PWNA Celebrates Heritage Month and Hosts Reception to Commemorate Partner Wes Studi

For nearly 30 years, we’ve recognized November as National American Indian Heritage Month. This November, we encourage you to join Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) in the #PWNA4HeritageMonth celebration by watching our new videos about life on the reservations and participating in our giveaways.

As part of American Indian Heritage Month, we’re also reminded to celebrate the countless contributions and achievements of Native Americans and consider what more we can do to positively impact tribal communities.

Wes Studi, legendary actor, PWNA partner and advocate for social change on behalf of Native communities
Wes Studi, legendary actor, PWNA partner and advocate for social change on behalf of Native communities

Recently, PWNA proudly celebrated one of these special individuals – legendary actor Wes Studi. Wes made history on Sunday, Oct. 27 as the first Indigenous actor to receive an Honorary Oscar, at the 11th annual Governor’s Awards hosted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. The Governor’s Awards – also known as Honorary Oscars – signify lifetime achievement within the film industry and Wes was among four recipients this year, alongside Geena Davis, David Lynch and Lina Wertmüller.

Following the recent announcement of our partnership with Wes, PWNA hosted a special private reception for Wes on Saturday, Oct. 26, to commemorate his achievement in film. More than 50 guests joined Wes at Paramount Studios to toast to his accomplishment. PWNA’s Chairman of the Board Christina Kazhe thanked Wes for his years of advocacy to bring attention to the critical issues in Indian Country on behalf of Native American communities.

Celebrating legendary actor and PWNA partner Wes Studi at a private reception to commemorate his Oscar and film career

Those in attendance partook in a special screening of our new PSA series developed with Wes to help break misconceptions and raise awareness of the realities of life on reservations. Wes stressed the importance of sharing this PSA with audiences as many people are unaware of what’s happening in Native communities, and correcting the misperceptions is a critical step in enacting long-term solutions and social change

Notable guests included actors Tantoo Cardinal, Sherie Blake Foster, Q’orianka Kilcher, Heather Rae and Dawn Jackson, along with directors Chris Eyre, Gregory Nava and Valerie Red-Horse.

Remember to visit www.pwna4hope.org throughout the month of November for the latest updates, including:

  • New videos and DVD giveaways every Friday (Nov. 1, 8, 15 and 22) and Nov. 26
  • Bonus giveaway on Nov. 27
  • Five ways you can help


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