Stop by the Eagle’s Market at the Lummi Main Campus and get a piece of NWIC history! Our 40th Anniversary custom Eighth Generation queen-sized wool blanket is the perfect gift for students, winter grads, alumni, faculty, staff and parents!
“Indigenous Wisdom” designed by Tulalip artist Toni Jo Gobin is now on sale exclusively at the Eagle’s Market, located at the Lummi Main Campus at 2522 Kwina Rd. – Building 14. The Eagle’s Market is open Monday – Friday from 8:45 am to 5 pm (Closing for the Holidays at noon Thurs. Dec. 21 and will reopen Tues. Jan. 2, 2024). The Eagle’s Market can be contacted at (360) 392-4337.
About the Blanket
In collaboration with Eighth Generation, Northwest Indian College proudly unveils our 40th Anniversary Blanket, titled “Indigenous Wisdom.” The artwork is a reflection of masterful storytelling through design, representing the 40-year culmination of Indigenous education and academic excellence at NWIC.
The graduate wearing a cedar woven mortar board and eagle feather represents every scholar who has attended the College. NWIC’s values are reflected in the design: Səla-exʷ is represented within the ancestor’s faces, shown passing down our oral traditions and their spiritual wisdom. Schtəngəxʷən is represented within the mountains, river, salmon, nettle and wave designs — showing the connections, respect and reverence we have for the land. Xwləmi-chosən, Leng-e-sot and Xaalh are represented with the canoes that symbolize all the teachings that come with our way of life. Our canoes enable us to live and pass down our Indigenous wisdom to future generations. It represents the balance and sacredness of life on the water. The black boarders of the design contain 40 stars, each symbolizing a year of the College’s commitment to Indigenous education. The blanket patch features a 40 with the College’s previous logo (used from 2009 – Sept. 2023) and the College’s mission statement.
NWIC celebrates our anniversary on our charter date, but we acknowledge our deep history of Indigenous education. The College grew from the Lummi Indian School of Aquaculture, founded in 1973, a single-purpose fish and shellfish hatchery training program. In 1983, the Lummi Indian Business Council recognized the need for a more comprehensive post-secondary institution for Tribal members and the College was chartered as Lummi Community College. In acknowledgement of its wider mandate to serve Native people throughout the Northwest, the College changed its name to Northwest Indian College in 1989. The College has grown to six extended campus sites throughout Washington and Idaho: Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Nez Perce, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Swinomish and Tulalip.
Since becoming a bachelor degree granting institution in 2010, over 370 Native students have earned a bachelor’s degree. And since 1990, more than 2,050 students have earned a degree, certificate or award of completion. The College currently serves more than 600 students, representing over 100 different Tribal nations.
Coast Salish artist Toni Jo Gobin is sduhubš and an enrolled member of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington. Her parents are Dxʷsʔuluɫ (Tony) and Judy Gobin of Tulalip. grandparents yəxʷəla siab (Thomas), Beverly Gobin, Harold Joseph and Loretta James. She became an artist through a cedar basketry class in 1996 taught by Anna Jefferson. This class was held by the Tulalip Cultural Rediscovery Program, in partnership with Northwest Indian College. Toni Jo learned Coast Salish design from Dxʷsq́ius (Jerry Jones) while attending Tulalip Heritage High School.
After graduating high school in 2003, Toni Jo attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She earned her AFA in Studio Arts in 2006. She took time to raise her son in Tulalip and then continued her educational journey at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, where she earned her BFA of Art in 2021. Her educational goal is to earn her Master’s Degree in Art so she can teach cedar weaving and Coast Salish design at the college level in the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Artist note: In a way, NWIC catapulted my artistic career through that little cedar basketry class held in Tulalip back in 1996. My teacher Anna Jefferson was taught by Fran James, both from Lummi. Anna would always say, ’We learn these things (weaving) to pass them on and keep them alive, not to keep them to ourselves. If we keep these teachings to ourselves, they die. So share what I teach you! My hope is to someday work for NWIC teaching cedar weaving and sharing everything I’ve learned along my educational journey with future generations. That would be a full circle journey for sure!
– Toni Jo Gobin