Welcome to the 2023 Explore Native Challenge for Native American Heritage Month.
During November, I want to challenge you to learn more about Native culture including Pow Wows, history, food, businesses, artists, and more.
Whether you are a Pow Wow dancer, a Native American scholar, or someone interested in Native Culture, Explore Native will provide you with new ways to learn about this vibrant culture.
Thanks to our sponsor Eighth Generation for their support! Check out the prizes below!
Blanket in the feature image design by Sarah Agaton Howes (Anihinaabe/Ojibwe), courtesy heartberry.com and eighthgeneration.com
- Good Harvest Blanket
- New Phase Blanket
- Coast Salish Blanket
- New Day Blanket
- Renewal Blanket
See below for detailed information on each blanket.
The entry form below will challenge you to Explore Native Culture in new ways!
You'll be added to a special email newsletter when you enter the contest. Each day during the contest, you'll receive an email about Native American culture. You can collect entries by completing tasks in the entry form below. This includes finding bonus codes that I'll post in articles on PowWows.com, on social media, on my weekly live show, on our podcast, and in other places.
The contest is open to people in the United States and Canada.
NOTE – Due to the high cost of shipping to Canada, Canadian winners will have the option to pay for shipping or receive a gift card for the equivalent amount of the prize won.
Enter daily for more ways to win!
Earn extra bonus codes and instant win prizes in our special Spin To Win game!
About Eighth Generation
Eighth Generation is a Seattle-based art and lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. The first Native-owned company to ever produce wool blankets, Eighth Generation now produces a line of “Gold Label” wool blankets and scarves which are made in their Seattle studio.
Their flagship retail store in Seattle's iconic Pike Place Market is an immersive in-person shopping experience, while Eighth Generation's robust online offerings make them a proud participant in the global economy. Eighth Generation provides a strong, ethical alternative to “Native-inspired” art and products through its artist-centric approach and 100% Native-designed products. Their Inspired Natives™ Project, anchored by the tagline “Inspired Natives™, not Native-inspired,” builds business capacity among cultural artists while addressing the economic impact of cultural appropriation.
Maple leaves are turning shades of sunset to rustle in the cooling breezes, yellow squashes and orange pumpkins are fat and heavy on the vine, and the wild rice waves on long stems, ready to be knock-knock-knocked into your canoe. All summer you’ve been planting, playing, running the kids to summer camp, and spending every moment you can in the sun: you’ve been living The Good Life, and now it’s time for a Good Harvest.
Designed by Anishinaabe/Ojibwe artist and Inspired Natives® Collaborator Sarah Agaton Howes for our Gold Label Series, our Good Harvest Throw Blanket celebrates all that we love about autumn: the spicy scents, the happy sounds, the rush of color, and the happy harvest of the goodness we gather.
“Fall is special here,” says Sarah of her Minnesota home. “Our winters are long and can be very hard; this makes fall truly bittersweet and special. The maples’ bright orange leaves are a warming reminder that they'll be the first gift back after winter in the form of maple sugar. We relish this time of year as our last hurrah while hustling and bustling the kids to soccer, treasuring every last bit of warmth and light from the sun, and anticipating the holidays ahead.”
The deep orange of the Good Harvest Throw Blanket is a nod to the color of the season, while the design is classic Anishinaabe botanicals that take center stage in autumn. “This design is inspired by iconic Ojibwe beadwork shapes and our local plants,” shares Sarah. “This time of year, the heart berries (strawberries) have sent out their runners for next year, the thorns of the raspberry have protected the fruit, and any important medicines are harvested and preserved; squash, traditional tobacco, and our precious wild rice are being prepared for long term storage. The wrap band around the edge of the blanket’s design harkens back to our beautiful black ash baskets, used for gathering and now a true prized possession in Ojibwe country.”
Add fall color, warmth for the coming winter, and the spirit of the harvest to your living room or bedroom with our beautiful Good Harvest Throw Blanket. Machine-knit right here in our Native-owned business’ Seattle studio from 100% Merino wool, our Gold Label Series blankets are double knit (two sided), and have a luxurious, heavy weight: each blanket is made with over five pounds of wool! Our authentic Native-designed wool blankets are designed to be enjoyed by everyone, and we hope will be a treasured part of your home for years to come.
New Phase is a story of transition. Diné (Navajo) artist Jared Yazzie has combined traditional Navajo rug weaving designs, a special feature of Navajo chief blankets, and his own fresh artistic style to create a gorgeous contemporary Native-designed wool blanket rich with layers of meaning. Our beautiful New Phase Throw Blanket is a tribute to people beginning or finishing a new phase of life.
The base of the New Phase Throw Blanket is built on traditional Navajo rug weaving elements—straight lines and color blocks. From there, Jared included the clever twist found in Navajo chief blankets: when the corners are folded inward, the central design is replicated. He also included four equal-armed cross shapes, which signify the four directions and the four sacred mountains in the Diné culture. Finally, Jared added intricate patterns and fine details, marrying traditional Navajo design with his own style.
The side-step patterns in the design tell a story similar to that of a Navajo wedding basket: these steps often symbolize mountains, or the ups and downs of life, and how both of those create a journey. Jared’s signature diagonal patterns are found on the sides of the blanket design. The entire design is created in 100% Merino wool in a neutral palette that instantly elevates any interior.
“These vibrant Native-made wool blankets tell a powerful story of Native excellence. We hope each Gold Label blanket will carry that important message into people's homes,” says Louie Gong (Nooksack), Eighth Generation's founder.
Weaving is an important part of Ojibwe culture, with beautiful graphic designs showing up in fingerweaving, loom beadwork, and cedar mats. Artist Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe) was inspired by the designs and colors of her people’s historic beadwork to create our New Day Wool Blanket.
In subtle blues and warm creams, Sarah has brought forward the Native practice of making the everyday beautiful in this wool blanket. “We have always loved to adorn our lives with the practical and beautiful,” shares Sarah. “This blanket elevates a practical item—a blanket—with an elegant design I hope shares beauty and warmth with Native and non-Native people alike.”
The idea of creating a modern design based on historic weaving techniques and patterns has special significance for Sarah. “As Native people, we weave together the traditional and the modern with our way of doing business, with our values, with our arts, and with our many different ways of life. This blanket proudly carries forward our weaving tradition in a modern way.”
Featured on the cover of British Vogue in October 2023 with actors Lily Gladstone (Blackfeet) and Leonardo DiCaprio and photographed by Craig McDean (directed by Edward Enninful)!
This design was created by Louie Gong (Nooksack) after researching traditional Coast Salish weaving. He often refers to the pattern as a “collaboration with the ancestors,” as it was created after researching traditional Coast Salish weaving. Although many of our products are created using modern technology, it was crucial to Louie he create a design that could be replicated with traditional Coast Salish weaving methods.
Coast Salish art is rarely represented in contemporary textiles, and Louie is proud to help push this particular, often overlooked form to the forefront of Native art and product offerings.
This 100% wool blanket was designed by Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe) in collaboration with Eighth Generation’s Inspired Natives™ Project.
The “Renewal” design, which is characteristic of the woodlands floral tradition, tells the story of physical and spiritual renewal. It honors the land through representations of the wild plum flower, the water through our beloved wild rice, and healing through the dogwood flower, which is used to create traditional tobacco.
The scallop shapes on each end of the design – which are inspired by Sarah’s own hand-made regalia – symbolize the idea that humans are part of nature and that the renewal and revitalization of the land, water, sky and spirit require us to understand and practice our ancestral ways.
Explore Native Challenge
Bonus Code – 2033935
Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Paul G