Wilkerson, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma, chose a blanket designed by Sarah Agaton Howes, an artist of Anishinaabe/Ojibwe indigeneity, which is the brother tribe of the Potawatomi.
“I’m sure that’s the interest in a lot of other students’ selections, that they’re able to represent if not the people directly from their community who are artists and creators but are somehow adjacent or connected to them in some way,” Wilkerson said. “That’s really powerful.”
Amy Chalán, a social studies concentrator with a secondary in art, film, and visual studies, doesn’t have connections to the Native artists featured by Eighth Generation but was still able to choose a blanket to which she felt a strong connection. Born in Ecuador as a member of the Kichwa Saraguro Indigenous community, Chalán said spinning wool and making clothes are traditional parts of her culture.
“That’s how my grandma grew up, and her grandma grew up. Nowadays, we don’t do a lot of that for our everyday garments because it’s easier to buy it, but my grandfather has a lot of sheep and recently sent [wool] back to Ecuador, where our family is, to make a lot of those blankets,” she said.
Chalán opted for the “Bear Medicine” wool blanket that was also designed by Howes. The blanket features a mother bear carrying medicine and protecting her cub to symbolize the inheritance of spiritual and physical gifts from Indigenous ancestors.