President gives Home Flight blankets to tribal council

Tribal representatives with Home Flight blankets

At the fall Native American Advisory Council meeting interim UO President Patrick Phillips presented UO Home Flight blankets to each of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes.

“The university works closely with NAAC on a number of topics, including support and resources for our Native students,” Phillips said. “Their guidance, insights and deep history and perspective are incredibly important to our continuing work of building a more inclusive campus community, firmly rooted in the responsibility and privilege of calling Oregon our home. It was an honor to be able to recognize our partnership with the Home Flight blankets."

Each of the tribes in attendance at the Many Nations Longhouse on Sept. 9 received a custom Home Flight blanket. The twice-annual meeting is held at the longhouse in the fall and at a tribal reservation in the spring.

“The blanket, designed by a UO student and parent, features traditional basketry designs and celebrates ducks working together on their return flight home,” said Jason Younker, assistant vice president and adviser to the president for sovereignty and government-to-government relations.

A collaboration between the Office of the President and the UO Alumni Association to invigorate the Native Duck Nation alumni community, the blankets were launched in February and sold out in 21 days. One hundred percent of the proceeds from sales of the blankets went to Native UO student and alumni programs. 

The NAAC advises the UO president on aligning educational priorities of the tribes with UO initiatives. Previous work includes the creation of the Northwest Indian Language Institute and the nine tribal flags that fly in the EMU amphitheater on the university’s campus.

“Our work with the tribes supports our efforts to meet ambitious diversity mandates and to serve all 574 federally recognized tribes in the U.S.,” Younker said.

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications