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NBCUniversal and IllumiNative Partner to Increase Indigenous Representation in Media


November 01, 2023

Today, to kick-off Native American Heritage Month, NBCUniversal and IllumiNative, the Native women-led organization focused on amplifying contemporary Native voices, stories, and issues to advance justice, equity, and self-determination, announced a new partnership. NBCUniversal will leverage IllumiNative’s expertise to increase Indigenous representation in the company’s storytelling by activating workshops, as well as consulting and recruitment services across the media company’s vast portfolio of entertainment and news businesses and their embedded inclusion efforts NBCU Academy, NBCU LAUNCH and Universal’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI), among others. 

Later this month, IllumiNative will host a conversation for NBCUniversal creative and production professionals to educate them on the best practices and approaches to filming on Native Land. Additional sessions are planned for Universal Destinations & Experiences Team Members who create and design experiences and events that appeal to the Indigenous community.

“We have seen an overwhelming interest in and demand for authentic Native content, and we are so excited to continue working with NBCUniversal to advance Native representation and visibility,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, Founder and Executive Director of IllumiNative. “Native peoples are breaking barriers and shattering expectations in Hollywood, and we look forward to building on this success and momentum to amplify the incredible work of Native creatives, educate the entertainment industry on authentic storytelling, and expand what is possible for our communities.”

“Our audiences and park guests expect and deserve accurate representations in our global storytelling and experiences,” said Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, NBCUniversal. “Since 2018, IllumiNative has been a passionate and leading voice for the Native Community. Founded and co-led by Executive Director Crystal Echo Hawk, we are honored to be IllumiNative’s partner in this exciting new initiative.”

"Native voices have shaped the very foundation of our country, yet they have long been underrepresented in media. IllumiNative does great work in amplifying Native cultures and I applaud their new partnership with NBCUniversal, which will help ensure Native voices are heard and their influence is felt." – Representative Sharice Davids (KS-03)

In September, IllumiNative led a Native Representation 101 training, co-hosted by Indigenous @NBCU, the company’s employee resource group focused on advancing community and opportunity for Indigenous employees and their allies. The session focused on combating stereotypes, definitions in Native American culture and cultural protocols.