IllumiNative announces ‘Indigenous Futures: Envisioning The Next 100 Years’ at Santa Fe Indian Market

Panelists include Sierra Teller Ornelas, Jana Schmieding, Tazbah Chavez, Shandiin Tome, Jhane Myers, and more of today’s Native actors, writers and artists

Santa Fe, New Mexico (Press Announcement From IllumiNative)

IllumiNative, the Native woman-led social justice organization dedicated to building power for Native peoples, has announced the program and panel participants for Indigenous Futures: Envisioning the Next 100 Years. 

Industry leaders such as Sierra Teller Ornelas, Jana Schmieding, Tazbah Chavez, Shandiin Tome, ‘Prey’ producer Jhane Myers, and more will join in a panel discussion series.

Hosted by IllumiNative and in partnership with the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), featuring award-winning Chemehuevi artist Cara Romero, Indigenous fashion brand Urban Native Era, and the Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program, the VIP event will be an experiential and impactful space to celebrate Native representation, leadership, visions for the future, and drive the economic impact of Native art at the Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico. 

Indigenous Futures will also spotlight a multimedia Native art experience curated by featured artist Cara Romero, an award-winning Chemehuevi photographer who is among the first contemporary Native artists to be featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

“We’re so excited to have such an incredible group of Native voices joining us in Santa Fe for Indigenous Futures: Envisioning The Next 100 Years,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, Founder and Executive Director of IllumiNative, in a press announcement. 

“This event is not only a celebration of groundbreaking Native artistry, cultures, and leadership, but it is a concerted effort to galvanize action to address key issues impacting Indian Country and bring about transformative change for Native peoples and our future generations. We look forward to bringing the Native community together to disrupt the invisibility of Native peoples and build our collective power,” said Echo Hawk.

The overall event will feature powerful conversations between Native leaders as they discuss voting and building power, climate justice, women and gender, and representation in art, film and television and other key issues impacting Indian Country. 

During the two days, guests will get to connect, learn, celebrate Native joy, art and culture, and be inspired to envision a new era for Indian Country for the next century. 

Panel discussions and participants will include: 

Indigenizing TV: Present and Future

  • Panelists: Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo), Showrunner/Executive Producer, Rutherford Falls; Jana Schmieding (Mniconjou/Sicangu Lakota) Actor, Writer, and Comedian, Rutherford Falls; Tazbah Chavez (Bishop Paiute/Navajo/San Carlos Apache), Writer, Director, Producer, Reservation Dogs/Rutherford Falls; and Bobby Wilson (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), Actor, Writer, Artist, and Comedian, Rutherford Falls, Reservation Dogs, Echo.

Indigenizing Film: Present and Future

  • Panelists: Shandiin Tome (Diné), Director, Cinematographer; Jhane Myers (Comanche/Blackfeet) Producer, Prey; Amber Midthunder (Fort Peck), Actress, Prey.

The Next 100 Years of Indigenous Art, Culture, Fashion, and Representation

  • Panelists: Barbara Teller Ornelas (Navajo), Master Weaver; Gary Farmer (Cayuga Nation), Actor, Musician, Reservation Dogs, Resident Alien; Cara Romero (Chemehuevi Indian Tribe), Featured Artist, Photographer; and Joey Montoya (Lipan Apache), CEO & Founder, Urban Native Era.

Building Indigenous Power: The Future of Voting and Organizing

  • Panelists: Judith LeBlanc (Caddo), Director, Native Organizers Alliance; Nick Tilsen (Oglala Lakota), CEO, NDN Collective; Holly Cook Macarro (Red Lake Ojibwe), Partner, Spirit Rock Consulting LLC; Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee, Athabascan), CEO, Eighth Generation and Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee), Founder & Executive Director, IllumiNative.

Gender & Leadership: The Strength of Indigenous Women

  • Panelists: Carla Fredericks (Mandan Hidatsa), CEO, Christensen Fund; Brandi Morin (Cree/Iroquois/French), Journalist and Author; Kim Peone (Colville Confederated Tribes), Executive Director, SWAIA; and Alicia Ortega (Pojoaque/Santa Clara Pueblos) Co-Director of Strategy & Growth, Native Women Lead.

Climate Justice and Radical Imagination: Indigenous Creativity as Adaptation and Mitigation

  • Panelists: Janene Yazzie (Diné), NDN Collective and more to be announced; moderated by Jade Begay (Diné/Tesuque Pueblo), NDN Collective.

The event will also include a curated, multimedia art experience centered on Indigenous Futurism, food and beverages from Indigenous vendors, pop-up shops, a screening of Long Line of Ladies, a short film by Shandiin Tome (Diné) of the Sundance Institute, a Livestream of the SWAIA Finale Indigenous Fashion Show on August 21st, and swag bags and merchandise designed by Urban Native Era.


La Terraza at La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel

100 East San Francisco Street

Santa Fe, NM 87501 


August 20 (12pm-6pm MT) and August 21 (10am-6pm MT)


Limited tickets are now available for purchase here.

Proceeds from ticket sales will support advancing the mission of IllumiNative, a nonprofit organization fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund.


If you’re interested in attending, please reach out to 

About IllumiNative: 

IllumiNative is a Native woman-led racial and social justice organization dedicated to increasing the visibility of—and challenging the narrative about—Native peoples. Our mission is to build power for Native peoples by amplifying contemporary Native voices, stories, and issues to advance justice, equity, and self-determination. We envision a future where the self-determination and sovereignty of Native peoples is respected and supported; where our children see themselves reflected in the world around them; and where Native peoples author and drive our own narrative. 

About Southwestern Association for Indian Arts:

The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) is a non-profit organization supporting Native American arts and culture. It creates economic and cultural opportunities for Native American artists by producing and promoting the Santa Fe Indian Market, the biggest and most prestigious Indian art event in the world since 1922; cultivating excellence and innovation across traditional and non-traditional art forms; and developing programs and events that support, promote, and honor Native artists year-round.

About Cara Romero:

Cara Romero is a contemporary fine art photographer. An enrolled citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Romero was raised in contrasting settings: the rural Chemehuevi reservation in Mojave Desert, CA and the urban sprawl of Houston, TX. Romero’s identity informs her photography, a blend of fine art and editorial photography, shaped by years of study and a visceral approach to representing Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural memory, collective history, and lived experiences from a Native American female perspective. Maintaining a studio in Santa Fe, NM, Romero regularly participates in Native American art fairs and panel discussions and was featured in PBS’ Craft in America (2019). Her award-winning work is included in many public and private collections internationally. 

 About Urban Native Era:

“To bring Indigenous visibility through fashion and design.”

Urban Native Era (UNE) started in November 2012 in San Jose, CA by Joey Montoya (Lipan Apache) who wanted to increase the visibility of Indigenous Peoples through social media. He began taking photos and videos of the ‘Idle No More’ movement and posted them online. By May 2013, Urban Native Era released its first set of shirts intended to draw in a broader audience. Today, UNE crafts minimal yet powerful designs to create timeless garments. Made for everyone. UNE is now located in Los Angeles, CA.

About Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program:

The Sundance Institute Indigenous Program champions and provides deep support of Indigenous-created stories on a global scale. From labs and fellowships to screenings and gatherings around the world, the program’s offerings are designed in response to the specific needs of Native and Indigenous storytellers. Through our work, we emulate our core values of decolonizing the screen and uplifting the voices of Indigenous artists, recognizing that telling their stories comes with great responsibility and obligation towards Indigenous peoples, communities and their sovereignty.