Created and led by Native peoples, IllumiNative is a new nonprofit initiative designed to increase the visibility of – and challenge the negative narrative about – Native Nations and peoples in American society. For decades, the lack of representation and information about Native peoples has perpetuated damaging myths and stereotypes. Native peoples rank at or near the bottom of most socio-economic indicators – such as educational attainment, domestic violence, and poverty – and are often portrayed in popular entertainment, the news media, educational curricula and other influential sources as ‘noble savages’ of days gone by. But research shows that a more powerful, more accurate, and more inspiring narrative about the contemporary Native experience – one of innovation, creativity, resilience and community – is being overlooked and obscured the negative one. IllumiNative seeks to change that.
- Messaging: Developing and sharing fact-based messaging and materials that advance a more positive, inspiring and accurate narrative about Native peoples and Native communities.
- Amplifying: Developing a national campaign in partnership with a broad coalition of tribes, Native organizations, youth and allies to amplify the new narrative and strategies to move hearts and minds within strategic demographics.
- Training: Fostering understanding and building capacity with media companies, philanthropic institutions, academic institutions, and government about contemporary Native experiences through educational workshops, meetings and trainings.
- Advocating: Advocating with – and on behalf of – Native talent for greater representation and accurate portrayals in the entertainment industry, media and K-12 education.
- Connecting: Connecting and supporting Native young people and Native talent (e.g., writers, producers, directors, actors, etc.) with specific opportunities in the entertainment industry as well as building relationships and networks with allies and influencers to create opportunities for narrative change and impact.
- Native Education for All