Patty Loew


Patty Loew

Patty Loew is a professor in the Department of Life Science Communication and affiliated with American Indian Studies, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies program. She is also a documentary film producer.

Her research interests lie in television documentary production, diversity and Native American media. She is particularly interested in how indigenous people use the media to form identity, reconstruct the past, and assert their sovereignty and treaty rights. She has authored two books: Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal and Native People of Wisconsin, a social studies text for elementary school children. I’m currently writing 7th Generation Earth Ethics, a collection of biographies of Native American environmental leaders. I have authored dozens of scholarly and general interest articles on Native topics and produced dozens of Native-themed documentaries, including Way of the Warrior, No Word for Goodbye, Spring of Discontent, and Nation within a Nation, which have appeared on commercial and public television stations throughout the country. My current documentary, Sacred Stick, co-produced with Michelle Danforth (Oneida), examines the indigenous origins of lacrosse. I am an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe.

Formerly I was a producer for WHA-TV (PBS) and co-host of In Wisconsin, a weekly news and public affairs program that aired statewide on Wisconsin Public Television. Prior to joining the UW-Madison faculty, from 1985-1997, I co-anchored weekday newscasts for WKOW TV (ABC) in Madison. Other television experience includes reporting, anchoring, writing, and producing for KATU TV in Portland, Oregon; KHQ TV in Spokane, Washington; and WXOW TV in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

My outreach efforts focus on Native youth and digital storytelling. My colleagues and I teach media skills to youth on American Indian reservations and help them explore science within a cultural context. We hope to help grow the next generation of land stewards and storytellers. As national secretary of UNITY Journalists and a member of the Native American Journalists Association, I am also active in promoting diversity in television newsrooms. From time to time, I dabble in print journalism as a freelance writer. My articles and guest columns have appeared in Wisconsin State Journal, The Capital Times, Madison Magazine, and News From the Sloughs (Bad River Band’s tribal newspaper).

Job Title: 
Tribal Affiliation: 
Recent posts: 

Blog Series:


My head was swimming with ideas as I left the Media for Change Conference. As a college professor and a documentary producer for Wisconsin Public Television, I straddle both an academic world, where I try to grow the next generation of digital storytellers, and a professional sphere, where I coax funders to bankroll worthy projects—most of them dealing with Native topics.

Tribes or Groups:



Five Vision Maker Media Films Streaming Free in November on PBS

Watch these films during November, just click on the link to watch.


• Veterans' Day Special - Free viewings: Nov. 9-12 on VMM's YouTube Channel
• Native Documentaries on Special for November
• Filmmaker Challenges: Importance of Protecting Creativity
• Celebrating 50 Years of Public Broadcasting
• Filmmaker Opportunities
• Upcoming Film Screenings
•To Edit or Not to Edit Your Own FIlms: Wat's Your Choice?
• Find Us On the Road