Eighth Generation: A Journey Through Native American Art and Culture in Downtown Seattle

Eighth Generation: A Journey Through Native American Art and Culture in Downtown Seattle

Welcome to the heart of Native American creativity and tradition at Eighth Generation, where art comes to life, and culture is celebrated. In this exclusive video, Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee, Athabascan), the Chief Executive Officer, takes us on a journey through the intricacies of the business located in downtown Seattle.

About Eighth Generation

Eighth Generation stands as a beacon of cultural celebration and artistic empowerment, representing the intersection of Native American heritage and contemporary creativity. Founded by Louie Gong (Nooksack) and owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe.

At the heart of Eighth Generation's mission is a commitment to showcasing authentic Native American artistry. The brand collaborates with Native artists, providing a space for both established and emerging talents to express their creativity. From traditional designs to modern interpretations, each piece reflects the unique stories, symbols, and traditions of Native communities across the country.

The store, located in downtown Seattle, serves as a vibrant showcase of Native art and craftsmanship. Visitors are invited to explore a curated collection of products, ranging from intricately designed silk scarves to artisanal candles inspired by medicinal elements in Native culture. Eighth Generation's offerings extend to blankets, jewelry, ceramics, and more, each product telling a story and fostering a deeper appreciation for Native American art.

What sets Eighth Generation apart is not just the quality and beauty of its products but also its commitment to ethical business practices. The company ensures that Native artists are not only compensated for their initial design work but also receive ongoing royalties for as long as the products are sold. This dedication to supporting Native artists economically and culturally sets Eighth Generation on a path of authenticity and sustainability.

eighth generation blankets

Eighth Generation's presence extends beyond its physical store, with a robust online platform facilitating accessibility for a global audience. Through its diverse and sustainable products, Eighth Generation invites individuals from all backgrounds to embrace and celebrate Native American art, supporting a legacy of creativity, cultural preservation, and economic empowerment.


Exploring Eighth Generation's Cultural Fusion

During my visit to the store in November, I was guided through the store by Colleen Echohawk.  The store proudly showcases a diverse array of products, each meticulously crafted by Native artists nationwide. Colleen specifically emphasized the allure of exquisite silk scarves, presenting a kaleidoscope of Native art and design. 

Colleen Echohawk – Eighth Generation CEO – Photo by Amanda Snyder The Seattle Times

She also introduced an exceptional line of candles with ties to Native traditions, such as the rosehip candle inspired by her Alaskan roots. These candles not only carried a musky scent but also reflected the importance of medicinal elements in Native communities. The store's collection of embossed ceramic mugs added a touch of elegance to everyday rituals.

Highlighting the current product line with work by 32 Native artists, Colleen stressed the store's commitment to supporting both established and emerging talents. Recognizing the importance of compensating artists for their designs and providing ongoing royalties, Eighth Generation stood out in its dedication to fostering Native artistry.  In total, Eighth Generation has worked with over 100 Native artists.

The visit included a mesmerizing display of blankets, a cornerstone of Eighth Generation's legacy. From the iconic Thunderbird to contemporary designs like Tribute and New Phase, these wool blankets were not merely products but heirlooms carrying the legacy of Native craftsmanship. With some weighing over five pounds, these blankets offer a luxurious and comforting experience.

The tour of the store concluded with a glimpse into Eighth Generation's jewelry collection, featuring mixed media and metal jewelry. Colleen shared the story behind the Breakthrough Necklace, which had gained viral attention on TikTok. Ranging from cedar bough earrings to warrior hoop earrings, the collection captured the essence of Native culture while embracing contemporary trends.

Photo by Brittney Couture Photography

After the tour of the store, we visited their warehouse.  I was fascinated by the Gold Label blanket production machines!  To see the blankets being made was incredible. 

eighth generation blanket production

The whole team of Eighth Generation is working hard to ensure that quality products from authentic Native artists reach your home.

Thanks to the staff of Eighth Generation for welcoming us into their facility.   

Eighth Generation stands as a beacon of creativity, tradition, and economic empowerment for Native artists, inviting the world to share in the beauty of their heritage.

 

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Paul G

About Paul G

Paul G is the founder PowWows.com, who wears many hats as a business coach, photographer, and collector of quirky shirts. Paul started PowWows.com in 1996 while pursuing his graduate degree. With a passion for travel, he and his family hav  traveled the world, capturing unforgettable memories and photos. When he's not coaching or clicking, he's indulging in the magic of Disney.


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