TOWN - Sakakawea is on a new journey, to help fight the war against
diabetes on the Fort Berthold Reservation.
from the sales of limited edition Sakakawea Pendleton Blankets designed
by renown holistic health practitioner Marilyn Youngbird will go
to the diabetes initiative.
diabetes "war" was declared several months ago by Three
Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall. The tribe has one of the highest
rates of diabetes in the nation, national statistics report.
blanket project, focusing on Sakakawea, the Indian woman who accompanied
the Lewis and Clark expedition, also is being done in conjunction
with the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration, "to heighten
the awareness of the contributions Sakakawea gave to the world and
country, Youngbird, of Bailey, Colo., said. Youngbird, a member
of the the Three Affiliated Tribes, grew up in White Shield.
double-sized blanket made by the Pendleton Woolen Mills in Pendleton,
Ore., features Youngbird's photograph depicting Sakakawea and her
baby portrayed by Jessica Grinnell and her niece, Zasha Grinnell,
both of New Town.
blanket project is a first for the Pendleton company, Youngbird
said. "This is the first time they have ever used a photograph
to make a blanket."
blanket project has several goals: "to educate the tribal members
about diabetes, to have grief counseling for members regarding the
effects diabetes has on the individual, family and community,"
Youngbird said. She said the ultimate, and future, goal is to build
a hydroponic fresh vegetable-fruit plant on the reservation.
prayer is to truly have the Hydroponic Fresh Vegetable-Fruit Plant
operating by 2006, in time for the 2006 Signature Event at New Town.
The signature event is part of the national celebration of the Lewis
and Clark bicentennial.
the Pendleton blanket project, Youngbird is working with the Wellness
Coalition, the task force for the war on diabetes on Fort Berthold.
She has also received the support of the tribal business council.
are planning to have a series of three blanket designs during Lewis
and Clark bicentennial," Youngbird said.
first 500 blankets being done are exclusive edition, first series,
Youngbird said. She said each blanket will be numbered 001-500 and
Hall will personally sign each one.
blanket will be sold by invitation, with several levels of donations
starting at the first level (eagle), $1,000, then second level buffalo,
$750, and third level wolf, $500. There will also be a level for
those who want to donate whatever amount they desire.
number of individuals, including a major corporation, already have
committed to buying the blankets, Youngbird said. She said the first
set of blankets will be ready by about Sept. 15, Youngbird said.
more information, those interested can contact Youngbird at 303-838-0358
or e-mail her at: (firstname.lastname@example.org).