KCET and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Award Local Leaders and Broadcast Special Programming in Honor of American Indian Heritage Month

American Indian Heritage Month



Jessica Robinson, KCET (323) 953-5308; jrobinson@kcet.org

Kenneth Shoji, San Manuel Band of Mission

909-864-8933; kshoji@sanmanuel-nsn.gov


LOS ANGELES--October 29, 2010 - As part
of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and in celebration of American
Indian Heritage Month, KCET has partnered with San Manuel Band of Mission
Indians to honor four extraordinary leaders from our local community in this
very special inaugural awards ceremony. The American Indian Heritage Month
Leadership Awards recipients include: Michelle de Armas (Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico), Richard Gomez (Santa Ynez
Band of Chumash Indians, California), Elton
(Navajo, Arizona), Ian
(Choctaw, Oklahoma).
Each of these individuals has made contributions to local communities in Southern California in the areas of cultural/language
preservation, social services, arts, business and education.

The American Indian Heritage Month Leadership Award recipients will be
honored throughout the month of November on KCET with a short video profile
featuring each honoree's story. KCET and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
will also recognize the exemplary leadership and dedication of the recipients
during an awards celebration hosted by Hattie
Kauffman, Emmy® Award winning reporter and national news correspondent for the
CBS Early Show in Los Angeles.
The event will
be held on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, at the KCET studios
in Los Angeles.
For more information or to attend the event please visit http://www.kcet.org/aihm.

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.

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."

The 2010 honorees are:

de Armas-
Michelle de Armas serves as Program Coordinator of Diversity
Development for Fox Entertainment Group, whose goal is to incorporate diverse
voices into every aspect of the Fox business. Since 2008, she has also
coordinated the Fox Journey to Excellence Program (JEP), an innovative
mentoring project, and from 2007 has coordinated the American Indian Summer
Institute Program (AISI). These initiatives are aimed at providing high school
and college-aged students of underrepresented backgrounds an exploration of
various career opportunities. de Armas has gone above and beyond her duties to
provide students with a unique and rewarding experience through academic
workshops, career development seminars, and mentorship programs. In addition,
each summer de Armas brings together industry veterans with AISI members to
create public service announcements that shed light on issues facing American
Indian communities.

Richard Gomez, Vice Chairman of the
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, has spent much of his life dedicated to the
enrichment of his tribe and community at large, working tirelessly to ensure
that his community stays self-sufficient and continues to grow. Under his
leadership, the tribe has invested in a variety of successful business
ventures, including its bolstering gaming operation, real estate and community
development. Believing in the importance of service and education, Gomez and
his fellow tribal leadership team members oversee the tribe's foundation, which
has donated over $13 million to the community. He also helped establish the
tribe's education department where it focuses on providing services to children
on and off the reservation by paying for childcare and school activities, as
well as providing tuition for college and trade schools. In an effort to
celebrate his tribe's American Indian heritage, Gomez has resurrected the native
language Samala, participated in traditional tomol crossings, and brought
pow-wows back to his community.

Elton Naswoood has spent most of his career dedicated to
changing the stigma of HIV and AIDS in the American Indian community. He is
currently the Program Coordinator for the Red Circle Project (RCP) at AIDS
Project Los Angeles, the only HIV prevention program in Los Angeles County
that specifically targets the American Indian community through a variety of
services and support groups. To raise awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention
within the American Indian communities, Naswood regularly presents on HIV
prevention and Two Spirit culture & history for service providers, and at
conferences, colleges and a variety of community events. Additionally, Naswood
serves on community advisory boards for organizations including the National
Native American AIDS Prevention Center and the Office of Minority Health
Resource Center.

Ian Skorodin is an iconic American Indian filmmaker and
philanthropist, who has produced award-winning films and television programs
with an American Indian point of view. In addition to his film work, Skorodin
founded the Barcid Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the
causes of indigenous people. The foundation is in the process of preserving all
archival American Indian materials and provides multimedia production for
related projects. Skorodin also founded the Los Angeles Skins Fest, a film
festival that gives American Indians the opportunity to showcase their talent
and gain distribution. Recognizing the importance of investing in our youth, he
not only created a youth program for the LA Skins Fest, but has also taught at
the Weengushk Film Institute in M'Chigeeng Canada.

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

We Shall Remain: American Experience "Trail Of Tears" (Monday, November 1, 2010, 9:00
p.m. - 10:30 p.m.)--
We Shall
Remain: American Experience
, a five-part series, spans 300 years in U.S. history
from the American Indian perspective.  It
begins in the 1600s with the Wampanoags who used their alliance with the
English to strengthen their position in southern New
England.  It ends with the
bold new leaders of the 1970s, who harnessed the momentum of the Civil Rights
movement to forge a pan-Indian identity.

Independent Lens "Reel Injun" (Tuesday,
November 2, 2010, 10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.)--
Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond
takes an entertaining, insightful, and often humorous look at the Hollywood
Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of
cinema and examining the ways that the myth of "the Injun" has influenced the
world's understanding--and misunderstanding--of Natives. Narrated by Diamond with
infectious enthusiasm and good humor, Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood
Indian is a loving look at cinema through the eyes of the people who appeared
in its very first flickering images and have survived to tell their stories
their own way.

Before There Were Parks: Yellowstone and Glacier Through
Native Eyes
(Monday, November 1, 2010,
10:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. encore presentations on Sunday, November 7, 1:00 p.m. -
1:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 21, 2010, 4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
For more
than 12,000 years, the intermountain West's native peoples have called the
lands known as Yellowstone and Glacier
National Parks
"home." This program explores modern indigenous perspectives on these
great wilderness areas and explores both the cultural divide that separates
modern times from the not-so-distant past and recent efforts by the National
Park Service and native peoples to bring these disparate visions into greater

Choctaw Code Talkers (Sunday, November 7, 2010, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)--Choctaw Code Talkers is an empowering chronicle of the Choctaw Soldiers
as the original code talkers during World War 1, a story which has been buried
in history for nearly a hundred years. With testimonials from family members
and Choctaw tribal leaders the program brings a unique perspective to these
forgotten heroes and their wartime contributions.

6 Generations (Sunday,
November 14, 2010, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.)--
6 Generations explores
the family history of Ernestine De
Soto, an elderly Chumash American Indian whose mother was the last Chumash
speaker.  Spanning six generations, De Soto's family lineage reaches back to the arrival of
Spanish conquistadors in Santa Barbara.  In 6
, De Soto
creates a unique link to the past by recounting this history through the voices
of her female ancestors.  Recollecting
the work of anthropologist John Peabody Harrington-- who researched De Soto's family for 49 years beginning in 1913--De Soto reveals the
impact of loss of land, language and culture along with the fierce endurance of
her ancestors.

                                                                                                                 On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role
in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central
California. Each month 3.6 million viewers watch KCET, which is
the second most-watched public television station in the country and has the
largest geographic reach of any public television station in California. KCET, which becomes the largest
independent public television station in the country effective January 1, 2011,
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 website, 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.

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