For Native American Heritage Month 2013, Sonny Skyhawk and Michelle Shining Elk (both ICTMN contributors) co-produced a series of public service announcements (PSAs) with Tim Howick of NBC Universal. It's a project Skyhawk has been doing for the past five years, and is part of his overall strategy to put Native faces on American TV screens. "It goes a long way to show we are a contemporary people," Skyhawk says. "Not only that, but we're still here." In the clip below, from NBC's Today Show, CEO Steve Burke and others affiliated with the network discuss their commitment to raising awareness of Native people.
The PSAs were innitially produced for KNBC, channel 4 in Los Angeles, and distributed to NBC owned-and-operated networks in other markets. Skyhawk says he was also able to get the spots to some affiliate channels (which carry NBC programming but are not owned by NBC). The clips have also been running on Comcast XFinity On Demand, which is available to 17 million Comcast cable subscribers. Skyhawk is pleased to be reaching more viewers than ever this year. "My reason for doing this is for Indian children to be able to see themselves as part of mainstream society," he says. The video below collects PSAs spotlighting Al Blackbird, Boye Ladd, Shawn Imitates Dog, Skyhawk himself and Shining Elk.