Our Network

IllumiNative is building an innovative organizational network that fosters meaningful participation from a diverse and committed collective of Native storytellers, artists, youth, organizers, tribal and grassroots leaders as well as non-Native partners in entertainment, media and social justice.

Our work is led by a circle of consultants, an Advisory Board and an Advisory Council comprised of highly talented and committed individuals who are deeply connected to their own communities and have successfully undertaken groundbreaking work in their respective fields.

IllumiNative Leadership

Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee) is founder and CEO of IllumiNative. Throughout Crystal’s career, she has been a respected, passionate and successful advocate for the rights of Native Americans with a special emphasis on Native children and educating philanthropy and different sectors of the American public to help transform public perceptions of tribes and Native peoples. Through her company, Echo Hawk Consulting, she and her team have worked to create new platforms, narratives, strategies and investment that can help to catalyze transformational change for and by Native Americans. Crystal was recently recognized by the National Center for American Indian Economic Development as its 2018 “Native American Woman Business Owner of the Year.”

Crystal recently designed and co-led the 2-year, $3.2 million research and strategy setting initiative Reclaiming Native Truth Project. The project was completed in June 2018 with the national release of the research findings that have been widely recognized as groundbreaking. Through the vehicle of IllumiNative, Crystal will work with a respected team of Native artists and thought leaders in pop culture, media and social justice to advance new narratives for Indian Country in partnership with Native communities and allies that can transform hearts and minds and dismantle the invisibility, erasure and toxic narratives that impact Native peoples today.

Advisory Board

Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota), President & CEO, American Indian College Fund

Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee), Partner, Pipestem Law & Playwright

Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee), President & CEO, Echo Hawk Consulting

Advisory Council

Bird Running Water(Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), Director, Native American and Indigenous Program, Sundance Institute

Judith LeBlanc (Caddo), Director, Native Organizers Alliance

Brenda Toineeta Pipestem (Eastern Band Cherokee), Associate Justice of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Supreme Court

Kathy Baird (Oneida/Sicangu Lakota), Group Managing Director at Oglivy Public Relations

Libero Della Piana, Director of Digital Content for People’s Action, a new organization built by Alliance for a Just Society, National People’s Action and USAction.

Bethany Yellowtail (Northern Cheyenne/Crow), Founder and CEO, BYellowtail

Nick Tilsen (Oglala Lakota), President and CEO, NDN Collective

Heather Rae, Iron Circle Pictures

Partners

Buffalo Nickel Creative is an acclaimed Native-owned marketing agency led by Ryan RedCorn (Osage) and Joseph Brown Thunder (Ho-Chunk/Oglala Lakota) that develops authentic graphic design grounded in Native cultures as well user-friendly, interactive, content-driven websites.

The Norman Lear Center is a research and public policy center that studies the social, political, economic and cultural impact of entertainment on the world and translates its findings into action through testimony, journalism, strategic research and innovative public outreach campaigns.

True North Media is a nonprofit 501c3 media company that brings together funders, strategists and influencers to acquire, develop and distribute popular entertainment for short- and long-term social change.The nonprofit is led by Chad Boettcher, formerly of head of social impact at Univision.

Harness was founded by actress America Ferrera to bring influencers and trendsetters in the entertainment, business and technology industries together with grassroots leaders to shift the dominant narrative on social issues and address the challenges of vulnerable communities.