This throw, designed by Louie Gong (Nooksack) blends traditional Coast Salish design elements and colors with a modern, geometric background. Like much of Eighth Generation's work, this design embodies the organic process of traditional art forms to match ever-changing sensibilities.
Designed in collaboration with American Indian Graduate Center’s (AIGC) and AIGC's alumni Brittany Gene, Maka Monture and Janelle Cronin, the limited-edition blanket honors the organization’s 50-year legacy of AIGC funding Native students from over 500 tribes in 50 states. Featuring elements that are representative of the Tlingit, Mohawk and Navajo people — the tribes of the three artists — the design is a testament to the diversity of Native students that benefit from the $15 million of scholarships AIGC awards each year. You can purchase this Turtle Wool Blanket from the American Indian Graduate Center HERE.
“As a member of Indian Country and a student of science, the influences from nature such as the delicate floral patterns depict their existence and growth in the harshest of environments, which is very much the identity of Native women across the nation,” said Janelle Cronin, blanket design artist and AIGC Development Assistant. “The inclusion of the geometric designs brings expression of identity and represents a contemporary presence within the modern world. I found the unity between the style of designs a reflection of my own complex identity: a Navajo woman, student of science, and Water Protector of Indian Country.”
Tlingit artist Maka Monture says "Each fin cradles a spirit face that represents the spirit of each of the four directions: North, South, East and West. When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to pray and make an offering to the four directions, and honoring the many directions your life takes. The human figures on the shell are a reminder that we can always talk to our ancestors for help. They're always listening - we need only speak out loud to connect with our ancestors - as if we were face to face."
5% of all blanket sales support the Inspired Natives Award for emerging arts entrepreneurs.
Brittany Gene is a Kiyaa’áanii from Indian Wells, AZ on the Dine Nation. She is a first-year Master of Industrial Design student at Arizona State University (ASU)’s Herberger Institute. Brittany was recently hired by Turning Points, ASU’s indigenous magazine, as a freelance pattern maker and branding stylist for indigenous brands. She is also an advocate for cultural preservation and progression, hoping to one day become a creative director to bring acknowledgement to indigenous peoples in the realm of design.
Maka Monture is a Tlingit and Kanien’kehá:ka woman from Yakutat, Alaska in the Southeastern Coast of Alaska and Canadian Six Nations. Maka received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Indigenous Studies with a minor in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and is finishing her Master of Public Health focusing on Indigenous youth suicide prevention from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar and the program manager for the Arctic Youth Ambassadors Program, an organization that brings together diverse youth from across Alaska to serve as ambassadors for their communities and country in building awareness at home and abroad about life in the Arctic.Janelle Cronin is a Navajo woman from Gallup, New Mexico. She earned her Bachelor of Natural Science from Haskell Indian Nations University in 2015. As a Sloan Indigenous Graduate Program Scholar, she earned her Master of Science degree in Ecological Sciences & Engineering and Curriculum Studies & Instruction from Purdue University in May 2018. Janelle has worked at AIGC since 2018.
The vibrant blanket features numerous design elements indicative of traditional Anishinaabe floral, including the Odemin (strawberry), Manoomin (wild rice), blueberries, and the vine showing us the connection of all things.