The summer N7 collection finds its expression through patterns inspired by the heritage plants found across the Americas. These patterns evoke the healing force of the land — a powerful source of intergenerational and cultural wellness — and the traditional methods of healing that unite our Indigenous communities in North America. Complementing the patterns, the collection’s colors draw from the soft, pastel tones of medicinal plants like aloe, yucca, wild rose, dandelion and prickly pear.
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The same design touches are featured within the apparel. Soft pastel tones are a reminder of the healing qualities of these plants, while bold geometric shapes illuminate their strength. Throughout the line, a series of arrow-inspired patterns represents a continuous forward momentum and hint at the strength in numbers.
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The summer N7 collection uses its design base to highlight a specific dimension of wellness in Indigenous communities. The Nike N7 Fund also recognizes that wellness takes many forms. The fund has long supported organizations that provide sport and physical activity programming to youth, and in addition, it supports organizations that encourage broader forms of healing through education and career development, rooted in traditional community practices and values (Learn more here).
One group receiving an N7 Fund grant in 2020 is the Native Wellness Institute (NWI). Founded in 2000, the registered nonprofit supports the well-being of Indigenous communities by reawakening ancestral teachings tied to health and wellness. The Indigenous 20 Something Project (I20SP), a coordinated movement of NWI, seeks to end the lasting impacts of colonization and intergenerational trauma through healing. The group gathers with Indigenous youth in their communities, in university settings and more to foster dialogue about community healing and wellness practices, engaging in exercises and activities that help youth connect trauma to behaviors and providing them the tools to move forward.
Shalene Joseph, the project’s coordinator, was present for the first unofficial I20SP meeting three years ago, when a group of Indigenous youth gathered together on Oregon’s Grand Ronde reservation to discuss two questions: What does healing mean for your generation, and how can you bring that healing? Today, the strategies of I20SP range from sharing personal stories through social media platforms, facilitating gatherings and camps and reconnecting youth with their culture and family histories, all through experiential activities and teachings.
Key to I20SP’s mission is sharing history and stories that honestly acknowledge the painful discrepancies — the physical, the political, the economic and others — that persist in Indigenous communities today compared to the national population. The path toward intergenerational healing begins by considering every facet of wellness.
“Growing up, we were taught that wellness is supported by the physical, the spiritual, the emotional and the mental,” says Joseph. “It’s the same balance of health that supports our approach within Indigenous 20 Something Project. When we address our mental health, for example, the effects pour into every other area of our life, including our physical well-being. It’s a journey that our young people will lead for the rest of their lives.”
The summer Nike N7 collection releases June 21 on nike.com and at select retailers.