KCET and the San Manuel Band Of Mission Indians to Honor Local Leaders in Southern and Central California

American Indian Heritage Month
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First Annual American Indian Heritage Month Leadership Awards Recognize Individuals in Cultural/Language Preservation, Social Services, Arts, Business and Education

Los Angeles, CA -- September 6, 2010 -- KCET, public media for Southern and Central California, and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are partnering to present the first annual American Indian Heritage Month Leadership Awards in November. The awards will recognize five outstanding individuals of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) heritage or Indian Nations for efforts to provide great leadership and make significant contributions to improve our local community. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, September 14, 2010. Submission guidelines and nomination forms are available online at kcet.org/leaders. For more information, please contact KCET at 323-953-5789 or via email at leaders@kcet.org

"As part of KCET's ongoing commitment to reflect the diversity of the region we serve, KCET is honored to partner with San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to pay tribute to the unsung heroes working so diligently on behalf of our American Indian communities; their achievements help improve the quality of life for all," says Al Jerome, KCET president and CEO.

"San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is proud to partner with KCET to honor local leaders of the American Indian community during American Indian Heritage Month. The Leadership Awards reinforce our ongoing commitment to showcase the great work of people making a difference," says Lynn Valbuena, Vice Chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. "We hope that this event will bring awareness to the greater community of the unique contributions of Native people to all levels of society."

In establishing the American Indian Heritage Month Leadership Awards, KCET and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians celebrate the remarkable achievements and contributions American Indians have made to Southern California. The awards will honor five inspiring individuals or Indian Nation in the categories of cultural/language preservation, social services, arts, business and education. KCET will showcase each honoree's story in a short video profile, which will air throughout November on KCET - during American Indian Heritage Month.

In addition, KCET will also honor the rich and vibrant heritage of American Indian culture and history with primetime programs throughout November that will span a range of stories documenting the American Indian experience. Programming details are to be announced.

To nominate an individual of AI/AN heritage or Indian Nation, complete and submit the nomination form along with a description of how the potential nominee has made a significant impact in his or her community. The nominee form and descriptions can be submitted online, or sent via fax or email. The nominee should also be considered an "unsung" hero, an individual (or Indian Nations) who has not received measurable public or media recognition for his or her accomplishments and local community contributions. The nominee's accomplishments or community contributions need to have had an impact on the KCET broadcast service area, which includes the following counties in California: Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, San Luis Obispo, Kern and Inyo. Visit kcet.org/leaders for a complete list of guidelines and nomination form.

About San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. Since time immemorial, the San Manuel tribal community has endured change and hardship. Amidst these challenges the tribe continued to maintain its unique form of governance. Like other governments it seeks to provide a better quality of life for its citizens by building infrastructure, maintaining civil services and promoting social, economic and cultural development. Today San Manuel tribal government oversees many governmental units including the departments of fire, public safety, education and environment

About KCET
On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. More than four million viewers watch KCET in the average month. KCET is the most-watched PBS station in Southern California and the second most-watched public television station in the nation. KCET has the largest geographic reach of any PBS station in California.

National PBS series produced from the station's Hollywood studios include four-time NAACP Award winner Tavis Smiley and the Peabody Award-winning series A Place Of Our Own and Los Niños En Su Casa. The educational animated series Sid The Science Kid is co-produced for PBS by KCET and The Jim Henson Company. KCET also produces the Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California.

Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its Web site, kcet.org.

KCET is a donor-supported community institution. More than half of the funds raised to support KCET's operating budget come from individual support. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.

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