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Native Media and Technology Network garners Hollywood support

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    Native Media and Technology Network garners Hollywood support

    (javascript:PrintWindow();) Posted: March 09, 2006 by: _Babette Herrmann_
    ( / Today correspondent

    HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - On the grand scale of all things Hollywood, one might
    consider Native involvement in the media and technology sector mediocre at

    But Fox Entertainment Group and Native Media and Technology Network have
    joined forces to further diversify employment by bringing on-the-job training to
    Native populations across the country. With a media giant's backing, and
    the help of countless organizations, Natives interested in the media and film
    industry could get the hands-on experience needed for a variety of careers.

    At a private reception on Feb. 21, Fox made the commitment to about 150 NMTN
    supporters. Both organizations are teaming up to provide training to Native
    populations for behind-the-scenes jobs in the media/technology sector at
    television and film studios across the country.

    ''The issue of diversity is inclusive and doesn't belong to one
    individual,'' said Gerald Alacantar, vice president of Fox's Diversity Development

    Alacantar explained that the first course of action is to develop training
    programs at Fox-owned television stations in areas with concentrated Native
    populations. The program will launch in Minnesota and later expand to Arizona,
    Washington state and Florida - and, ideally, nationwide.

    In addition to training and mentoring Native youth, NMTN organizers plan to
    expand business opportunities to Native companies and organizations,
    including the formation of Native media companies.

    ''We want to see more Native Americans in the entertainment industry,'' said
    Lyn Dennis, executive director of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest
    Indians. ''We realize this is history, this is a dream for everyone involved in this

    NMTN was created in 2000 with the assistance from the Center for Community
    Change, a national nonprofit group dedicated to helping low-income people
    build effective organizations that positively affect their community. That same
    year, Fox got involved with NMTN when it helped form the American Indian
    Summer Program.

    For one week, 20 Native youths ages 18 - 25 come to Los Angeles for tutorial
    and experiential training in the media and entertainment industry and
    creative production.

    ''Clearly, we are a movement bringing Native people together,'' said Syd
    Beane, American Indian team leader at the CCC.

    Beane's longtime friend, actor Floyd ''Red Crow'' Westerman,
    Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, said the NMTN concept was in his mind for years, and in the past
    he's shown students, with only a blue screen and camera, the basics of
    filming. ''I am not the first person with this vision, now it has taken a giant
    step,'' he said.

    Westerman is well known for his role as Ten Bears in the 1990 blockbuster
    film, ''Dances with Wolves.''

    Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation of New York representative and CEO of the
    Oneida Nation Enterprises, said NMTN programs will positively effect the image of
    Native influence within the media. ''We know as Indian people how we are
    perceived, and that is important to us,'' he said. ''There is plenty of Indian
    talent out there.''

    Nationwide, Fox has 35 television stations in 22 of the largest cities, and
    14 regional sports networks serving 39 of the 50 largest cities.

    A schedule for the debut of the Fox/NMTN job-training program has yet to be
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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