American Graduate

From Tohatchi, New Mexico, on the Navajo Reservation, Ramona Emerson (Diné) is a filmmaker who received her degree in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico in 1997 and has worked as a professional videographer, writer, and editor. Over her thirteen-year career, Emerson has received support from the State of New Mexico, National Geographic, Sundance Institute, and the Ford Foundation.

Vision Maker Media says goodbye to Blue Tarpalechee (Muscogee-Creek), who has been a project coordinator with Vision Maker Media since 2011. In this role, he coordinated educational resources for the organization and served as associate producer for the highly anticipated upcoming series "Growing Native," hosted by Chris Eyre.

Blog Series:

As my internship comes to a close, I am excited to go back home and yet I am saddened to leave. My 350 mile sojourn to Anchorage, Alaska, and Alaska Public Media has been so informative, exciting and full of hard work. With each new experience a world opened up and I had but to step through. I’ve met new people, broke my ankle, directed a short and bought a new motorcycle. It has been an extremely busy summer!

Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University.

Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. With the dream nearly in reach, the boys are caught in a constant struggle to define their Native identity, live-up to their family's expectations and balance challenges on and off the Reservation.

Drugs, alcohol, poor education, and poverty are all common problems in Indian Country, and tribes everywhere are constantly trying to find ways to win those battles.

“Having grown up only an hour away from the Onondaga Nation, I was always fascinated by the rumors I heard of what life was like there—tales of a lawless territory unsafe for outsiders. I had to see what life was really like on the Nation, not only to open my own eyes, but hopefully many others as ignorant as myself. I was introduced to the Thompson family and was mesmerized by their story, their personalities, and their openness to a complete stranger from California with a video camera.

Recognizing a need to help students stay on the path to graduation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), with participation from PBS, America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a new innovative program--American Graduate--has been established to combat the dropout crisis in this country. You can make a difference!


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Current funding, job, and training opportunities that support the production of Native content. Plus, additional information for filmmakers.


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