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Honor Statement for Frank Blythe

By Loris Taylor

Photo: Vision Maker Media

In the spirit of remembrance and gratitude, we honor the remarkable life and enduring legacy of Francis "Frank" Marion Blythe, Jr., a visionary leader, cherished storyteller, and unwavering advocate for the voices of Native American communities.

Frank's career in the realm of public television started in Arizona at ASU, where he began his impactful tenure in operations management with KAET-TV. In 1972, the convergence of public television stations and the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting paved the way for a profound initiative to empower Native American producers to craft narratives reflective of their own experiences when the Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium was born.

Guided by a steadfast commitment to amplifying Native voices, Frank assumed the role of the inaugural Executive Director of the Consortium. This began an extraordinary journey as he transformed the organization into Vision Maker Media. This resounding institution has nurtured countless Native media creators and amassed the most extensive archive of Native films in the nation. Through his leadership, Frank encouraged collaboration, friendship, and solidarity among Native and Non-Native colleagues, who collectively shaped his path as a storyteller and visionary.

Frank's legacy was etched into history, not only as a pioneer of Native American media but also as a bridge-builder between cultures, a champion for representation, and a beacon of hope for aspiring storytellers. His indomitable spirit, rooted in the teachings of his heritage, ignited a transformative movement that continues to thrive today through the enduring efforts of Native Public Media to build a broadcast network for Indian Country—a testament to the seeds he planted and the stories he shared.

With profound gratitude for his unwavering dedication and immeasurable contributions, we honor Frank Blythe for his role as a guardian of cultural narratives, a trailblazer for Native media representation, and an embodiment of the enduring power of storytelling. His legacy lives on through the voices he uplifted, the connections he fostered, and the stories he brought to life.

In honoring Frank's memory, we commit ourselves to continuing his legacy of fostering collaboration, amplifying Native voices, and nurturing the vibrant tapestry of storytelling that binds us all.


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