Diné

Raven Chacon is a member of the Dine’ Nation and an experimental musician, composer and educator. Raven has been building his own instruments for creating new sounds since he was a child growing up in Chinle. Today he teaches Native youth through various programs including the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project (NACAP).

We recently  talked with Raven about his influences, composing and the next generation of Native musicians.

Written by Eric Martin

Anecita Agustines (Dine) and Jack Kohler (Hoopa/Yurok/Karuk) are changing the landscape in northern California for Native youth interested in television production. They are the executive producers for On Native Ground Youth Reports, a monthly entertainment broadcast on the FNX First Nations Experience Channel (www.fnx.org).

Velma Kee Craig is the co-founder of White Springs Creative, LLC (formerly BetterOnes Productions), which she runs with her husband and fellow director Dustinn Craig.

Coverage of the 2011 Navajo Nation Inauguration.

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It's harvest time here in New Mexico and the abundance of traditionally grown foods are everywhere. I recently brought out a visiting scholar and artist Ron Bull from the Maori Tribe in New Zealand to visit the Tesuque Pueblo Farm. We were given a tour of the farm by Emigdio Ballon (Quechua) who is the head of the agricultural initiative at the farm. We watched local school children pick ripe apples, sampled blackberries and raspberries on their vines, saw the abundance of crops ready to be harvested from medicinal plants to traditional corn.

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Minneapolis. The city of Mary Tyler Moore and Prince and the Revolution… and my Dad… back in the day. It had been years since I had set foot in the beautiful city: the air was great, not too cold – not too hot, great food everywhere. So after a small mishap at the Denver airport and our later then expected arrival, the team and I made our way down to the depths of Minneapolis and into an intense, information filled few days… and the most gigantic dinner I’ve had since the Jemez Feast Day!!

Growing up on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, Tina Garnanez was told not to play in or near the open mines near her home. Nobody told her why, or that they led to the death of her grandfather. 

Years later she found out they were uranium mines.

During the late 1940s, America began stockpiling nuclear weapons for the Cold War. To acquire the raw nuclear materials for these weapons, uranium mines opened up across the Four Corners region of the American southwest.

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The corn is almost ready to harvest now and Northern New Mexican families are busy making the corn into chicos. Chicos are a traditional dried corn. They are made from field corn that is harvested, tied into ristras (strings), and hung to dry. Some Native American and Hispano families (that settled in this region hundreds of years ago) make chicos by roasting the corn in the horno adobe (earthen) oven overnight and then hang them to air-dry. After the corn is dried, the kernels are rubbed off by hand and then stored to be used throughout the winter.

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If you’ve been following my blogs, of if you know me, you should know how passionate I am about Native media. In the recent years, I’ve taken a deeper interest in Native American Educational Media and decided to get yet another degree focusing on this subject. I’ve been involved with learning and teaching media for over 10 years now and I am starting to see the Native communities becoming more technically savvy, more involved in digital storytelling and more passionate about not only pre

Victoria Blackie (Navajo) won "Debut Artist of the Year" from the Native American Music Awards in 2010. Victoria sings country music and her style is similar to country-music legend Patsy Cline. In 2002, Victoria performed at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Victoria started performing at the age of 8 and she continues to work toward her goal of breaking into the Nashville music scene. Victoria Blackie is a rising star and her first album Wanted Man has won various music awards.

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I was honored to sit on the panel, “Building Community Awareness through Long Form Documentaries” at the AFI SilverDocs Festival this year. Moderated by Doug McKenney, Executive Producer of CPB’s Public Awareness Initiative, the panel also included Sandy St. Louis, Project Manager for Frontline’s Dropout Nation, Jacquie Jones, Executive Director of the National Black Programming Consortium and Executive Producer of DC Met: Life Inside School Reform and Tanishia Williams-Minor, the high school principal featured in DC Met.

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I watched a filmed called Sip'ohi- El Lugar Del Mansdure directed by Sebastian Lingiardi. It was a film about the Wichi Tribe in Argentina. The opening of the film we see a close up of someone trying to create a fire. It goes into this great creation story, oral traditions in the tribe. The main character is, Gustavo, a member of the tribe who has left the city life to go back home, or as we Natives in the US would say, “going back to the rez.” What drew me into the film within the first few frames was the language.

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