The Courage to Bloom.

Photo 3: The Courage to Bloom (folded)

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