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Lakota Country Times: Cowboy Indian Alliance creates unity quilt

Alex Frederick and Bonny Kilmurry, of the Cowboy Indian Alliance (CIA), created a Unity Quilt to represent the organization. Both women gave a brief background of the blanket at the celebration held in Mission on November 14. The side of the quilt displayed in this picture is fashioned like a star quilt, displaying a horsehead to represent the Indian members of the Alliance. Photo by Vi Waln

CIA Creates Unity Quilt
By Vi Waln
Lakota Country Times Correspondent

MISSION – Two women affiliated with the Cowboy Indian Alliance (CIA) created a quilt to give to President Barack Obama to commemorate the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Alex Frederick and Bonny Kilmurry displayed the Unity Quilt at a gathering held in Mission on November 14. The quilt was created to represent the unity created when Cowboy Indian Alliance was established.

One side of the quilt, which displays a horse head sewn into the star pattern, represents the tribal people who fought to protect tribal lands and water. The other side of the quilt is made with blue denim blocks, to represent the farmers and ranchers whose land, livestock and crops would have been affected had the pipeline been built.

Pictured are (L-R) Bonny Kilmurry, Wayne Frederick and Alex Frederick with the CIA Unity Quilt which will be given to President Obama. This side of the quilt was created using blue denim to represent the Cowboy members of the Alliance. The center block reads #NOKXL and there are many additional messages embroidered into the quilt. Photo by Vi Waln

The Cowboy Indian Alliance was originally formed in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Group members include farmers, ranchers and tribal members from the Great Plains region. These people formed an alliance to speak out against the KXL pipeline project, which was rejected by President Obama on November 6.

“Thanks to everyone for standing with us, that’s how we won the battle against KXL,” stated Alex Frederick of Okreek, SD. “We need to protect our land from big oil development. The starburst colors used in the quilt reflect my Lakota name.” The horse on the quilt was created as a likeness to Frederick’s horse.

“The quilt has been named the unity quilt,” stated Bonny Kilmurry of Ainsworth, NE. She created the cowboy side of the blanket. “Such a fitting name! I’m proud to be involved in this significant project, uniting the Cowboy and Indian Alliance! Thanks for including me in a great day of celebrating.”

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There are several messages which were hand sewn into the quilt. For instance, a message along one edge reads “President Obama: Thank you for protecting our land and water.”

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