October 29, 2010

KCET and San Manuel annouce awards

KCET and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Award Local Leaders and Broadcast Special Programming in Honor of American Indian Heritage MonthAs part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and in celebration of American Indian Heritage Month, KCET has partnered with San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to honor four extraordinary leaders from our local community in this very special inaugural awards ceremony. The American Indian Heritage Month Leadership Awards recipients include: Michelle de Armas (Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico), Richard Gomez (Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, California), Elton Naswood (Navajo, Arizona), Ian Skorodin (Choctaw, Oklahoma). Each of these individuals has made contributions to local communities in Southern California in the areas of cultural/language preservation, social services, arts, business and education.

The American Indian Heritage Month Leadership Award recipients will be honored throughout the month of November on KCET with a short video profile featuring each honoree’s story. KCET and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will also recognize the exemplary leadership and dedication of the recipients during an awards celebration hosted by Hattie Kauffman, Emmy® Award winning reporter and national news correspondent for the CBS Early Show in Los Angeles. The event will be held on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, at the KCET studios in Los Angeles.
Details on some of the honorees:Michelle de Armas--Michelle de Armas serves as Program Coordinator of Diversity Development for Fox Entertainment Group, whose goal is to incorporate diverse voices into every aspect of the Fox business. Since 2008, she has also coordinated the Fox Journey to Excellence Program (JEP), an innovative mentoring project, and from 2007 has coordinated the American Indian Summer Institute Program (AISI). These initiatives are aimed at providing high school and college-aged students of underrepresented backgrounds an exploration of various career opportunities. de Armas has gone above and beyond her duties to provide students with a unique and rewarding experience through academic workshops, career development seminars, and mentorship programs. In addition, each summer de Armas brings together industry veterans with AISI members to create public service announcements that shed light on issues facing American Indian communities.

Ian Skorodin--Ian Skorodin is an iconic American Indian filmmaker and philanthropist, who has produced award-winning films and television programs with an American Indian point of view. In addition to his film work, Skorodin founded the Barcid Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the causes of indigenous people. The foundation is in the process of preserving all archival American Indian materials and provides multimedia production for related projects. Skorodin also founded the Los Angeles Skins Fest, a film festival that gives American Indians the opportunity to showcase their talent and gain distribution. Recognizing the importance of investing in our youth, he not only created a youth program for the LA Skins Fest, but has also taught at the Weengushk Film Institute in M’Chigeeng Canada.
Comment:  It's not clear de Armas's efforts have made a difference in telling more Native stories or hiring more Native actors.

Skorodin's LA Skins Fest competes with Joanelle Romero's Red Nation Film Festival for attention during Native American Heritage Month (November).

For more on the subject, see Indian TV and Film Center Flops and San Manuel Launches TV Channel.

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