With seven days left before the end of their crowdfunding campaign, Eighth Generation has reached their goal of raising $60,000 dollars to launch the first ever line of 100% Wool blankets designed by Native artists and offered through a Native owned company.

The wool blanket plays an important role within Native communities, often serving as gifts to honor individuals and to commemorate special milestones like weddings, graduations, etc. Until now, they were only available through non-native companies, that for the most part are uninterested in collaborating with Native artists and more concerned with profit. With the creation of Eighth Generation’s blanket initiative, they are breaking a long-standing pattern of cultural appropriation and helping to reclaim Native art for Native Artists. By doing so, they are also helping to provide more opportunities to Native artists, while bringing awareness to the harmful impact that cultural appropriation has on the economies of tribal communities.

In the seven years since Louie Gong founded Eighth Generation, it has become the most widely recognized Native owned brand for producing art and products that are created by “Inspired Natives”, rather than Native inspired.
Through Eighth Generation, “Inspired Native” artists are given the opportunity to expand from the typical gallery-based model of selling their art to a more entrepreneurial based model. This approach gives them the knowledge and experience needed to increase their business capacity, create long-term economic & financial stability, gain access to both national/international consumer markets, while bringing more support and recognition to Native owned businesses.

And now with becoming the first ever Native owned company to offer Native designed wool blankets, Eighth Generation has set a new precendent in providing more responsible and ethical options for purchasing & supporting Native art. For the first time, our Native communities will now be able honor their loved ones and their achievements with beautifully and authentically designed wool blankets, while supporting Native artists and Native owned businesses. With every purchase of a wool blanket, 5% of the profits will be going to the Inspired Natives Scholarship fund, established to help the next generation of Native Artists. To learn more about Eighth Generation, visit http://eighthgeneration.com/

About The Author

Johnnie Jae

Johnnie Jae is of the Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw tribes of Oklahoma. She is the managing partner of Native Max Magazine, founder of A Tribe Called Geek, and contributor to Native News Online. She is the manager and producer for the Success Native Style Radio Network, where she hosts the Indigenous Flame and A Tribe Called Geek radio shows. She is also a founding board member of Not Your Mascots. Known as the "Brown Ball of Fury," Jae seamlessly shifts from humor and pop culture to advocacy and digital media, which has made her a much-sought after speaker and commentator. Her work has been discussed in many media outlets, such as Indian Country Today, ATPN, CBC, USA Today, BBC, Global Post, Women’s E-News, Takepart.com and Upworthy. She has been a guest on several radio shows, including Native America Calling, Native Trailblazers, BBC World Have Your Say and ICI Radio.

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