About

MISSION

The Indigenous Arts Institute (InArts) is dedicated to promoting Indigenous Peoples in film & television, visual arts, performing arts and media through education about Indigenous Peoples issues, stories, cultures and life-ways.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tim Harjo – President

Tim Harjo has had a distinguished career in public service work. Tim has been practicing law for over fifteen years representing numerous tribes, tribal organizations, and individual clients.  Mr. Harjo currently serves as the Chairman of Amerind Media Group, a digital media distribution company that recently launched the NativeFlix service. Over the past twenty years, Tim has served on various government and non-profit boards, commissions, and working groups dealing with economic development, constitution reform, and housing issues among others. Tim holds a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University, a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University, and Master’s degree in Business Administration from California State University.  Tim earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Fort Lewis College. Tim is member of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe and is also of Seminole and Comanche descent.

Marjorie Tanin – Vice President

Marjorie is a member of the Santa Clara Pueblo tribe of New Mexico. She was born and raised on her reservation and is still fluent in the Tewa language. She still maintains her traditional ways and is of the Winter Clan. Marorie is an actor and a casting consultant. She became involved in the entertainment industry in 1987 and is a member of the SAG/AFTRA Guild. She was very active in the American Indian Registry, casting Native American Indians in various roles, as well as serving as a consultant on many television and film projects. Aside from her career in the entertainment industry she volunteers many hours of her time to the American Indian community. From 1994 to 1998 she was the Vice-Chair of the Screen Actors Guild Native American Sub-Committee. She also served on the E.E.O. Steering Committee along with the Ethnic Women’s Committee. She was the main force behind the Native American talent Directory that SAG distributed nationwide. She has served as an advisor for the Screen Actors Guild Native American President’s Task Force. She is on the advisory board of Native Voices at the Autry, and serves as a consultant for Project HOOP, (Honoring Our Origins and People). Project HOOP is a national multidisciplinary initiative to advance Native American theater and performing arts throughout Indian country. Her goal is to have more Native actors portrayed in Film, Television and in all facets of the entertainment media and become prominent in the American Scene.

Sharyn Steele – Secretary/ Treasurer 

Sharyn is an enrolled member of the Wisconsin Ho-Chunk Nation. She graduated from Dartmouth College with double majors in English and Film before earning an MFA from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program, where she was the first Native American to attend. She was a development executive at Gold Circle Films and WWE Studios where she oversaw film and television projects before becoming an independent producer. She also serves on the Executive Boards of the Native American Alumni Association at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment and Media, Dartmouth Club Los Angeles and The Indigenous Arts Institute. Most recently, she was a Native American and Indigenous Program, Time Warner Foundation Native Producer Fellow through Sundance.

STAFF

Jessica Marisol Harjo – Executive Director

Jessica holds a B.S. in Film, Media, and Social Justice with an emphasis in Producing and holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Project Management from Mount Saint Mary’s University. She is a member of the International Honor Society in Business, Management and Administration. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Indigenous Arts Institute. She specializes in non-profit grants management, human resources, event logistics, administrative and financial operations. She has a background in the disciplines of theater, photography, film and television. She began her career as a dancer, trained in ballet, modern and jazz dance. For over twelve years she competed in nationally award winning and internationally recognized color guard groups, including the Concord Blue Devils and then performed professionally as a featured performer in the national tour of the Tony Award winning show Blast and CyberJam at the Queens Theater in London’s west end. She has toured and performed in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Canada and Japan. She was also a former dancer for Dancing Earth Creations – Indigenous Contemporary Dance Company (www.dancingearth.org). She has had the opportunity to work on acclaimed productions including, Wicked, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Her film and television experience include being a television host/personality on the PBS and ESPN2 broadcast of Drum Corps International World Championships. She has also worked on various film and television projects as a director, producer, producer’s assistant, second assistant director, and script supervisor and is the Co-Founder of NativeFlix an Indigenous focused online video streaming company. Her career is focused on supporting Indigenous Peoples, particularly in the realm of art, social justice and representation in massive media. She is of Japanese, Filipino, Chicana and San Carlos Apache ancestry originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, California. She now enjoys living in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her family.

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