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KVCR Press Release

First Nations Experience Television Wins Emmy Award at NATAS Pacific Southwest Gala

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Palm Springs, CA—06/25/24 First Nations Experience, FNX-TV, the only national Native American and World Indigenous-focused broadcast network in the United States, is thrilled to announce their documentary Indian Rodeo: Voices from the INFR recently received a prestigious Regional Emmy® Award at the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Pacific Southwest Gala. Notably, FNX received two Emmy® nominations, with their short film and Native Hope Champions: Riding for the Missing also competing in the same category.

Indian Rodeo: Voices from the INFR premiered in 2023 on FNX and PBS member station KVCR, highlights the significant contributions of Native Americans in the exciting world of rodeo. This 30-minute documentary features interviews with barrel racers, cattle ropers, and a bareback bronco rider, offering insights into the rodeo circuit, the growing presence of female athletes, and what some riders are doing to raise awareness for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women People’s Movement. As well as the unique significance of the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) within Indian Country. This film was made possible with the generous support of the International

Women Media Foundation (IWMF) Fund for Indigenous Journalists: Reporting on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit and Transgender People (MMIWG2T).

This win marks a significant achievement for the Native led FNX team and is not just a trophy, but a testament to their unwavering commitment and dedication to creating high-quality content that celebrates Native American culture and perspectives through an Indigenized lens.

During a brief acceptance speech Navajo Nation tribal member Sahar Khadjenoury, producer for the FNX Network since 2015 stated, “This truly belongs to all the courageous riders who use their platform for good, Native people this is for you.” She continued, “to all the searching families, we see you, we stand with you, and in unity we ride for hope.”

“For all the Indigenous kids out there wondering if we belong in these spaces, we do. We belong up here!” said, Yucatec Maya community member Frank Blanquet as he proudly held the award at the podium. Blanquet further stated, “There’s a lot more positive stories in Indian country than there are somber stories, so to all my colleagues in mainstream media, for all the negative stories you do, tell a positive one, because we need positive representation for our Native youth.” This was a reference to the sensationalized and often negative stories commonly pursued and reported on by mainstream media outlets.

“This is a real honor for FNX and our team to be recognized for this distinguished award,” stated KVCR/FNX Executive Director, Connie Leyva.

The FNX team is incredibly grateful to the INFR for their generous sponsorship of our Indigenized table at the Emmy® Awards Gala and to all the esteemed guests who joined us for this special occasion. Guests included San Manuel Tribal Secretary Audrey Martinez, General Manager Donna Hoyt Marketing /PR Person, Perse Hooper-Lewis from the INFR, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) Chief of Staff Erin Abrahamson Director of Communications Emerald Skye Byrd, and FNX production team members Sahar Khadjenoury (Navajo), Mariana Lapizco (Yaqui) and Frank Blanquet (Maya).

FNX extends its gratitude to the KVCR TV and Radio teams for their contributions to the production, delivery, and promotion of both nominated films. We also send a heartfelt thank you to Tara Gatewood from the IWMF for her unwavering support and belief in this project.

The production team behind Indian Rodeo: Voices from the INFR include:


Sahar Khadjenoury & Frank Blanquet

Co-produced with KVCR-TV &

Produced in Association with Weaving Cultures Media and Shoen Wasler Group Camera: Sahar Khadjenoury & Frank Blanquet

Editor: Frank Blanquet

Directors: Sahar Khadjenoury &

Frank Blanquet

Production Assistant: Mariana Lapizco Assistant Editor: Andrew Moreno

Executive Producers: Frank Blanquet, Anthony Papa

About FNX

First Nations Experience (FNX) broadcasts on 29 affiliates in 32 states and is the countries only national broadcast network dedicated to amplifying Native American and Indigenous voices. FNX creates high-quality content celebrating culture, tradition, and the unique perspectives of Indigenous communities. Their commitment to authentic storytelling empowers and inspires viewers, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for Native American experiences. For more information visit