SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The first American Indian TV channel in the United States went on the air in Southern California September 25 with the launch of FNX: First Nations Experience Television.
FNX is a 24/7 high definition (HD) multi-platform digital media vehicle created through a partnership between the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and KVCR, a PBS member station located in California’s Inland Empire. FNX features authentic voices and stories reflecting the reality of Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
“This marks the birth of an innovative project that has been in the works for seven years now,” said Larry Ciecalone, president and Chief Executive Officer of KVCR/FNX. “The FNX Channel launched at 7:00 p.m. in Southern California on KVCR 24.2 digital. It is a TV channel dedicated to the Native American experience and the first of its kind in the nation. We developed this concept with our founding partner, San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians. KVCR/FNX is pleased to offer this experience to Southern California viewers and will launch the channel nationally next year.”
FNX launched in the second largest market in the United States, with a potential audience of 18 million viewers. Within one year, FNX plans to expand and lead the way as a producer of authentic First Nationsstorytelling via the Internet and over-the air, satellite and cable broadcast systems.
San Manuel Vice Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena, who will be a guiding force in its development, said, “Today, Indian country can take pride in this first major step toward establishing a communications institution to secure a national and international presence utilizing the television medium – a communications medium that all Native and indigenous people can utilize to tell our stories about our cultures and history.”
Programs will include varying genres including documentaries, sports, feature film, drama series, newsand comedy. The inaugural program line-up included “Apache 8,” the compelling story of an all-female White Mountain Apache firefighting crew, and “Good Meat,” an engaging documentary about one man’s journey to improve his health by going back to a traditional Lakota diet that included buffalo.
FNX will initially air six-hour blocks of Native programming repeated daily, and is adding content and new programs over the next few months to expand the schedule. Within a year, the channel will have 24-hour all-Native programs and will be available to Indian country via Internet streaming.
“Native America is the foundation for our nation,” said Charles Fox, FNX executive director and Chief Operations Officer. “Much of our culture, language, laws and place are based on traditional Native American cultures and practice. For the first time in our nation’s history, there will be a place where all people can discover, appreciate and re-examine our common bond and shared values. That place is FNX: First Nations Experience.”
As members of the World Indigenous Television Broadcast Network, FNX is the first multimedia venture in the United States created to accurately educate the general public about Native American realities.
FNX’s new website also features stories about Native producers, documentaries, events and a daily blog, FNX Beat, written by Indian Country Today Media Network’s West Coast Editor Valerie Taliman.