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Tribal Broadcasters Gather to Celebrate Global Indigenous Storytelling

By Kyler Edsitty

[Phoenix, AZ, May 21, 2024] – In a world where media evolves at an incredible speed, the broadcasting industry finds itself at a crossroads between staying the course or incorporating new technology into the broadcast ecosystems. Visionaries, industry leaders, and broadcasters from across Indian Country assembled at the 2024 Native Broadcast Summit hosted by Native Public Media (NPM). Held in the heart of Phoenix, this event served as a melting pot of ideas, highlighting groundbreaking innovations and thought-provoking discussions on radio, television, and content creation.


The Summit is NPM’s flagship event and the largest gathering of Tribal and Indigenous broadcasters and media professionals serving Indian Country.  The theme “Globalizing Indigenous Storytelling” acknowledges that Native broadcast stations play an essential role in promoting the safety, sovereignty, and stability of Native communities, providing a platform for media creation, community news, civic engagement, and emergency services for predominately rural and remote tribal lands. The Summit is specifically for Native broadcasters and media serving Indian Country


The Summit started with a keynote address by Ernesto Aguilar, KQED Executive Director of Radio Programming and Content Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives. His address centered on empowering Native broadcasters in an evolving media landscape while acknowledging the community impact of Indigenous broadcasters as first informers.


Additionally, the Summit served as a platform for discussing key issues affecting Native broadcasters. Breakout sessions focused on financial literacy, generating revenue, and maintaining Federal Communication Commission (FCC) compliance. Experts shared insights and advice with participants to ensure the future of the Native Broadcast Network continues to thrive.


The importance of diversity and inclusion in broadcasting was also a central theme of the Summit, with sessions dedicated to exploring strategies for collaboration, promoting representation, and spotlighting Native voices in media. Presenters emphasized the need for inclusive content creation practices, diverse talent pipelines, and equitable opportunities for Indigenous storytellers from all communities.


“I believe that communication is the thread that weaves together the fabric of humanity.  The 2024 Native Broadcast Summit allowed us to continue making this wonderful blanket of information and support that will forever comfort the listeners and viewers of our Indigenous media. Now it’s time to add to that blanket by following up.” said NPM Board Vice-Chair Brian Brashier from the Chickasaw Nation.


As the Native Broadcast Summit concluded, broadcasters were left invigorated by the wealth of knowledge, connections, and ideas exchanged during the conference. Looking ahead, they expressed optimism about the future of broadcasting, fueled by the creativity, ingenuity, and collaborative spirit that defines the Network.


With the close of another successful Summit, the Native Broadcast Network and Native Public Media remain ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges of a changing world as they push the boundaries of innovation and creativity in pursuit of captivating and compelling Native storytelling.




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