2021 has been a year already, y’all! So much change and upset and strife and progress. Ups and downs and all arounds have abounded this year so far. Our heads have been spinning, sometimes happily, and sometimes in horror. As we were developing our April colorway for HerStory, the truly historic appointment and confirmation of Deb Haaland as the first Native American US Secretary of the Interior happened, accompanied by happy head spinning. According to her website, Haaland is a 35th-generation New Mexican. Can we just take a minute to read that again, and appreciate the fact that her people have lived on and been stewards of this land for THIRTY-FIVE GENERATIONS, long before there was a “United States of America;” long before white colonizers crossed the ocean and “discovered” the land that was to become the USA?!? It’s mind-boggling that she is the first person of Native American descent to be in charge of the actual land that the USA occupies, but we are hopeful that this is a mark of big progress and better representation in our government.
In Indigenous cultures, here in the USA and beyond, a connection with the land on which one resides is a deep and spiritual one. Being good stewards of the land, giving thanks to the land, and honoring the relationship of all living things to the land on which they exist is integral to Indigenous beliefs and cultures. Appointing a member of a Native American tribe (Haaland is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, and also has Jemez Pueblo heritage) to oversee the care of the land in this country that has a history of oppression and of stealing land from Indigenous peoples is a huge mark of progress.
Our April colorway, Sea of Change, is an homage to Deb Haaland and to that ceiling her appointment has finally shattered. If you look closely at your skein, you’ll see that all of the colors of the sea are represented: the deep blue of a calm sea and the stark whitecaps of a turbulent sea. Making big change never comes without big waves, and we don’t anticipate that the appointment of a Native American to this position of high power and influence will be smooth sailing, particularly since this will be a huge change from the corporate-centric focus of the Interior Department in recent memory, but we are beyond excited to see how Deb Haaland honors her roots and paves the way for more Indigenous representation in the US government.