Native American television channel makes debut in North Dakota
Agreement between Public Broadcast channel First Nations Experience (FNX) and Major Market Broadcasting of North Dakota Inc (MMB) will bring the United States only national channel dedicated to Native American and World Indigenous cultures to the Great Plains.
San Bernardino, CA – May 13th, 2019 – FNX | First Nations Experience, established in 2011 by PBS member station KVCR, announced today that they have formed a partnership with Major Market Broadcasting of North Dakota Inc to bring FNX’s award-winning programming to the state through KRDK-TV, KNDM-TV, and KNDB-TV. Amongst the network’s programming lineup are shows like Lakota Berenstain Bears, a translation of the popular PBS series by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Lakota Language Consortium. Matȟó Waúŋšila Thiwáhe (the Compassionate Bear Family) airs Saturday and Sunday mornings at 7:30 am PST.
“Launching FNX in North Dakota is extremely exciting for all who work so hard to delivery First Nations Experience on a daily basis. This partnership with KRDK – TV aligns with our mission to provide the global audience Native American and World Indigenous educational content that informs, inspires and entertains” said Acting General Manager Anthony Papa.
FNX is the first and only nationally distributed TV channel in the U.S. exclusively devoted to Native American and World Indigenous programming and is carried by 20 affiliate stations in 21 states from Alaska to New York, reaching more than 57 million households across the United States. This marks the first time the 5 Federally Recognized tribes and the Tribal communities of North Dakota will have a television channel exclusively devoted to telling stories by and about American Indian communities. The channel currently features North Dakotan tribal members on various genres of programs as well as original series Wassaja, The AUX and Studio 49. FNX team members were also present at the Oceti Sakowin Camp during the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016.
Acting Chief Content Manager Frank Blanquet (Maya) reflected on his time at Standing Rock. “Being in North Dakota, at Standing Rock, eating, praying, singing with community members and talking to them about their home, and why the Mni’s^os^e (muddy water) meant so much to them as a person, an individual, a grandfather, father, brother, family member; and most importantly a community member that was being ignored by the community, really hurt.” Blanquet went on the state that, though FNX is not a solution to these issues, he hopes it can offer North Dakota Tribes a direct connection to local community members. “Having FNX as an avenue to tell their own stories, to submit their content and allowing the general public to hear from them directly, maybe it can be a way for them to be heard on a national level, but more importantly to them, on a local level. Be heard by their neighbor. And not just be a place for stories of struggle, but be a place for stories of triumph. Be a way for their youth to feel represented. See Native talent doing all sort of different things out there.”
FNX | First Nations Experience is the first and only national broadcast television network in the U.S. exclusively devoted to Native American and World Indigenous content. Through Native-produced and themed documentaries, dramatic series, nature, cooking, gardening, children’s and arts programming, FNX strives to accurately illustrate the lives and cultures of Native people around the world.
Created as a shared vision between Founding Partners, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the San Bernardino Community College District, FNX is owned by and originates from the studios of KVCR-PBS San Bernardino. FNX began terrestrial broadcast in the Los Angeles area on September 25, 2011 and went national on November 1, 2014, via the Public Television Interconnect System (PBS satellite AMC–21 Channel SD08), making the network available to PBS affiliates, community and tribal stations, and cable television service providers across the country.
FNX is working diligently to obtain channel carriage in as many communities as possible across the country.