Here Sarah wraps Oprah in the Renewal wool blanket she designed. Taken by Wendi Baldwin.
Published January 16, 2020
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on the Eighth Generation blog. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
St. Paul, Minn. — On January 10th, Oprah Winfrey stopped by St. Paul, Minnesota, for her “2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus” tour. The goal of Oprah’s tour is to encourage self-improvement and to help people be all they were meant to be. Winfrey is joining local workout groups at each stop as part of her tour, and her latest stop was with the KwePack, an incredible running group of Native American women based on the Fond du Lac Reservation near Duluth, which was started by Inspired Natives Collaborator Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe).
Inspired Natives Collaborator Sarah Agaton Howes with the Renewal Wool Blanket she designed. Photo by Ivy Vaino.
Sarah Agaton Howes, an amazing artist and entrepreneur, has been an Inspired Natives Project collaborator for nearly 4 years. In that time, she has grown from selling handmade earrings in parking lots from the back of her car to economic independence – even employing other people in her community. In addition to raising a family and managing community obligations, Sarah has also lead the KwePack for many years, participating in marathons and running with the group once a week. This bad ass group of indigenous endurance runners is what got Oprah’s attention.
Oprah Winfrey walking with members of the KwePack.
The KwePack (Kwe means “woman” in Anishinaabe) is a collection of indigenous endurance athletes that run as a group – regardless of the weather. According to their Facebook page, they are running strong into their 8th year, with over 150 indigenous women runners who are mothers, sisters, community leaders, and role models. The KwePack mission is to encourage healthy and active living and empowering women to be leaders for their families and communities. In July of 2019, the KwePack was also featured on Good Morning America!
Oprah posing with KwePack members while wrapped in the Renewal Blanket.
Oprah surprised the KwePack as they set out to run across the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis in -20 degrees temperatures. As highlighted in the interview below, Oprah praised the KwePack for their commitment to self-care despite managing work and family life. She was so impressed by their dedication she also suggested that they be on the cover of the Vision 20/20 poster!
At 4:52 in the video, while Oprah was answering interview questions, Sarah made her wildest dreams come true by wrapping Oprah in an Eighth Generation blanket that she designed. Oprah was grateful to be gifted a warm blanket!
Upon receiving the blanket, Oprah let out an epic LELELELE (after being coached on how to do it right). Way to go Sarah and KwePack! Make sure to also take a look at Sarah’s website and growing collection of products here.