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World Premiere of "Saint: The Canonization of Junipero Serra"

My first ever documentary is in the books. When I came to California just over a month ago I had no idea what to expect. After some great mentoring by some wonderful people at FNX I can now call myself a documentary filmmaker. The issue of Father Junipero Serra's upcoming canonization by the Catholic church has dawn a line in the sand between those who hold California's Mission era in high regard and others who claim Spain's dominance on the Indigenous People lead to heartache and death. Despite opinion, the facts are clear. More than 100,000 of California's Indigenous People died under Spanish rule in the Mission Era well only five percent were converted to Christianity and assimilated into Spanish culture. Many California Indigenous People lost their lives under Serra's direct rule, despite him never administering corporal punishment firsthand.

FNX will show the world premiere of the 30-minute documentary "Saint: The Canonization of Junipero Serra " at the 29 Palms Spotlight Casino on August 7, 2015 in Coachella, Calif. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Medjool Room. There will be refreshments as well as a panel discussion featuring cast and crew members of the production. If you are in the Southern California area, please join us for an evening of education and discussion. There is no cost for admission to this event.

Watch the film trailer here:

"Saint: The Canonization of Junipero Serra" Trailer from FNX First Nations Experience on Vimeo.

FNX “AUX” series nominated for 2015 “Indigenous Music Award”

The FNX original music video series “The AUX - Aboriginal Unity Experience” has been nominated for “Best Television Program/Promotion of Indigenous Music” at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards (IMAs). With a TV broadcast viewing audience of over 2 million in 2014, the IMAs recognize the accomplishments and contributions of aboriginal artists within the music industry. In this their 10th year, the show looks to extend their current broadcast reach within the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) in Canada, and cross into the US market via FNX Television. Winners for each category will be announced during the live broadcast on September 11th. Voting is taking place now through July 24th 2015 and requires a quick and easy registration process. Help FNX bring home the Award by casting your vote for The AUX as “Best Television Program/Promotion of Indigenous Music at: http://aboriginalpeopleschoice.com/categories/2015/best-television-progr....

FNX has been committed to providing accurate and quality Native and World Indigenous content, broadcasting around the clock in multiple regions across the United States since 2011. The nominated original FNX production, “Aboriginal Unity Experience,” is a 30 minute rotating compilation of music videos showcasing a mixed genre of indigenous artists like fellow IMA nominees LightningCloud, Rellik, and Niiko Soul, as well as top talents such as A Tribe Called Red, Tall Paul, Spencer Battiest, Frank Waln, Inez Japser, Las Cafeteras and many, many more.

For a taste of The AUX and/or watch previously broadcast music videos, read about your favorite artist and even create your own playlist visit www.fnx.org/theaux.

The FNX AUX team would like to extend a warm thank you to all our viewers, and especially our participating artists. Without their talent and vision, none of this would have been possible. Please take a few minutes to vote for The AUX, and support our Native artists. More info at www.aboriginalpeopleschoice.com.

-Team FNX

Submitted by: Robin Underwood, Muscogee (Creek) Nation

FNX receives two National Native Media Awards!

FNX | First Nations Experience television network has received a pair of awards for the second consecutive year.

The network's news, culture and events series "FNX NOW" was awarded first place for "FNX NOW: Avelleka Sexual Assault Awareness Walk (2014) " for Best Feature Story - TV in the Division III (circulation above 8,000). Awarded for second place was "FNX NOW: Yaamava." The FNX series "On Native Ground: Youth Reports" (produced by Jack Koehler) also won first place for General Excellence - TV in the Division III category. FNX network affiliates at Cheyenne and Arapaho Television also brought in awards for their programming - including the award for General Excellence - TV in the Division II category.

The Native Media Awards are issued annually to working journalists - in both the U.S. and Canada - by the Native American Journalists Association. This year, will award more than 250 National Native Media Awards recognizing members’ coverage of Indian Country during the 2015 NAJA Media Awards Banquet July 11 in Washington DC.

Check out a complete listing of the 2015 Native Media Award winners here - https://www.naja.com/news/2014-native-media-awards/

Watch the award winning episodes here:

FNX NOW: Avelleka Sexual Assault Awareness Walk (2014)

FIX700-29 from FNX First Nations Experience on Vimeo.

FNX NOW: Yaamava

FIX700-23 from FNX First Nations Experience on Vimeo.

An Intern on a Mission

Submitted by River Garza

Today was my first day as an intern at FNX, I have never felt so anxious and excited to drive to San Bernardino. My morning started early - as it rightfully should - I made the thirty some odd mile trek from Pomona deeper into the I.E. As soon as I strolled into the station I was greeted warmly by Terria and was promptly introduced to the rest of the staff in the station.

Luckily for me my first day at the station required me to not be at the station at all since I would be accompanying Terria and a fellow intern Charlie to the San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside to Interview a Luiseño Captain (Captain Mel) for a documentary about the upcoming canonization of Junipero Serra.

We first met up with Captain Mel at a Mexican restaurant and bakery only a few blocks down the road from the Mission. The restaurant is an old timey mission-style building that according to Mel has stood there for over 100 years and at one point doubled as a saloon and place for lodging. Just by looking at that place and closing my eyes for a second I could envision the sweaty pioneers and gunslingers that drank their warm beer and rotgut alcohol and the eminent debauchery that ensued. Now instead of drunkards the place is filled with conchas and all the Mexican sweetbread you can imagine in glass counters sprawling across the dining hall accompanied with a slew of paintings on the walls that depict Franciscan friars riding their burros and drinking wine. Captain Mel suggested we eat lunch there so we did and had small talk (I mostly listened) while eating our Lunch. After lunch Charlie and Terria started interviewing Captain Mel at the restaurant on his opinions of Serra’s upcoming canonization amongst other things before we toured the mission and filmed there. I often find the insight that tribal leaders give quite interesting compared to other Natives. To me it’s always a diplomatic blend of the truth and carefully worded historical facts.

I think going to any mission for a California Indian - or any Indian at that - is a surreal experience no matter what your relationship is to that place. It’s an institution that once had so much power and a profound impact on the indigenous population of California and is now for most non-Natives been reduced to tourist attractions and 4th grade projects. The mission itself sits atop a hill and is quite large compared to the other missions I’ve been too. This mission, like plenty others, is an interesting juxtaposition between the beautiful gardens that are there now and the derelict remains of an era painful for so many.

Mel showed us around the mission’s grounds he took us to the lavanderia in the front of the mission where the natives once cleaned their clothes and the Jedi cloaks of the friars on red bricks that were fired in a kiln adjacent to California’s early laundry mats. We also visited the small cemetery on the grounds where Indians and Friars were buried amongst one another in an area no larger then your common CVS parking lot. A cemetery that I could only imagine encompasses a small portion of the beautiful Indians that rest all across the mission’s grounds. Although this place brings me a certain sense of sorrow I can see the subtle beauty in it. I can only be happy that myself and all my other Native brothers and sisters whose ancestors fought for us to be here today despite the atrocities committed against them can walk across these grounds free. No longer are we neophytes or an indispensible labor force but the generation responsible for bringing the true history of these missions and their purposes to light for all to know. I couldn’t imagine my first day going any better I got to enjoy lunch with the folks I’d be working with this upcoming summer, travel to lovely San Diego County and learn facts about the mission era I never knew a body of knowledge important for me to understand and reciprocate to others. I can only hope all my upcoming days as an intern will be as exciting as this one.

Some days it’s a good day to die and some days it’s a good day to start your internship.

Who Let the Intern Make a Documentary?

Looks like I’m making a documentary. The mission system in California is a staple of the state's history. In order to move on in elementary school, most 4th graders are required to visit one of the 21 missions that make up the "Golden State."  Students are given the task of completing a project on the importance of the missions and their impacts on early California. Children usually build elaborate dioramas and read reports highlighting the positive impacts of Christianity's journey to California via Spain. However many in California remain unaware of a darker side to the missions.

In 1769 Father Junipero Serra, with members of the Spanish military, traveled to California to bring salvation to its Native peoples. By 1835 around 90,0000 Native Americans were converted to Christianity - 100,000 had died in the process. A majority of Native Californian's were; captured, converted, and forced to toil under the Spaniards’ watchful eyes within the various missions. Torture, rape, and forced assimilation were common place on mission grounds. Serra oversaw the missions and believed Native people must be "saved" by any means necessary. On September 23, 2015 the Vatican will canonize Serra, making him officially a saint of the Catholic church. Check out this article by the "New York Times" for more background information http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/us/to-some-indians-in-california-father-serra-is-far-from-a-saint.html?_r=0.

FNX has assigned me to task of shedding light on this issue. Serra's upcoming canonization is a hot button topic in California. Some are saying genocide occurred. Others are excited because Spain brought Christianity that has touched millions of lives in a positive way. What started as a 2-3 minute news piece has turned into something much more in depth in a documentary. Many Californians want to make their voices heard on this issue.

I've pinned down 4 interviews so far that include; two tribal leaders, an author, and a member of the mental health community. I plan on contacting government/ church officials and academic scholars for this project. The documentary itself will feature; in depth interviews, on location footage of the missions, animated historical reenactments, and opinions of Californians from all walks of life. Be sure to stay turned for updates.

My summer as an FNX intern

The packed sardine, of a sky bus, hit the ground in Santa Ana to warm summer So Cal sunshine. Two hours of sleep the night before, 1500 miles in the air and a $7 Phoenix airport bagel- that featured a sad excuse for an egg. I walked into the First Nation's Experience (FNX) offices to begin my 10 week internship into Native American broadcast news and entertainment.

FNX is serious business when it comes to Native American news coverage. Having the ability to reach 18 million viewers at any time, many of whom are non-Native, is something I see as invaluable to grow more support for the issues that affect all of Indian Country. There are a great deal of Native American affairs that are under addressed in the media today. A certain number of people think Indians went extinct a hundred years ago and it seems a majority who see us today are reminded of Tonto and the Lone ranger or the antics of John Wayne in 1950's "Technicolor" western movies.

I hope to do my part this summer at FNX to help educate the masses about the real story of what it is to be an Indian. I believe it’s time we took our rightful place at the table of progression. Before I get too much on my soap box, I should probably tell you a little about myself. My name's Charlie, not Chuck-I really can't stand that nickname. I'm a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi band of Indians. That pretty much means if you need a bonfire lit I'm your guy, since were fire keepers and all. I was born and raised in Kansas and have probably heard more than my fair share of "Wizard of Oz" references.

I'm also white due to my lineage involving Maine fishermen. To my surprise I'm not very good at fishing. I just graduated from Haskell Indian Nations University where I was the Editor-In-Chief of the oldest Native American student ran newspaper the "Haskell Indian Leader." The paper has been going strong for over 130 years. I fell into journalism as a way to make extra money to keep my late night Pizza Shuttle habit at bay. Now, here I am in California the home of; palm trees, sand, and traffic. I'm looking forward to tackling some big issues in my time with FNX. So be sure to stay tuned America!

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