Published March 31, 2018
Design Influence – Chief Sitting Bull, Lakota Leader
DENVER — The American Indian College Fund and Pendleton Woolen Mills, the acclaimed- lifestyle brand headquartered in Portland, Oregon, are introducing two new, exclusive blankets to the American Indian College Fund Collection for 2018.
The Butterfly blanket and the Future of the Plains blanket both honor the Lakota leader Chief Sitting Bull, who through his vision and leadership strived to protect the well-being and identity of his people. The blankets are a collaborative effort between Pendleton, the College Fund, and creative partner Wieden+Kennedy.
The Future of the Plains blanket design looks to the work of Chief Sitting Bull, who was famously quoted as saying, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” Today Sitting Bull College, a tribal college located on the Standing Rock Reservation, memorializes him and underscores the College Fund’s work to support Native American students’ dreams of getting a college education. The design is based on Plains Indian art and is inspired by Sitting Bull’s ledger drawings, using horses and their tracks to represent the strength and serenity of the nomadic lifestyle.
The Butterfly blanket design also honors Sitting Bull’s legacy, incorporating flower and butterfly designs similar to those he wore on his regalia. A caterpillar’s transition to a butterfly mirrors the transformative impact of education and enhances the blanket’s unique look, a fitting remembrance of a man who lived life bravely for his people in the present as well as for future generations.
Dr. Laurel Vermillion, President of Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, North Dakota, said, “Wopila Tanka (thank you) to the American Indian College Fund and Pendleton Woolen Mills for honoring our namesake, Chief Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull). Both blanket designs are appropriate and beautiful tributes to Tatanka Iyotake. Sitting Bull College is very appreciative of the respect and honor displayed by these blanket designs.
Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “These representations of Sitting Bull’s art and regalia are exceptionally beautiful and are reflective of both the power and the gentleness that we think of as tribal people when we think of his leadership and his love for his people. The College Fund is pleased to be part of the creative design and marketing of these new additions to the College Fund Pendleton collection. We look forward to having the blankets and their story providing a path to greater knowledge of Native people and support for the tribal colleges.”
“Pendleton Woolen Mills is proud to support the American Indian College Fund’s mission to provide scholarships to Native Americans for the opportunity of a higher education. In addition to knowledge and skills, the College Fund connects to cultural values as part of the educational purpose at its tribal colleges across the country. Pendleton is honored to have woven the two blankets that celebrate Sitting Bull and his great legacy of leadership and love for his people,” said Pendleton President John Bishop.
Both blankets are available at Pendleton retail stores and on their web site at www.pendletonusa.com. A portion of the proceeds benefits the American Indian College Fund and student scholarships.