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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 1, 2002 - Issue 62


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Summer Program to Train Young Indian Filmmakers

by Edward Sifuentes North County Times
CameramanOrganizers say they hope a summer program will awaken the cultural pride and college aspirations of the county's American Indian students.

The six-week Young Native Scholars Summer Program at UC San Diego will teach students basic film production, Web page design, radio and television broadcasting and the history of local Indian tribes, organizers said.

"In addition to encouraging students to pursue their communication interests at the college level, (the program) will prepare them to be part of a core multimedia team that will be used later to establish cultural communication efforts in their own areas in order to document current and past Native American experiences," said Marc Chavez, the program's coordinator at UCSD.

The program is in its second year, but it will be the first time San Diego's Media Arts Center will collaborate, bringing its Teen Producer's Project to help students learn basic filmmaking techniques.

"(Filmmaking) is an exciting hook to get students interested in and use digital technology to get involved in their community," said Ethan van Thillo, executive director of the nonprofit Media Arts Center.

The Teen Producer's Project is an ongoing program that has helped Latino students document life in the county's poorest neighborhoods.

Van Thillo said the Teen Producer's Project will do the same for American Indian youths, giving them the skills to document life on their often remote reservation communities by creating short films and public service announcements.

Students participating in the UCSD program will receive three units of college credit. In order to participate, students must be of American Indian descent and have a 2.5 grade point average or better, said Shonta Chaloux, site manager of the Southern California Tribal Chairman's Youth Center located on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation.

The Southern California Tribal Chairman's Association, which represents most Southern California tribes, is helping to fund and coordinate the program.

In classes beginning June 18, students will receive 30 hours of training in film production, including hands-on camera work, film editing, script writing and digital film production.

They will have nine hours of instruction in radio and television broadcasting, music theory and on-air production. And they will have nine hours of Southern California Indian history instruction.

The program also includes camping outings, cultural site visits, field trips to university campuses and other activities.

With their filmmaking skills, students create film projects that students can use as content for Internet or on-air programming, Chavez said. He said the students will also help create cultural multimedia centers at local reservations to link Indian communities via the Internet and airwaves.

Graduates of the program will also serve as mentors for other Indian students and will have the opportunity to be hired to film events sponsored by the chairman's association, Chaloux said.

"There are a lot of objectives that we see within ourselves," he said.

There will be 15 students accepted for this year's program. The deadline to submit applications is June 3. For an application, call (760) 751-7676 or visit the website at:

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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