Native News Network Staff in Entertainment. Discussion »
SAN BERNARDINO - The leadership behind FNX: First Nations Experience TV held its Ceremonial Unity Launch on Feb. 10 at the KVCR/FNX studios here to celebrate the success of the new channel and to kick off a major donor campaign among Indian tribes, foundations and private donors.
“Thank you for proving me wrong,”
"I once said that I didn't think in my lifetime I'd see a TV channel dedicated to Indian people like you and me, people who are rarely seen on screen in authentic ways. We're making history with this powerful new media tool. This is something I can tell my grandchildren about - I'll tell them I was there when it launched."
Cherokee actor Wes Studi was among the special guests who came from throughout the country to help celebrate the new channel and media platform, the first ever of its kind in the United States. Studi applauded the new channel, noting how important it is for Native peoples to tell their own stories about their history and the reality of their lives today on reservations and in urban areas. He also encouraged young people to pursue careers in television and film, now that there is an international venue.
San Manuel Chairman James Ramos said many others have dreamed of creating an all-Native channel that would appeal to mainstream audiences. But San Manuel's leadership decided to make it a reality to help educate the public about indigenous cultures and their histories, and the myriad issues they face in today's world.
“All of this coming together is fulfilling a dream our ancestors had,”
said Chairman Ramos, who first raised the issue with local PBS affiliate KVCR six years ago.
"We're fulfilling that dream today using the resources we have built through gaming. It's important that people know what our ancestors had to go through so we could be here today."
"There was a time in California's history when there was an effort to get rid of Indian people; we were shot and killed here in the San Bernardino Mountains,"
"Many people never heard that story, and today some people don't want to talk about that history. But it's important that we do so that we can learn from the past and move forward working together for a better future."
Chairman Ramos said that it's time for indigenous peoples to be seen and heard globally, and he sees FNX as a venue to bring Indian Country's collective voice to the international level.
"It's time for us to change negative perceptions about indigenous peoples in mainstream audiences. We need to stand together as one voice and make things better for our people."
President and CEO Larry Ciecalone pointed to the live stream on air in KVCR/FNX studios and said it took about six years to build the foundation of FNX.
"We made history when we launched FNX on September 25, 2011 to an audience of 18 millions viewers in Southern California. FNX is dedicated to bringing authentic voices of Native people and their cultures to global audiences. We've been building the technical foundation of FNX over the past year, and we're currently in negotiations to expand our viewership through licensing agreements with service providers like Dish, Direct TV, Verizon and Comcast, among others."
FNX is a digital media platform that showcases content centered on First Nations experiences in the United States and throughout the world. It is currently broadcasting Native programming and content throughout the Los Angeles TV market. It will expand the service to include the national and international markets in the first quarter of next year. FNX broadcasts from the KVCR studios in Southern California's Inland Empire.
"FNX programs will include documentaries, sports, feature films, drama series, travel and cooking shows, music, news and comedy,"
said Charles Fox, FNX Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer.
"Weâ€™re leading the way as producers of authentic First Nations storytelling via the Internet and over the air, satellite and cable broadcast systems. As a member of the World Indigenous Television Broadcast Network, FNX is the first multimedia venture in the United States created to educate the public about Native American realities. We're reaching out to everyone for ideas, input and support."
FNX has created a Development Board co-chaired by San Manuel Vice Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena with representatives from the private sector, non profits, tribal governments, and public service sectors.
"To me, nothing could be more exciting than tribes having their own communications media with which to tell the world about the diversity of our Indian nations. FNX is a tool that our tribal communities can use to tell the world about our history, cultures and the ability of tribes not only to survive, but also to succeed in a rapidly changing world. We have a real opportunity to make an impact on the world."
posted February 14, 2012 8:20 am est
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