The Creative Enterprise by Natives delivering to all people the stories that shape our world. RNCI the longest standing Native Women-Led, Indigenous Media Arts & Cultural nonprofit in the history of the Entertainment Industry, Empowering Native Indigenous Storytellers, founded in 1995.  Board of Directors are from the Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache, Dinétah, Paiute, Pawnee, Pojoaque, Southern Ute, Haudenosaunee, Lakota, Mvskoke Creek of the Muscogee (Creek), Yurok Nation, Bishop Paiute Tribe Nuumu from Payahuunadu and Mexican. Serving Indian Country and the entertainment industry. 

Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) Board of Directors


Joanelle Romero - Founder President CEO

Linda Tenequer – Chair

Susan Masten - Vice Chair

Aubrey Hicks - Executive Secretary

Rebecca Brando

A Martinez

Edward James Olmos

Michael O’Keefe

Zion White

Zion White


Advisory Board

Montano Rain

Sage Galesi

Michelle Schenandoah

Michelle Schenandoah

Teri Red Owl

Lynette TwoBulls

Lisa Tiger

Dr. Joel Silbar


Honorary Board

Chief Oren Lyons

LaDonna Harris

Elizabeth Kucinich

Esai Morales

John Bryant


RNCI Why We Wear RED & Only One Water Campaign Committees

Jen Martel

Jen Martel

Jeri Onopa

Jeri Onopa

Teri Red Owl


In Loving Memory

Pearl Daniel Means

(1960 – 2022)

Pearl Daniel-Means (Diné) Born into the Ashiihi (Salt) Clan of the Navajo Nation, Her Lakota name, Iyoyanbya Izanzan Win, translates loosely to “Bright Light.”
Means walked alongside the late American Indian activist, author, artist, and actor Russell Means, as his wife, business manager, and collaborator. She was chair of the T.R.E.A.T.Y. Total Immersion Educational Endowment Fund from 2012 to 2020. In this capacity, she worked tirelessly in support of Indigenous culture, arts, education, and spirituality.

Means is co-producer of the feature documentary END OF THE LINE: THE WOMEN OF STANDING ROCK. Her film won at Red Nation International Film Festival in 2016 and received ‘Best Doc Short’ at the RNCI Red Nation Awards.

Served on RNCI Board from 2013 – 2020.

Larry Sellers

(1949 – 2021)

Osage, Cherokee, and Lakota. Traditional ceremonial leader, actor and stuntman who played the leading Indian role Cloud Dancing (for which he received an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor) in the popular series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”. While on Dr. Quinn, Sellers is credited as the show’s Native American Consultant. His other roles were The Naked Indian spirit from Wayne’s World 2.

Served on the RNCI board from 1995 – 2021.

Joanne Shenandoah


(1957 – 2021)

“In the Iroquois way, it was decided by the women (Clan Mothers), who were responsible for the political, social and spiritual welfare of our people. They inspired the Women’s Suffragette movement and were responsible for choosing the leaders and taking them out of office. To this day, we remain ever vigilant of our place upon mother earth as we considered “Lifegivers”. It is our responsibility to ensure that our children have clean air and water. It is up to us to provide them with a better earth than we found it unto the seven generations.”

Served on the RNCI Native Women in Film & Television in All Media – Media Coalition Board from 2018 to 2021.

Chief Leonard Crow Dog

Chief Leonard Crow Dog

(1942 – 2021)

A medicine man and spiritual leader. Through his writings and teachings, he has sought to unify Indian people of all nations. As a practitioner of traditional herbal medicine and a leader of Sun Dance ceremonies, Crow Dog was also dedicated to keeping Lakota traditions alive. Red Nation Celebration Institute is the only organization that Leonard Crow Dog was involved with.

Served on RNCI Board from 1995 – 2021.

Julia Bogany

(1948 – 2021)

Cultural Consultant and Tribal Councilmember of the Tongva Nation. Initiated and wrote the Land Acknowledgment for the City of Los Angeles. Teacher of language and basket making. Initiated and wrote the Land Acknowledgment for the City of Los Angeles. Teacher of language and basket making.

Served on RNCI Board from 2017 – 2021.

Peter Vitus Catches (Zintkala Oyate)

Peter Vitus Catches (Zintkala Oyate)

(1955 – 2018)

Peter V. Catches (Zintkala Oyate) has put on and conducted the Spotted Eagle Sundance for forty years; the longest running sundance in Lakota History. Pine Ridge, SD. Peter created the Lakota Language Workbook.

Served on the RNCI board from 2011 – 2018.


August Schellenberg

August Schellenberg

(1936 – 2013)

Actor and director, known for Black Robe (1991), The New World (2005) and Free Willy (1993).

Served on the RNCI board from 2000 – 2013.

Russell Means

Russell Means

(1939 – 2012)

Actor, activist for the rights of Native Americans, libertarian political activist, writer and musician. He became a prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) after joining the organization in 1968 and helped organize notable events that attracted national and international media coverage.

Means was active in international issues of indigenous peoples, including working with groups in Central and South America and with the United Nations for recognition of their rights. He was active in politics at his native Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and at the state and national level.

Beginning an acting career in 1992, he appeared on numerous television series and in several films, including The Last of the Mohicans and released his own music CD. Means published his autobiography Where White Men Fear to Tread in 1995.

Served on the RNCI board from 1995 – 2012.

Edward Albert Jr

Edward Albert Jr

(1951 – 2006)

Best known for his role in “Butterflies are Free” In more recent years he served on the California Coastal Commission and California Native American Heritage Commission.

The son of actor Eddie Albert and Mexican actress Margo, he starred opposite Goldie Hawn in Butterflies Are Free (1972), a role for which he won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year. He was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Albert starred in more than 130 films and television series, including Midway, The Greek Tycoon, Galaxy of Terror, The House Where Evil Dwells, The Yellow Rose, Falcon Crest and Power Rangers Time Force.

Served on the RNCI board from 2000 – 2006.

Chief Phil Crazy Bull

Crazy Bull

(1949 – 2006)

Crazy Bull graduated from Fort Lewis College with a B.A. degree in Psychology, then earned his Masters Degree in Psychology from UNM. He loved the outdoors, basketball, fishing and camping. He sponsored many spiritual activities.

Served on the RNCI board from 2000 – 2006.

Becky Akins MA

Red Nation Film festival

(Mohawk Nation) – Tucson AZ. – Nicotrigo, LLC. Grant Writing for Native Americans.

Served on the RNCI board from 2009 – to date of her passing.


Past Members

Dr. Anthony Stately

Dr. Anthony Stately

Ph. D. former AIDS Project LA

Years served: 2003 – 2010.

RNIFF Logo Transparent

Celebrating 29 Years of the Native Narrative through Artist Development


Double the Impact


Sign Up Today to receive RNIFF News on Native Cinema

Support the Native Narrative

Creating Systemic Change through Film, Television, New Media and the Arts

Give Today