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For the second year, Native writers will receive grants and professional opportunities through the Native American Writers Accelerator Grant as part of the effort to increase Native representation in media. Each of the writers chosen will receive $10,000 and professional support to help the writers develop their skills, and pitch their projects. 

Each of these grantees also participated in the 7th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab, an eight-week TV script writers workshop that is sponsored by Netflix, Amazon Studios, Kung Fu Monkey Productions, Cherokee Nation Film Office and Snowpants Productions.

“This initiative is an incredible opportunity that gives Native American writers the ability to develop their work, strategize their careers and, most importantly, to write new material,” Ian Skorodin, Director of Strategy for the Native American Media Alliance, said in a statement. “Our first cohort of grantees found staffing positions, produced films and took the necessary next steps in their writing journey.”

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The Native American Accelerator Grant is part of a larger collaboration with Netflix. This grant is part of the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity which is an initiative to address representation disparities–Natives represent the largest disparity in all spheres of entertainment. Through this, Netflix is investing $100 million over the next four years in organizations whose goal is to close this representation gap and set up underrepresented communities for success in the entertainment industry. 

Recipients of the Native American Writer Accelerator Grant:

Jamie Brunton (Colville/Spokane)

Kristen Calderon (Acjachemen/Kumeyaay)

Jena Carter (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)

Benjamin Flores (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa)

Charine Pilar Gonzales (San Ildefonso Pueblo)

Kelli Jones (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)

Cole Randall (Muscogee Creek)

Justin Reed (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation)

Sabrina Saleha (Navajo)

Eagle Smith (Tsimshian)

Kaili Y Turner (Nipmuc)

Meilani Wenska (Native Hawaiian)

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12 years of Native News

This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

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About The Author
Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian) is a staff reporter for Native News Online. Bardwell is also a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.