Michael Smith

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Michael Smith

Michael has worked with Indian Peoples all his adult life.

Beginning with the Seattle Indian Center (1972) as a peer counselor; to Cultural Education Coordinator (1973-1975) for United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Seattle. At UIATF, he visioned and produced the 1st American Indian Film Festival, March 1975 at the University of Washington. Later the film festival was sponsored by the San Francisco Indian Center (1977-1978) and National Congress of American Indians (1979) where Michael served in public relations capacities.

During this era, he organized the 1st National Indian Media Conference (1977) and joined alliance with the new NAPBC in 1979, with his soon to be long time friend, Frank Blythe. Frank and Michael continued the NIMC thru 1988. NIMC evolved to what is today Native American Journalism Association.

From Michael's perspective, " Frank and I carried on the work of the American Indian Press Association. AIPA's Richard LaCourse and Rose Robinson were dear friends, supporters and mentors. They both left a an invaluable sense of professionalism, integrity and legacy in journalism and philanthropy."

AIFI was formally established in Culver City, California in 1979. Now, almost 40 years later, the American Indian Film Festival has screened over 2,000 film-works and remains a strong and viable media showcase for American Indian and Canada First Nations media makers, emerging and veteran.

The American Indian Film Festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary, November 7-15, 2015 in San Francisco.