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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Vans Pendleton Shoes were 'Hottest Shoes in NDN Country' at Chicago Powwow
by Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents
CHICAGO - Todd Harder, Creek, a young energetic entrepreneur, brought seven people with him to sell 500 pairs of limited edition of Vans Pendleton shoes at the 58th Annual Chicago Powwow at Navy Pier this past weekend.

It was a good thing he brought the help because the Vans "Off the Wall" booth was busy throughout the weekend.

The limited edition shoes are made by Vans with geometric designs provided by Pendleton. The shoes are touted as the "hottest shoes in NDN Country."

Vans Pendleton Shoes
Vans has released limited runs of these shoes for the past two years. Each run consists of completely different designs and colors. The released run consists of a special collection of Pendleton S8-His, Classic Slip-ons and Chukka Lows. Shoe prices start at $65 per pair.

“We have been busy, people like these shoes and it is going for a good cause,” said Niko Desjarlais, Otoe/Choctaw, who stayed busy in between assisting customers by keeping the booth neat and organized.

"All of the proceeds go to Nibwaakaawin, which puts on the All Nations Skate Jam. The people here in the booth are volunteers, so we can contribute more money the cause," stated Harder, who broke away from assisting customers long enough to talk about the endeavor.

Began by Harder, Nibwaakaawin is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and empowerment of Native youth. The organization's mission is "to foster creativity, build courage, enable cultural identity and pride, and promote non-violent and healthy physical activity through skateboarding."

Nibwaakaawin is an Ojibwe word which means wisdom
"I believe in what the American Indian Center of Chicago is doing and I thought this would be a great venue to sell these shoes," said Harder. The American Indian Center of Chicago runs the weekend powwow.

In addition to operating Nibwaakaawin, Harder operates Red Paint, a custom embroidery and screen printing business and Native Skates, a company that produces high quality skate decks and wheels to help promote Native pride and skateboarding among Native youth. All of his business enterprises are located in Adrian, Michigan.

Red Paint supplies silk-screen printed items to several tribes in the Great Lakes region.

Any unsold Vans Pendleton shoes are available

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