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Participants learn media skills, celebrate education Champions during Utah Governor’s Native American Summit.
August 3, 2015
On July 30, 2015, 36 participants in the Native American Youth Summit crowded into a computer lab to learn video production from Frank Blanquet, a media professional with the First Nations Experience (FNX) television channel. The workshop, “Film Making for Champions,” was designed in conjunction with UEN’s Utah American Graduate project and a national campaign to celebrate people who help students find and stay on pathways to academic success.
The two-hour workshop was offered as part of the Youth Track during “Hozho speaks—Love, Peace, Beauty and Harmony,” the 10th Annual Utah Governor’s Native American Summit. This year’s gathering, hosted by the Navajo Nation, drew 600 tribal leaders, government officials and community members to Utah Valley University. The event included drum calls, cultural performances, workshops and more.
In his keynote address, Governor Gary Herbert noted the growth of the Summit in the decade since its inception and praised its Youth Track, which emphasizes career options and the value of education.
“Film Making for Champions” participants learned how broadcast-quality content can be created with devices such as mobile phones, tablets and digital cameras. After discussing camera, lighting and interview techniques, participants broke into groups to take turns giving and recording testimonials about people who have positively impacted their education. The workshop was led by Frank, a producer and director for FNX, which airs 24/7 programming by and about indigenous peoples and is broadcast in Utah by UEN. UEN’s Lisa Cohne and Haylee Johansen assisted.
“It was nice to see youth members put together great quotes about their American Graduate Champions,” says Frank. “I hope the kids gained a sense of awareness regarding how important it is to have a voice in media, but also how important it is to appreciate the Champions that stand out to them.”
All participants have been invited to submit their final videos to be featured on the Utah American Graduate website. Select videos will air during the Governor’s signing of American Heritage month declaration and the Utah American Indian Film Festival events.