IEE Featured Station: Native Voice TV
Written by: Donna Liu
Of all the TV shows out there that speak to the principles of Inclusion, Equity and Engagement, perhaps none is more poignant than Native Voice TV, a weekly program that has been produced in Northern California since 2004, and is still going strong. Poignant, because some of the least-heard voices in America belong to the people who were here first. In the words of their own producers, “Native Voice TV seeks to provide a voice for Indigenous people to tell of their struggles and injustices that are often ignored by the mainstream media.”
Native Voice TV reaches viewers through strategic partnerships with PEG stations around the country. The programming they produce ranges over cultural, political and even business issues – all from Native American perspectives – and is available to PEG stations to download and re-broadcast, free of charge.
Slowly, tenaciously, the producers of Native Voice TV are making their way into the consciousness of communities through local TV. “People are into the spiritual as well as the entertainment, cultural, social, and current events like the Dakota pipeline,” says Manu Martinez, who handles promotion for the organization. While he gets tremendous feedback from an audience of indigenous people, these segments are worthy of a wider audience.
A selection of recent topics demonstrates how unique the programming is, and how little we would hear these voices elsewhere on TV: an independent filmmaker; keeping traditions alive despite relocation; economic independence through the Mayan coffee business; the Jaguar poet; fracking; and comedy.
By sharing their programming at no charge, Native Voice TV is giving PEG an opportunity to practice the principles of the IEE caucus. Interested stations should contact Manu Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org.