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The University of Georgia Athens’ Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has announced its slate of nominations for the annual Peabody Award — and FX smash hit Reservation Dogs has found itself a place on the list.

The show, which follows a group of teens on an Oklahoma reservation, was one of 42 nominees this year through a unanimous vote by a 17-member board of jurors. Reservation Dogs survived quite the winnowing, as the original pool of entrants stood at 1,200, per a Peabody Awards press release. 

The 42 entries run the gamut from television to podcasts across categories like Entertainment, Arts, Children’s/Youth, and Interactive and Immersive. They join a slate of documentary and news coverage nominees announced earlier in April, bringing the total pool to 69. The winners of the Peabody Awards in each category will be announced on May 9, then celebrated on June 11 — the first in-person ceremony since 2019.

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The ceremony will also honor the winner of the first annual Visionary Award, honoring Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and Chief Curator of New Frontier Shari Frilot.

“From hilarious and heartfelt comedies to interactive and immersive stories that leverage technology to create gripping narratives, Peabody is dedicated to recognizing compelling stories across the media landscape,” Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody, said in a statement. “After another groundbreaking year of storytelling, we are proud to honor some of the many compelling pieces of media that led us forward - a reflection of the effort and talent of their creators, the nominees entertained, informed, and inspired, all demonstrating the immense power of a great story.”

The honor continues Reservation Dogs’ forward momentum as the vanguard in an industry-wide push for more Native representation in media. (Notably, the program even earned the favor of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has a notoriously poor relationship with many of the state’s tribes.) The show has seen breakout success on FX and played a role in prompting other streaming services to pick up Native media, per prior Tribal Business News reporting

 In the show’s wake, other streaming services have leaped at the chance to produce Native stories, such as AMC’s Navajo-centered detective show Dark Waters, Peacock’s comedy-drama Mohawk Girls, and Netflix’s Rez Ball (also headed by Reservation Dogs’ showrunner Sterlin Harjo.) 

“All of a sudden, they need more content, and they need a lot of it,” Harjo told Tribal Business News in a previous story. “People don’t want the same old stories…[This] is going to splinter off and create so many other opportunities. When you do your work like that, and you treat it more as a community, people watch that, and that’s how they learn.”

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About The Author
Chez Oxendine
Author: Chez OxendineEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chesley Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) is an Oklahoma-based reporter for Native News Online and its sister publication, Tribal Business News. His journalism has been featured in the Fort Gibson Times, Muskogee Phoenix, Native Oklahoma Magazine, and elsewhere.