The Most Important Native You've Never Heard Of

January 21, 2014

The first non-European to reach the pinnacles of American politics wasn't Barack Obama. An astonishing 80 years earlier, before the Indian Civil Rights Act, Charles Curtis became the 31st VP of the United States (1929 -1933). He was Native American. And if you're thinking he was probably 1/64th Native cashing in a symbolic Native identity tied to a story his grandma once told him, you'd be way off. He was an enrolled Kaw, and he was raised on the Kaw reservation by his grandmother (like me).

Wikipedia reports his ancestry as "three-quarters Native American: Kaw, Osage and Pottawatomi".  In response to the timeless question "What are you?", VP Curtis is famously quoted as quipping "I'm part Kaw, 100% conservative."

You gotta ask yourself why the stereotype-busting story of a community-based Native's historic rise to national prominence has never made its way into our middle school Social Studies textbooks.

Next Post




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blog

New Blanket! Michelle Lowden's Prayer for Beauty and Healthy Growth
New Blanket! Michelle Lowden's Prayer for Beauty and Healthy Growth

August 14, 2018

Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo), owner of Milo Creations, was the very first arts entrepreneur to join our Inspired Natives Project, and has been partnering with Eighth Generation since before we became the first Native-owned company to offer wool blankets! A testament to growth in more ways than one, the "Whispering Blossoms" Wool Blanket is Michelle's second wool blanket with Eighth Generation - and comes just as she prepares for motherhood! Check it out here.

Continue Reading

You'll love this bold new blanket by David Robert Boxley (Tsimshian)!
You'll love this bold new blanket by David Robert Boxley (Tsimshian)!

July 17, 2018 1 Comment

The highly anticipated result of Eighth Generation's 2017 Blanket Design Contest is here! David Robert Boxley's (Tsimshian) "Confluence" Wool Blanket is as powerful visually as it is in its message. Check out the blanket here, and get an exclusive glimpse at an upcoming short film featuring Louie's visit to David's home village of Metlakatla, Alaska!

Continue Reading

CUSTOM BLANKET SPOTLIGHT: Coast Salish Blanket for Clearwater Resort
CUSTOM BLANKET SPOTLIGHT: Coast Salish Blanket for Clearwater Resort

June 28, 2018

This recent custom project with Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort features a stunning design by traditional Coast Salish weaver Danielle Morsette (Suquamish). Merging traditional and contemporary elements is somewhat of a trademark of Eighth Generation, so translating a design that Danielle would typically weave by hand to a contemporary wool blanket and wall hanging felt right up our alley! Check it out in this custom blanket spotlight.

Continue Reading