NARRATIVE POWER + IMPACT

AMPLIFYING NATIVE VOICES, STORIES & ISSUES

Narratives are powerful. We utilize narrative and culture change strategies to build both narrative and systemic power for Native peoples. Our Narrative Power + Impact program houses our groundbreaking research-informed storytelling, digital organizing, cultural strategy, and advocacy work.

Our Narrative Power + Impact team utilizes research, digital organizing, media relations, rapid response communications, and multimedia content to advance power-building and narrative and culture change goals. Our work amplifies and advances contemporary Native voices, stories, issues, and content in order to educate, engage, and mobilize audiences.

By shifting narratives—and ensuring Native peoples author the narratives—we are building Indigenous power and creating a more just and equitable world.

Photo: Josué Rivas

CELEBRATING OUR 2 SPIRIT LGBTQIA+ INDIGENOUS RELATIVES

We cultivate and uplift Native storytellers that reflect the diverse, expansive, and complex facets of contemporary Native identity today. In 2022, there has been a significant uptick in local and national legislation targeting 2 Spirit LGBTQIA+ people. We invite other Native organizations, tribes, and our allies to be vocal in their support and solidarity of 2 Spirit LGBTQIA+ liberation and speak out about homophobic and transphobic legislation.

PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

CHANGE THE NAME

Sports have the power to influence and inspire people of all ages. That’s why we must end the use of Native mascots in sports and build the world we want to see, together.
As long as Native mascots continue to be allowed in Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, the National Football League, and K-12 schools, any actions taken to end systemic racism will fall short. Racism is racism.

ILLUMINATIVE ON-AIR PODCAST

IllumiNative On-Air podcast uplifts stories and news from across Indian Country to support and illuminate contemporary Native voices, stories, and issues. The podcast was created to increase the visibility of Native peoples and ensure accurate and authentic portrayals of Native communities are present in pop culture and media.

INDIGENOUS FUTURES STORYTELLING PROJECT

Indigenous peoples lead and thrive across the United States. IllumiNative and Indigenous Photograph are celebrating the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples by providing a platform to share the work of Indigenous creatives. This virtual exhibition centers Indigenous voices in conversations about our communities.

IN THE CLASSROOM

Native Americans are a vibrant and growing population with rich, distinct cultures in the United States. Tribal governments and Native communities have made large strides in revitalizing and teaching traditional languages and cultural practices and remain at the forefront of innovative practices in a variety of areas.

However, invisibility and erasure remain profound barriers facing Native individuals, families, and communities. These barriers are perpetuated by K-12 public education systems and have created hostile learning environments for Native children and negatively impact both Native and non-Native students by continuing to further invisibility and false narratives about Native peoples’ past and present.

IllumiNative has partnered with Amplifier and the National Indian Education Association to provide free, downloadable resources for parents and teachers.

Photo: Shelby Lisk

YOU’RE WELCOME, AMERICA

“You’re Welcome, America!” is a digital series that features quick, punchy, and unpolished lessons about Black folks and Natives. Hosted by comedians Adrianne Chalepah (Kiowa/Apache) and Joyelle Nicole Johnson, “You’re Welcome, America!” clarifies some of the gravest misunderstandings about Native and Black people in America today, highlights mutual community struggles, and has a joyful time.
“You’re Welcome, America!” is co-produced by IllumiNative and The Center for Media and Social Impact at American University‘s Comedy ThinkTanks.