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Tulalip Tribes award $35,000 to support public television series on Native Americans

TULALIP — The Tulalip Tribes are awarding $35,000 from their Charitable Fund to support the pilot episode of "Growing Native," a new television series.

A joint project of KCTS Television in Seattle and Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc., "Growing Native" will be a cultural travelogue about Native American peoples, cultures, foods and tribal traditions. The 13 half-hour episodes will take viewers on adventures throughout "Indian country." The series will spotlight tribal communities and the Native Americans who live there, as well as some of the major cultural events that bring tourism and world travelers to those lands.

With the Tulalip Tribes' initial investment in the series pilot, KCTS Television and NAPT are looking for additional funding to begin filming the pilot and complete the series.

"We are thrilled to partner with Native American Public Telecommunications and KCTS Television to promote modern Native American culture," said Mel Sheldon Jr., chair of the Tulalip Tribes. "Native American tribes are an economic, cultural and environmental force in this country. Our own efforts to restore fishing, hunting and gathering in the Pacific Northwest have led to innovative programs that benefit the Tribes, the region and the economy. We look forward to sharing this and other Native American accomplishments through this important series."

To complement the upcoming broadcast series, Native American Public Telecommunications is developing educational resources that will be available on their soon-to-be-launched educational microsite. NAPT plans to deliver certified, series-complementary educational content that meets national curriculum standards for the classroom.

"Our goal is to promote accurate information about Native Americans within public, private and tribal school systems, in addition to higher education entities," said Brendan McCauley, project coordinator for NAPT.

"Growing Native" will visit places and people who are practicing sustainable aquaculture and agriculture while reclaiming indigenous foods through additional methods such as hunting, fishing and gathering. The series will also showcase the increasing the use of renewable energy. Viewers will be taken on an intimate journey through the beauty of the land — following ancient trade routes across county from the East Coast to the Great Plains and onward into the Southwest and Pacific Northwest — while enriching their lives through the cultural exploration of the footage documented in this new series.

"'Growing Native' is a fascinating look at how Native Americans have maintained their cultures while borrowing elements of modern society," said Shirley Sneve, executive director for NAPT. "NAPT is so thankful to the Tulalip Tribes of Washington for their generous support to bring this educational and informative series into living rooms and classrooms everywhere."

The series is intended to raise the profile and awareness of "Indian country," as well as promote accurate stories utilizing tribal museums and other educational institutions. The Tulalip Tribes' Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, opening next year, will serve as a series resource.

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