The Fourth Annual Native American Animation Lab Selects Seven Fellows –

The Native American Media Alliance (NAMA) announced today that it has selected 7 participants for the 4th Annual Native American Animation Lab, a talent development program aimed at promoting careers of Native Americans in the field of animation. .

“Storytelling, in all forms, is an integral part of our identity. We are proud to bring our artists to a growing field where our representation is just beginning to blossom.” said Ian Skorodin (Choctaw), director of strategy for the Native American Media Alliance.


Selected participants participate in a five-day course in which they meet with executives from the most high-profile animation firms, including Dreamworks Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Paramount Global and many others. The lab consists of daily group sessions, one-on-one mentoring and creative collaboration to help each participant start making key relationships in the animation industry.

The five-day total immersion lab is led by animation executive producers and industry veterans. Mentors provide guidance for each Fellow’s animation television or motion picture project. At the end of the lab, each participant joins a panel of executives from our corporate supporters, receiving feedback and gaining additional insights.

The Native American Animation Lab was created to increase the number of Native Americans working in animation, to promote fair and accurate portrayals of Native Americans in television and film.


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7 Animation Lab Fellows:

Dakota Hasold Flandreau is a member of the Santee Sioux tribe. He works as a staff writer, production assistant and co-host. Good Morning Indian Country, a weekly live local news outlet. However, Dakota’s love of writing goes beyond journalism. His short film Cain and Coyote was screened at the 2020 Haskell Film Fest. He is currently shooting for another short film, titled Comedy. A den of snakes.


Randy Scott Kelsey The Navajo descends from the Towering House tribe on his mother’s side and Kiowa and Laguna (Lizard Tribe) on his father’s side. He recently published his own book series. Tarragon And launched a clothing line. Randy recently moved to Los Angeles, committing to a career in animation and fine arts.

Frankie Joe Morin Grew up in Belcourt, North Dakota, within the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa Indian Reservation. While creating personal webcomics, animations and illustrations, he also had opportunities to create comics, art and animation for professional publishing and distribution. Maureen also takes commissions to hone her skills and share her art. Frankie’s biggest dreams would be to create his own long-form comic book, write and illustrate stories for Anishinaabe children, and most importantly, use his experiences and skills to join the animation industry. Collect and tell authentic, meaningful stories through the medium that has inspired them so much. and surprised.

Teresa “Erin” Parker (Absent Shawnee/Kiowa/Cherokee/Kikapo) is a Native American educator based in Tulsa, OK. In 2022 he received a scholarship through the Cherokee Nation Film Office to write for a screen workshop at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. During this writing for Screen Workshop he developed a brief 5-minute timeline from logline to final screenplay. She has written curriculum for middle school students, started a Native American literature class for middle school students, and helped revise the Oklahoma history curriculum to include a Native American perspective. Is. She wants to use her skills as an educator and write cultural curriculum to create historically accurate stories in a way that children of any age can learn and enjoy. Her stories center on emotionally complex mothers and their children—particularly in the realm of historical fiction.

Jessie Ann “Griffin” Rooms is a two-spirit, non-binary Native American (Hupa Valley Tribe) singer, writer, artist, and animator. Their stories and fantasy worlds primarily focus on queer, disabled and/or neuro-diverse characters. He is currently studying digital design and is a self-taught artist in several graphic design, animation and visual effects programs. Their goal is to help people from similar upbringings love themselves despite all the hate in the world.


Second City Chicago and former Harold Ramis Film School Ahioka sauce A two-spirit comedy writer. As a writer, director, and actor who suffers from mental illness and disability, Ahyoka finds comedy a helpful skill not only for coping in life, but also for finding one’s own identity as well as others. There is also a way to inform. Ahyoka’s most popular live credits are writer, producer, and director of the five-hour long sketch revues at The Second City Chicago. In September 2022, Ahyoka won the Roadmap Writers Diversity Initiative competition. A month later, he made Head Address, a short film for the Sundance Film Festival Indigenous Program. Other short film credits include writer and producer. over it (2020) with writer, producer, and director close to you (2021). He has also worked on the sets of the showtimes Shameless and The CW. Batwoman. Ahyoka’s self-published book, Koalas and Other Funny Short Stories, is available now in Chicago bookstores and online.

Zachary Takacs (absent Shawnee) is a Native American writer and animator based in Tempe, AZ. In 2020, he began a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation and a minor in Digital Culture at Arizona State University and is currently in his third year of the program. In 2021, he was part of the Moving Narrative exhibition in the 2D Animation category. In the same year and in 2022, they were included in the degree program’s Semester Showcase in the categories of 2D and 3D Animation respectively. He has also participated in the 24 Hour Animation Challenge in 2021 and 2022.


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