Eighth Generation is a Native-owned and operated company based in Seattle, Washington. It was founded in 2008 when Louie Gong (Nooksack) 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. Through the Inspired Natives Project, Eighth Generation creates opportunities for cultural artists who, like Louie a short 8 years ago, struggle to meet demand for their handmade cultural art.Read More
Eighth Generation and Tanka Fund have teamed up to bring you "The Return" wool blanket, a powerful collaboration that celebrates the return of the buffalo and the renewal of reservation economies.
The design was developed with Sonja Holy Eagle, an Oglala Lakota artist who was trained by her grandmother in painting buffalo hides to record the stories of the people. For this collaboration, she has worked with us to adapt her distinctive style of “ Winter Count” to convey the hopeful message of the return of the buffalo. The magpie is known as the buffalo’s companion, and the presence of the magpie heralds their return. When this blanket is wrapped around a person, the large buffalo comes together to symbolize a complete restoration of the buffalo in tribal communities.
Sonja Holy Eagle was trained by her grandmother in painting buffalo hides to record the stories of the people, and has adapted this traditional art form to offer this beautiful rendering of the return.
Tanka Fund is a national campaign housed at Indian Land Tenure Foundation and sponsored by Native American Natural Foods, a Native-owned company on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. With a mission of returning buffalo to Native lands, lives and economies, Tanka products are the first nationally distributed food product from an Indian Reservation. By providing grants, training and public support, they help Native buffalo producers overcome the barriers they face in growing economically and ecologically sustainable herds. Their goal is to return one million acres of Native lands to buffalo in the next ten years, renewing the health of the grasslands, the people and the local economy of reservation communities.
Eighth Generation, the first Native-owned company to offer wool blankets, is honored to introduce John Isaiah Pepion (Blackfeet Nation) as the newest Inspired Natives Project collaborator! John will join 5 other artists in the project, through which Eighth Generation mentors artists as they transition from a gallery based business model to an entrepreneurship model.
“While John's vibrant, contemporary ledger art will look stunning and unique on our products, we are equally excited about supporting John's arts entrepreneurship goals,” says Eighth Generation founder Louie Gong