To create a world where our media reflects the rich diversity of our communities, a shift is needed in the film industry. There are over 5,000 Indigenous nations worldwide, and every single community holds unique ways of doing things. To begin in a good way, please use the Resources below, created by Indigenous peoples, as a starting place. Then visit other existing Databases to find and hire diverse creatives. If you know of other resources or databases we should include, please let us know!
Courtesy of Princess Daazhraii Johnson (Neets’aii Gwich’in)
On-screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities, Cultures, Concepts and Stories
Commissioned by imagineNATIVE and prepared by Marcia Nickerson with support from Communications MDR, this highly-anticipated guide provides cultural principles, key findings from a national consultation process, and best practices for filmmakers, production companies, and funders when depicting Indigenous content on screen, and how communities can be collaborative partners.
This guide was made possible through the support of: Canada Media Fund, the National Film Board of Canada, Ontario Creates, Telefilm Canada, Creative BC and the Inspirit Foundation.
Pathways & Protocols: A Filmmaker’s Guide to Working with Indigenous People, Culture and Concepts
Screen Australia published this comprehensive guide for all filmmakers working with Indigenous content and communities. Researched and written by lawyer Terri Janke, this handbook provides advice about the ethical and legal issues involved in transferring Indigenous cultural material to the screen. It covers documentary and drama, including short dramas, feature films and television drama. Using real case studies as practical examples, the guide assists and encourages recognition and respect for the images, knowledge and stories of Indigenous people.
Download Guide (PDF ENGLISH)
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Kin Theory fully supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Kin Theory database is on its way but not live yet. We invite you to explore existing Indigenous creator databases below, as well as other databases focused on the work of the global majority including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other People of Color, as well as undocumented people, femme, trans, and nonbinary identified people, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities.
Array Crew – Created by Ava DuVernay, Array Crew exists to support systemic changes in the below-the-line hiring practices of the film and television industry and to connect underrepresented crew members to hiring managers who practice inclusive outreach. They aim to be a resource for executives and hiring managers throughout Hollywood amid the ongoing push for more inclusive crews.
Asian American Documentary Network (A-DOC)
Asian American Documentary Network (A-DOC) – A-Doc is a national network that works to increase the visibility and support of Asian Americans in the documentary field who have come together as one, multi-generational force to advocate for their vital presence in the field. They aspire to help other Asian American documentarians partner with community organizations and educators, and foster collaboration among the filmmaker community.
View their FILM DATABASE
View their CREW DATABASE
Bid Black – Bid Black is a non-profit platform on a mission to normalize the presence of Black filmmakers in creative roles in the advertising industry. They aim to be a complementary resource for all creative industries to source Black talent – placing an emphasis on creating more opportunities for Black creators to bid on commercial jobs by increasing awareness and access to Black directors, cinematographers, editors, colorists, and more.
Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM)
Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) – Brown Girls Doc Mafia advocates for women and non-binary people of color working in the documentary film industry around the world. They fight inequality by building community and sharing resources, nourishing creative brilliance, demanding access and visibility in creative and professional environments, enriching their community with the knowledge to sustain themselves financially, and by cutting through oppressive industry structures to advocate for their members.
View their MEMBERS
Cherokee Nation Film Office
Cherokee Nation Film Office – The mission of the Cherokee Nation Film Office is to increase the presence of Native Americans in every level of the film and television industries, while creating opportunities for economic development and jobs in the Cherokee Nation.
Visit their NATIVE CREW DIRECTORY
Visit their NATIVE TALENT DIRECTORY
Free the Work
Free the Work – This non-profit initiative provides a curated talent-discovery platform for underrepresented creators. Promoting a holistic approach to hiring underrepresented talent, FREE THE WORK connects creators with those who hire in the film, television, advertising, and media industries. It also offers educational tools, facilitates mentorship opportunities for creators, and acts as a collaborative social media platform. Members can connect with each other and work together on issues they care about.
Indigenous Media Hub
Indigenous Media Hub – This Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Heritage site is a platform for learning about and engaging with the production of Indigenous media in the digital age. The Indigenous Media Hub presents and disseminates information about the work of Indigenous peoples in media.
Indigenous Photograph – This database consists of working storytellers on Turtle Island (North America) and is available to photo editors, creative directors, and those who routinely hire photographers. Natives Photograph is a space to elevate the work of Indigenous visual journalists and support the media industry in hiring more Indigenous photographers to tell the stories of their communities and to reflect on how we tell these stories.
National Indigenous Talent Database
National Indigenous Talent Database – Run by Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), imagineNATIVE and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), The National Indigenous Talent Database (NITB) aims to provide opportunities for Indigenous talent in Canada in-front of and behind screen, digital, theatrical and commercial production.
View the ISO Funding Database
imagineNATIVE’s Indigenous Industry Databases
imagineNATIVE’s Festival List
The Shine Network
The Shine Network – Created by Jennifer Podemski, The Shine Network offers a digital cinema space for content created by Indigenous women and a professional development incubator for Indigenous women pursuing a career in the film, television and media industry. It is a direct response to the chronic under representation of Indigenous women on screen and behind the camera in Canada’s media production sector.
View their list of RESOURCES