The Affiliated Tribes, representing 55 Indian nations in six states, passed a resolution at their semi-annual conference on May 24 supporting NATV’s mission to create an Indian voice in television and educate young Native media professionals. The significance of such a public proclamation for the upstart network can’t be underestimated.
“Getting out there and presenting Indians news and an Indian point-of-view is of the utmost importance,” says Ernie Stensgar (Coeur d’Alene), chairman of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and NATV board member. “Although the concept has been out there, now is the time to present the truth about Indians and what we’re doing in the United States. Another important aspect is getting Indian reporters and news people behind the scenes. And that means from operating the cameras to doing all the technical aspects of all of this.”
With the resolution, the Affiliated Tribes have committed to financially supporting NATV as it moves ever closer to officially launching this year. The network is currently working with partners and independent producers to provide content for its viewers—all Native, all the time, nationwide. These facts, plus their strategically located studio and training facilities based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, will shake the prevailing image most Americans have of Indians, notes NATV Board chairperson Dr. James May (United Keetoowah Band.)