RNCI Red Nation Awards

Founded 1995


Hollywood & Indian Country’s Biggest Night for American Indian & Indigenous Storytellers Cementing Native Indigenous at the forefront of the Entertainment Industry

Hollywood has Oscar, Broadway has Tony, Television has the Emmy, and Indian Country has the Red Nation Film Award of Excellence™

Since 1995, the RNCI Red Nation Awards has honored outstanding artistic achievements in television, film, comedy, music and the arts. The show is an integral part of RNCI’s mission and is held on the last day closing the Red Nation International Film Festival. RNCI’s mission is to create greater opportunities for American Indian & Indigenous families in the United States. As a national television special with a cause, the RNCI Red Nation Awards demonstrates how inclusion strengthens the entertainment industry and diversity strengthens our country by promoting fair, accurate, and representative portrayals of American Indian & Indigenous image.

Each November, in celebration of American Indian Heritage Month, the entertainment community and film fans around the world turn their attention to RNCI Red Nation Awards. Interest and anticipation builds as we lead up to the RNCI Red Nation Awards LIVE telecast on Red Nation Television Network, when hundreds of movie lovers tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honors in native filmmaking.

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About Red Nation Film Award of Excellence

Red Nation International Film Festival & Awards Show honors accomplishments of Independent Motion Pictures and Documentaries, which are produced, directed, written, and starring American Indians. Honorees include individuals who have made advancements in film, radio, television, media, environment, social justice, human rights, career accomplishments in the arts, volunteerism, and cultural affairs.

The Red Nation Statuette

Red Nation Statuette has positioned itself as the most recognized American Indian trophy in the world, cementing Native Indigenous Image in the forefront of the Entertainment Industry.

It became apparent to create a statuette to honor outstanding moviemaking achievements by Native Indigenous filmmakers and thereby encourage excellence in all facets of motion picture production in 2009.

Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) created the *Red Nation Film Award* and tapped New Mexico sculptor artist Phillip Mangas Haozous, of the Fort Sill Chiricahua Apache people (N’de) son of the late Apache sculptor artist Allan Houser to design “The Red Nation Statuette”.

RNCI Red Nation Film Award was designed in three dimensions – and the world-renowned statuette was born.

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RNCI Red Nation Awards is made possible through gifts, grants and sponsorships.

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RNCI Red Nation Awards first broadcast was in November 2013 televised broadcast. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Streamed Live on Red Nation Television Network.

In 2013, RNCI Red Nation Awards Ground-Breaking Historic event was a televised broadcast, marking the FIRST EVER televised broadcast of an American Indian Awards Show, reaching 19 million homes with our partnership with Comcast | NBC Universal and on Red Nation Television Network – Native is Here reaching 10 million viewers in 37 countries, marking RNCI Red Nation Awards, the first American Indian Awards Show broadcast on cable television and the internet. A-list talent included Benicio Del Toro, A. Martinez, Alma Martinez, Tantoo Cr Cardinal, Saginaw Grant, Sage Galesi, Zahn McClarnon, Lenore Andriel, Charlie Soap, Theda NewBreast, Bill Billingiere, Michelle Thrush, The Baker Twins, Crazy Dog Society, Scatter Their Own, Various Native Leaders, and dozens of other American Indian & Indigenous stars joined our host and executive producer Joanelle Romero.

November 2007 at Hollywood Roosevelt (dinner gala).

November 2009 and 2010, at C.B.S Studio Lot (dinner gala).

From 2003 to 2011, and in 2017 RNCI Red Nation Awards were announced online without a live broadcast.

Subsequent ceremonies were held at various venues, including Harmony Gold Theatre, Laemmle Music Hall, Laemmle Fine Arts, Crest Theatre, Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and in Santa Fe New Mexico.

** Copyright/Trademark American Indian Heritage Month™ in the City of Los Angeles was founded in 2005 by Red Nation Celebration Institute and was officially recognized by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles in 2006.

RNCI Year-Round Program Calendar

The Red Nation Celebration Institute Programs focus on the specific development of storytellers from Native and Indigenous backgrounds, encompassing feature film and episodic work. Fellows will receive hands-on support from the Institute and advisors, including one-on-one feedback sessions and roundtable discussions.

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