One of the many projects that is produced by the non-profit Hoopa Tribal Corporation, On Native Ground (ONG), is an original news and entertainment program created for the PBS channel – First Nations Experience. ONG recently wrapped filming the first 12 episodes of Season 1 for the First Nations Experience. Each episode is 26:56 minutes in length. The program can be viewed at www.FNX.org and its cable affiliates in 9 states, as well as the YouTube channel of On Native Ground and Vision Maker Media. Each episode features a role model and is hosted by studio anchors, Bela Longee and Danny Herrera. The ONG Youth Reporters cover news and entertainment throughout Indian Country. The program features a role model in each episode, along with an animation or traditional storytelling. We have featured the following outstanding role models: Olympian and Presidential Medal of Honor Awardee BILLY MILLS, Actor and Respected Elder, SAGINAW GRANT, Filmmakers and Professors HEATHER RAE and CHRIS EYRE, Actor and Social Activist DANNY GLOVER and Educator of the Year DR. JOELY PROUDFIT. On Native Ground Reporters for the past 5 years have traveled to the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest Film Festival, the American Indian Film Festival in SF, LA Skin’s Film and Music Festivals, and many other National Film Festivals bringing back coverage of the red carpet premieres of ground breaking films and interviews from well known stars, directors and producers. They also cover national conventions, news from the powwow trail and community events concerning social justice issues.
From Director Jack Kohler
Every person has a moment in their life where they’ve wondered,” Why am I here?” Is it to relieve suffering, to erase karma, to better oneself, or just to be human and fail, and ultimately learn. Creating opportunity is a survival skill I learned a long time ago. My strengths and artistic passion has been to create and find self-expression through filmmaking. I have a strong vision of creating media that is educational and motivational. Like many artists, we find ourselves with “day jobs” that become our financial stability as we seek to find the time to cultivate our passion. I have been fortunate to have a day job as a media teacher at a tribal school, which has allowed me to have a fulfilling family life and the ability to raise two daughters.
From Producer Anecita Agustinez
As a tradititionally oriented Navajo woman, born to the To’dich’ii’nii Clan (Bitterwater), I feel passionate about advancing social and cultural justice issues. Prior to my involvement with On Native Ground, I was very actively involved in my local community and devoted my skills to community non-profits and orther organzations in their mission to assist the youth and elders in our community. I am very honored to continue my political and community involvement as a producer, publicist and media director of ONG. Our work allows us to be a conduit for change through positive media images that we present in our show. This project will be a place where native students can learn how to be broadcast journalists and learn how to tell their own stories, their tribes stories and the history as seen through their eyes. We are creating an opportunity that has never been available to our youth and will be a part of media that will breakdown the stereotypes and create even more opportunities.