About Mission



The Authentic Voice of American Indian and Indigenous storytellers, our mission is in promoting, advancing, advocating and empowering independent filmmakers, media artists and content creators, with an emphasis on initiatives for Native women and youth, in all media platforms, in conjunction with partners from around the world.


Established in 1995, Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) is the longest standing American Indian & Indigenous multidisciplinary educational Arts & Culture 501 3 (c) non-profit corporation in Los Angeles, founded in Santa Fe NM during Indian Market.

Before becoming a non-profit organization, we operated as a Production Company since 1991. That company was responsible for producing films, concert series and music videos including the first American Indian AIDS concert, “Warriors Against AIDS,” casting American Indian dancers for Michael Jackson’s Black or White music video (the highest paid dancers in music video history), producing numerous benefit concerts, Award-winning documentary films and the first and only American Indian drama series pilot, *Home, Home on the Res*.

RNCI is the first native nonprofit organization funded by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department in 2000. Red Nation Celebration Institute is responsible for establishing American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles in 2005 and officially recognized by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles in 2006.

That same year 2006, RNCI produced the Mayor’s reception at City Hall bringing together all tribal leaders, spiritual leaders and community to introduce American Indian Heritage Month. This historic event cemented the American Indian Heritage Month. #PowerOfInclusion

RNCI launched the first Pow Wow and Native Parade in 2007, Opening The State Historic Park Downtown Los Angeles. Marking it as an historic ground breaking event, held during American Indian Heritage Month.

Founded in 1995, the Red Nation Celebration Institutes’ programs and initiatives seek to highlight authentic, inclusive representation in film, television and new media for American Indians in addition to promoting, advancing, advocating and empowering independent filmmakers, media artists and content creators in all media platforms.

RNCI is the Authentic Voice of American Indian and Indigenous storytellers, our mission is in promoting, advancing, advocating and empowering independent film and filmmakers, media artists and content creators in all media platforms. Natives in Charge of their Narrative 

Each year, RNCI presents contemporary and traditional American Indian performing arts of diverse artistic disciplines in film and television, providing filmmakers with resources to further their careers in the entertainment and music industry and connect them to larger, global mainstream audiences. In addition, our educational programs presents positive role models from the arts and entertainment disciplines to under-privileged youth from urban and reservations, empowerment initiatives for women and girls, urban American Indian communities and supports students with creative hands-on training exposing them to resources they might not ever have.

RNCI is a year-round nonprofit arts & culture organization based in Los Angeles CA and New Mexico, founded by Joanelle Romero in 1995 during the famous Indian Market in Santa Fe NM.

RNCI Objectives 

Red Nation Celebration Institute is an organization that preserves and records our heritage; an instrument for American Indians and non Indians alike to erase stereotypes and replace them with positive representations that reflect the diversity of American Indian life and culture.

RNCI is an organization at the forefront of American Indian and Indigenous media advocacy, pushing to ensure that American Indian and Indigenous talent across the nation are treated fairly and have access to all opportunities in the media.

RNCI, Native Women in Film & Television is dedicated to promoting equal opportunities for American Indian & Indigenous women by encouraging them to be involved in the creative arts, exploring empowering portrayals of women in all forms of global media and expanding initiatives for Native women and girls in the arts, media, social justice, civic engagement, economic empowerment, research, training and international relations.

RNCI seeks to empower Native youth, encouraging their involvement in the creative arts so they can see themselves positively reflected in all forms of media.

RNCI is parent organization to Red Nation International Film Festival, Native Women in FILM, Red Nation Television Network, Red Nation International Film Festival “On the Road’ Tour, Native Youth Matter including all RNCI programs, initiatives and campaigns.

Projects and programs include:

Red Nation International Film Festival ~ The Authentic Voice of American Indian & Indigenous Cinema. Los Angeles.  Est. 2003.

Red Nation International Film Festival ‘On the Road’ Tour ~ Santa Fe New Mexico 2003, Washington D.C. 2016, Mexico 2018, France 2019.

Native Women in FILM. Est. 1996

Native Women In Film & Television. became is own film festival.  Los Angeles. Est. 2009

Red Nation Television Network ~ Native is Here. Before there was Netflix or Hulu – there was Red Nation TV. Global.  Est 2006.

American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles. Est 2005, Officially recognized by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles in 2006.

American Indian Heritage Month in the of New Mexico. Est 2008.

Native Youth Matter ~ If I Can See It I Can Be It. Global.  Est 1995.

including all our other programs and ground-breaking initiatives and campaigns. Please visit all our other pages on this site.

TODAY Red Nation Celebration Institute a leading American Indian entertainment entity and the longest standing Native Arts & Culture non-profit organization in Los Angeles CA. RNCI is the world’s most recognized American Indian performing arts, cultural, media, and educational nonprofit organization dedicated to American Indian, Alaska Native and Indigenous Nations, representing music, actors, writers, directors, producers, and visual artists.

Red Nation Celebration Institute continued commitment supports excellence in education, self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, community building, economic development, empowerment and inspirational opportunities for native youth and women and has changed American society with its continued on-going programs in the arts, media, social justice, civic engagement, economic empowerment, research, training and international relations.

Red Nation Celebration Institute advocates on behalf of American Indian artists, performers, actors, directors, producers, writers as a liaison organization, promoting strong federally recognized artists including urban native communities as well as promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian, Alaska Native and Indigenous Nations, and people to the entertainment industry, arts, social justice, tribal nations, environmental and educational communities in Los Angeles State of California and worldwide.


Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) was established out of a direct need. 1994 founder Joanelle Romero partnered with SWAIA’s former executive director Don Owen.  RNCI has its roots in Santa Fe, New Mexico, produced during the famous Indian Market  in 1995. RNCI pioneered the music movement during Indian Market. In 1995 there wasn’t any contemporary American Indian music being performed, since inception of Indian Market.

In 1998, in Los Angeles produced during the most important weeks of the music industry “The Grammy Awards Week.” In 2003, Red Nation Celebration “Concert Series” became an “Official Grammy Event” and went on to become Red Nation Celebration’s “Signature” Event.

In 2005, Red Nation continued its place during Indian Market in Santa Fe and launched the music scene on the Plaza during Indian Market week-end and now native music is being performed on the plaza. In addition that same year RNCI produced Red Nation Film Festival “On the Road” Tour bringing the best of American Indian & Indigenous Independent films to Santa Fe and the Red is Green Carpet Galas.

Due to Red Nation’s vision, native music is being heard throughout Indian Market and Native ilm are being screened. Red Nation’s success is a revolution and presentation of Native music from all over Indian Country from within the communities urban to reservations. Red Nation was recognized as a groundbreaking concept and became a widely publicized event of national stature. Red Nation has successfully featured American Indian recording artists, Grammy winners and nominees, and has been a launching pad for numerous American Indian musicians who have been signed to labels since performing at Red Nation’s concerts over the last 23 years including American Indian & Indigenous Independent films.

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RNCI hashtags

#RNIFFlosangeles  #RNIFFsantafe #WhyWeWearRED #NDNMEX #NativeGLAM #RedisGreenCarpet #RedNationTV #TeamRedNation