Welcome to the 2022 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, performers, 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!
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 November, 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!
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.
The prizes are presented by Eight Generation!
- 1st Place – Walk In Beauty Blanket
- 2nd Place – Warrior Blanket
- 3rd Place – Medicine Circle Blanket
- 4th Place – Northwest Coast Demi Mug Set
- 5th Place – Rice Blossoms Mug
Walk In Beauty Blanket
Designed by Diné/Navajo and African American entrepreneur, businesswoman, and artist Ahsaki LaFrance-Chachere, our Walk In Beauty Wool Blanket blends traditional Navajo and West African symbols in honor of Ahsaki's own blended heritage while celebrating the individual beauty each person possesses.
“The center of the blanket is my favorite Diné rug design—the Dazzling Diamond Eye,” explains Ahsaki. “This complex design expresses the talent of Diné weavers. Our weavers carry our stories and teachings, and each design and tool they use has deeper meaning. The border pattern is from my favorite African print—the West African Mud Cloth or “bògòlanfini.” Traditional bògòlanfini are made of cotton fabrics dyed with fermented mud, and are believed to have the power to absorb pain and deflect anything negative or dangerous.”
The owner of Ah-Shi Beauty, the first Native American owned and operated luxury skincare and cosmetics brand in the United States, Ahsaki’s mission is to embrace her cultures and bring the sacredness of her peoples' way of life to the modern world. With every item Ahsaki creates, her goal is to help every person know the power of their own beauty.
Warriors walk among us. From our soldiers and veterans, to people battling cancer, to your best friend with an indomitable spirit, we each know someone worthy of the title “warrior.” With our 2021 Warrior Wool Blanket Design Contest, Eighth Generation sought to honor warriors of all types with a new blanket design, and are proud to unveil our Warrior Wool Blanket by multi-tour United States Air Force Veteran, artist, fashion designer, and advocate Dante Biss-Grayson (Osage).
“I am inspired by beauty, emotions, and the belief that art can inspire, empower, and heal,” says Dante. “I am from the Osage Tribe, and I am a straight dancer. I am also a multi-tour United States Air Force Veteran with acute PTSD that I am managing through art and therapy. As I unravel each traumatic event, I am in need of a platform to express myself. I find this in art, poetry, and fashion.”
Dante is a multi-tour United States Air Force Veteran with over 3,000 days of service in-country. He served on Active Duty, the Reserves, and as a Federal Contractor in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Italy. He is also an artist, a fashion designer, a father and husband, and a powerful advocate for several issues across Indian Country. As a soldier, Dante has fought for his country, and as an artist and advocate, Dante fights for the health and safety of the Indigenous community. “My war is over, but there are so many other ways I can continue to help, and we can fight against these injustices,” says Dante. “This is only the tip of the iceberg for me, there is so much work to be done.”
In his Warrior Wool Blanket design, Dante honors the special courage, strength, and sacrifice of his fellow women and men in the armed forces. Using in a striking blue and yellow—colors that often appear in military honors as well as Dante’s other work—Dante has created a minimal but powerful design. Three stars form the center of the blanket, which the viewer can infuse with personal meaning—do they represent a military award, a hard-won achievement, or even the soul of a warrior? Four lines band the edge of the blanket, making it a perfect gift for someone who has truly “earned their stripes.” The bold red accent has special meaning to Dante. “The red,” he shares, “symbolizes the loss and sacrifices of the warrior.”
A committee of over 100 veterans and active service members, headed by Snoqualmie Tribe member Chris Castleberry, Tribal Veteran U.S.M.C., conducted a review of the submissions to our 2021 Warrior Wool Blanket Design Contest and were instrumental in providing their feedback and support during the winner selection process. Thank you to Chris and all of the other service women and men who helped during this process.
Medicine Circle Blanket
“For the Love of Native People” is more than a slogan, it’s the driving force behind the incredible work done by the people at Seattle Indian Health Board. Centering Indigenous knowledge within healthcare for the community, Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) works to provide culturally-grounded health services for the area’s American Indians and Alaska Natives, as well as other members of the greater Seattle community. Envisioning a future when “all Indian people have healthy and successful lives,” they have been at the intersection of traditional practice and modern technology for almost fifty years of community health advocacy and practice.
To celebrate their decades of service to urban Indians and other community members, Seattle Indian Health Board worked with Louie Gong (Nooksack) to create a blanket that is beautiful, meaningful, and shares their message of care. On field of striking blue rows of human figures stand shoulder-to-shoulder, representing the network of healthcare providers, professionals, and advocates that care for our Indigenous community in Seattle. Dentalium, a shell that has been a valuable part of Indigenous trading in America for millennia, create two semi-circles: when the blanket is wrapped around a person, the semi-circles join to form a complete circle, covering the wearer with wishes for health and good medicine.
“Our elders often say, “Only when each of us is able to step into our rightful place in our circle, will healing happen,” shares Seattle Indian Health Board President and CEO Esther Lucero (Diné), MPP. “This blanket signifies the completion of our community circle where we are all related, each one significant, and working together to achieve wellness.”
Northwest Coast Demi Mug Set
Jewel-toned glaze flows over four Pacific Northwest animals intricately designed by master carver and Tsimshian artist David Robert Boxley in our Northwest Coast Demi Mug Set. David has represented four animal relatives found near his Alaska home in the traditional Northwest coast formline style he’s famous for.
Our Northwest Coast Demi Mug Set includes:
- Mediig (Grizzly Bear, brown cup)—These powerful omnivores are instantly recognizable by their size and seemingly cuddly appearance. Though their diet is largely plant-based, Grizzlies are apex predators and should be respected for their power, strength, and fierce protection of their babies. Grizzly is a crest of the Gisbutwada, the Killer Whale Clan of the Ts’msyen.
- Ḵ'asḵ'oos (Crane, blue cup)—Graceful and lithe, Sandhill Cranes are one of Alaska’s largest birds. Standing at almost three feet tall with a wingspan over six feet, a crane in flight is truly an awesome sight to behold. Crane is a crest of the Laxgyibuu, the Wolf Clan of the Ts’msyen.
- Sts'ool (Beaver, red cup)—Known for their industrious nature, incredible dams, and charming front teeth, beavers have a huge and positive impact on their environment. Their dams, which act as snug lodges for a whole beaver family, also create ponds and watery meadows that are important habitat for other animals, including fish, amphibians, birds, deer, and even wolves. Beaver is a crest of the Laxsgyiik, the Eagle Clan of the Ts’msyen.
- G̱anaaw (Frog, green cup)—With their distinctive “Croak, croak, croak!” frogs are often heard before they're seen. Frogs are a what’s known to scientists as an “indicator species,” as the health of their populations can indicate the health of their ecosystems. Frog is a crest of the G̱anhada, the Raven Clan of the Ts’msyen.
This set of four is perfect as-is, or could be split up as small individual gifts. Not a coffee lover? The smaller size means these cups are perfect as bud vases, toothpick holders, jewelry dishes, and more! Comes packaged in a giftable black box featuring our Eighth Generation logo.
Rice Blossoms Mug
Nourishing plants twine around our ceramic Rice Blossoms Mug by Anishinaabe-Ojibwe artist Sarah Agaton Howes.
The embossed design—a mix of traditional beadwork patterns and Sarah’s modern floral designs—is an intentional fusion of the classic and new. “I love the place where tradition and contemporary meet,” shares Sarah. “This meeting point, this merger, is truly who we are as Native people.”
Sarah’s depiction of the life cycle of the wild rice plant is rich with meaning. “Wild rice is a staple of our traditional diet,” says Sarah, “so it’s incredibly important as a life-giving food. But it is also an indicator species. When wild rice is healthy, we are healthy—both Native and non-Native people. When wild rice thrives, we know the water, land, animals, and people around it are thriving.”
“I hope my mug helps anyone drinking from it to feel like they are thriving, too,” hopes Sarah. “I hope these images inspire you as you drink your morning coffee and set out to do the good work you do every day. May you feel nourished and grounded, and full of good intentions as you set off into the world.”