We just awarded two Inspired Natives Grants- Meet the Recipients!

November 30, 2017 2 Comments

We know that the support of our community helped get us where we are today. It's with this in mind that - as a small part of our broader giving - we promised to return 5% of profit from our retail blanket sales to the community in the form of "Inspired Natives Grants".

The nationwide award program that targets emerging Native arts entrepreneurs was launched in September and administered by our friends at the Evergreen Longhouse. And after a rigorous review of an incredible pool of candidates, they selected two stellar artists.

Please join us in congratulating Pi'iali'i Lawson (Hawaiian) and Makade Anakwad (White Earth Nation) on being the first ever Inspired Natives Grant Awardees.

Pi'iali'i Lawson (Hawaiian)

Pi'iali'i Lawson carries on his family's weaving legacy as a practitioner and kumu (teacher) of Ulana Lauhala, a traditional woven art of Hawaii that requires knowledge of everything from cultural protocols and oral traditions, to plant biology and the crafting of tools. When he isn't teaching workshops on lauhala weaving, Pi'iali'i runs a small business specializing in contemporary Hawaiian fashion accessories, creating innovative work that is rooted in cultural foundations.

With help from the funds from Eighth Generation's Inspired Natives Grant, Pi'iali'i plans to take his small business to the next level with the completion of his Signature Koa/Lauhala Collection, new computer software to design marketing materials, revamped packaging and branding, and an updated website. His goal is to build strong, sustainable business infrastructure to be able to successfully transition to being a full-time business-owner. He also plans to continue to build his teaching practice with three culminating art shows and accompanying workshops in Hawaii, San Francisco, and Japan.

Pi'ilai'i says, "I am humbly honored to be selected as a recipient of the Inspired Natives grant. Much gratitude to Eighth Generation and the Evergreen State College Longhouse for supporting my work as a native artist perpetuating the art of lauhala weaving and efforts to keep it relevant through the creation of new works."
Check out more of his work on Pi'iali'i's website.

Makade Anakwad (White Earth Nation)

Based in Bemidji, Minnesota, Makade Anakwad (Ron Turney) is a teacher and traditional Ojibwe artist who quit his job as a Multimedia Specialist at Leech Lake Tribal College to pursue his artistic career last year. A student of Master-Artist Mel Losh (Leech Lake Nation), he is committed to reclaiming traditional methods of making art with natural materials such as porcupine quills, birch bark, and sweetgrass, while pushing the boundaries of what he can make with them.

With the funds from the Inspired Natives Grant, Makade Anakwad plans to take the next step in his artistic career by re-invigorating his business with an updated e-commerce website, new software for content creation and marketing, raw materials to build up his inventory, and everything he needs to professionally display and transport his work to reach target markets for in-person sales. Makade Anakwad hopes that one day he will be able to start up a Traditional Quillwork Society again so the knowledge of this powerful art form can continue to be passed on.

Makade Anakwad says, "I am honored to be chosen as a recipient of the Eighth Generation Inspired Natives Grant. Over the past couple of years, I have followed their growth and success. I've always admired their products, business model, and their commitment to supporting Native artists. One year ago, I resigned from my old desk job to pursue a new career as a traditional artist and started Black Cloud Studios. Being awarded this grant has validated my career choice and has inspired me to take it to the next level!"

You can view more of Makade Anakwad's work and keep an eye out for the release of his Biboon "Winter" collection here on his website.

We look forward to following the journeys of these Inspired Natives as they utilize this opportunity to build even stronger foundations for their work and communities!

2 Responses


December 04, 2017

Absolutely love seeing this native artist support Eighth Gen! Keep it up!

Deb Warren
Deb Warren

December 01, 2017

I would like to congratulate PI’IALI’I Lawson and Makade Anakwad for being awarded the “Inspired Natives Grants”. Great job to both of you!! Makade you are doing some awesome quillwork!! We are proud of you in the North Country!! You have the best (Melvin Losh) teaching you!! Great job!!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Blog

Blackfeet ledger artist joins Eighth Generation's Inspired Natives Project!
Blackfeet ledger artist joins Eighth Generation's Inspired Natives Project!

February 15, 2018

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

Continue Reading


February 08, 2018

After receiving nearly 70 responses in our initial round of community feedback and meeting with members of the Two Spirit community here in Seattle for an in-depth conversation to get this blanket development process started, Eighth Generation is looking for a community-based Two Spirit artist to design our next wool blanket!

Continue Reading

8 Valentine's Day Gifts (On Sale!) That Support Native Art
8 Valentine's Day Gifts (On Sale!) That Support Native Art

February 05, 2018

This Valentine's Day, show your love for Native art by giving gifts that support Native artists and communities! Here's our top eight Valentine's Day deals that support Native art.

Continue Reading