Innovation That Matters

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Empowering Indigenous voices in the media

Nonprofit & Social Cause

This woman-led organisation champions stories by, for, and about Native Americans

Spotted: The 2024 Hollywood Diversity Report found that films with the most diverse casts had the highest median global box-office earnings among the top films of the year. Despite this, people of colour and women are still significantly underrepresented both in front of and behind the camera. 

Indigenous people are even less seen, but racial and social justice organisation IllumiNative is working to change that. Led by Native women, the US-based organisation supports Native American creatives in finding platforms for their work and correcting damaging narratives through four main areas of work. 

‘Research and Action’ helps disseminate the work of Native scholars and institutes to ensure that robust data about Native communities is made available to policymakers, researchers, and educators. ‘Movement Building and Organising’ builds the power of Native communities by connecting and supporting campaigns and other grassroots projects. ‘Pop Culture and Media ‘seeks to combat negative stereotypes and remove barriers for Native creatives, while ‘Narrative Power and Impact’ increases the visibility of Indigenous peoples through advocacy, culture change, and multimedia storytelling.  

IllumiNative’s The Time is Now guide is a resource for anyone in the media industry to use to better develop and represent stories and characters by and about Native peoples. The materials are crucial to improving the global representation of Indigenous communities, particularly after the Reclaiming Native Truth (RNT) project identified invisibility as the biggest obstacle to the equity and inclusion of Native peoples.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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