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.

Vision Maker Media's Executive Director, Shirley Sneve and Assistant Director, Georgiana Lee discuss what content creators can expect when applying for the Public Media Content Fund in 2015.

The deadline is March 18th.

Recently, Vision Maker Media executive director Shirley Sneve (Lakota) caught up with Sydney Freeland (Navajo) after a screening of her movie Drunktown's Finest at imagineNATIVE. The two talked about the representation of Native Americans in film, the struggles and rewards of being a filmmaker, and how Sydney got to where she is now.

Keeler was raised in California and moved to Omaha, Neb., to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Creighton University where she served as a student-body advisor working with the University's board of directors. She continued to hone her journalistic skills through various training opportunities while attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), earning her Master of Arts degree in Journalism in May 2014.

Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota) is an artist and producer from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. After graduating valedictorian at his high school and starting college as a pre-medical student at Creighton University through the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, he recently graduated from Colombia College Chicago to pursue his dream in music. As a member of the Native American band, Nake Nula Waun, he became the youngest person ever in 2010 to win the Native American Music Award for Best Producer.

Penelope Phillips is a filmmaker from in Northern California. Recently retired after working in broadcast news for 26 years, Phillips is now taking on her passion of producing documentaries. With a major interest in Native art, Phillips is preparing to release her newest film, Spirit in Glass.

Charles "Boots" Kennedye  is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and a documentary producer at OETA (Oklahoma Educational Television Authority). He's been at the helm of projects such as Oklahoma World War II Stories, The State of Sequoyah and worked with Rocky Mountain PBS in 2011 on Urban Rez.

“The early bird gets the worm,” my dad would always say. He is notorious for waking up between four and four-thirty in the morning. In those early dark hours, you can hear his steps, the smell of coffee brewing, and the sound of newspaper pages turning. I’m not going to lie. I was incredibly annoyed by this, much like the rest of my siblings. Admittedly, I took a lot of my parents’ teachings for granted at an early age. Today, I have a deep appreciation for my dad and the lessons he offers.

Toby McLeod is a filmmaker and journalist who has worked with Indigenous communities for the past 35 years. McLeod holds a bachelor's degree in American history from Yale and a master's degree in journalism from the University of California-Berkeley.

The 1491s are a comedic group that travels the nation telling Native stories and bringing various social issues to light. They describe themselves as a “gaggle of Indians chock full of cynicism and splashed with a good dose of indigenous satire.” The 1491s got their start when the father of Dallas Goldtooth married the mother of Migizi Pensoneau. Growing up, the two boys made videos for fun. Eventually, the three other members asked to join in.

Syd and Kate Beane (Flandreau Santee Sioux) are a father-daughter filmmaking team from Minnesota. Their current project is a documentary film, Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian, based on the life of their renowned relative, Charles A. Eastman, and Kate’s discovery of her family heritage.

Eastman is a prominent figure in Native American history for his contribution in the medical field as a Native physician, particularly after the Wounded Knee Massacre. He is also remembered as an accomplished author and cultural leader of his time. 

Gyasi Ross is of both the Blackfeet nation and the Suquamish nation, and currently lives on the Port Madison Indian Reservation.  He is a father, lawyer, filmmaker and author.  For many people living on the reservation Ross is the only lawyer they know, he said, and so he gives legal advice as best he can. Above his various vocations, Ross is most passionate about being a father to his son.

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