Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 4 December, 2011
Vans Pendleton Shoes were 'Hottest Shoes in NDN Country' at Chicago Powwow
Condensed by Native Village

Illinois: Todd Harder is a Creek Indian and young entrepreneur. Todd brought seven people with him to the 58th Annual Chicago Powwow. Their goal: to sell 500 pairs of limited edition of Vans Pendleton shoes.

It was a good thing Todd brought the help. The Vans "Off the Wall" booth was busy all weekend.

Vans Pendleton Shoes are made by Vans with designs provided by Pendleton. Vans has released limited edition runs of these shoes for the past two years. Each run has different designs and colors.

Shoe prices start at $65 per pair and are touted as the "hottest shoes in NDN Country."

“We have been busy, people like these shoes and it is going for a good cause," said Niko Desjarlais, Otoe/Choctaw who assisted customers and maintained the booth.

"All of the proceeds go to Nibwaakaawin, which puts on the All Nations Skate Jam," Harder said. "The people here in the booth are volunteers, so we can contribute more money the cause."

Nibwaakaawin is an organization dedicated to the education and empowerment of Native youth. Begun by Harder, the non-profit'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.

In addition to Nibwaakaawin, Harder operates Red Paint and Native Skates. Red Paint is a custom embroidery and screen printing business. Native Skates produces high-quality skate decks and wheels. Both are designed to promote Native pride skateboarding among Native youth.

Harder's business enterprises are located in Adrian, Michigan.

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