Apple announces contributions to the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

Apple recently announced its support for the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian through grants aimed at preserving Native American history and promoting Indigenous storytelling. These contributions are part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to support and partner with Indigenous communities through its Empowering Creatives program.

The Sundance Institute Indigenous Program and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian are both dedicated to raising the profile of Native and Indigenous peoples’ voices and experiences. The Sundance program focuses on nurturing Indigenous filmmakers through labs, fellowships, screenings, and individual feedback sessions. Meanwhile, the National Museum of the American Indian educates the public on Native and Indigenous cultures at its locations in Washington, DC, and New York City.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, emphasized the importance of honoring Indigenous communities’ rich histories and stories. She cited “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a film that highlights an overlooked but vital story, as an example of the type of work Apple aims to support.

The announcement coincided with an event featuring Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, Martin Scorsese, and Lily Gladstone at the National Museum of the American Indian to discuss “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

In addition to supporting these two institutions, Apple has previously partnered with Oklahoma City University (OCU) to provide educational tools and resources that leverage Apple’s ecosystem. This partnership aims to support the Osage vision for preserving language and culture through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) experiences in classrooms and beyond.

Last September, Apple and OCU brought educators from Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Osage nations together for multi-day learning experiences. These workshops focused on integrating Apple technologies into learning environments and creating culturally relevant learning experiences. Teachers learned to use Apple’s software, such as iMovie and soon Final Cut Pro, to create podcasts and video stories, bringing creativity and coding into their classrooms and enhancing language learning.

Apple’s commitment to Indigenous communities extends to various initiatives, including updating Maps to represent Indigenous lands in the U.S. and Canada, supporting Indigenous-language syllabaries, and working with organizations advocating for frontline communities impacted by climate change.

Notably, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is now available in select theaters and streaming globally on Apple TV+.

Regarding Apple Original Films, the momentum has been growing since the debut of Apple TV+ four years ago. The streaming service made history with “CODA” winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, and its slate includes numerous upcoming high-profile projects featuring prominent actors and directors.

Apple TV+ is accessible in over 100 countries on a variety of devices and platforms, offering a diverse range of original content for a monthly subscription fee. New customers purchasing select Apple devices are eligible for a three-month free trial of the service.

Apple’s latest initiative underscores its commitment to cultural preservation and the promotion of diverse narratives, particularly those of Indigenous communities. By supporting the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Apple is playing a crucial role in amplifying Indigenous voices and preserving rich cultural histories that have often been marginalized in mainstream media and historical accounts.

The grants to these institutions are part of a broader strategy by Apple to create more inclusive and diverse narratives. The Sundance Institute Indigenous Program provides a unique platform for Indigenous filmmakers to tell their stories, offering them resources and support that might otherwise be inaccessible. This not only helps bring these stories to a wider audience but also ensures that they are told authentically and respectfully, honoring the traditions and perspectives of Native and Indigenous peoples.

Similarly, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian serves as a vital educational resource, offering insights into the rich and diverse cultures of Native Americans. Through exhibits, educational programs, and public events, the museum plays a pivotal role in educating the public about the history, art, and culture of Native and Indigenous peoples in North America. Apple’s support will help the museum continue its mission of preserving and sharing these important cultural narratives.

Apple’s partnership with Oklahoma City University is another significant step in supporting Indigenous communities. By providing educational tools and resources, Apple is helping to preserve Indigenous languages and cultures. This effort is particularly important as many Indigenous languages are endangered. By incorporating these languages into its technology, Apple is not only helping to keep these languages alive but also ensuring that Indigenous cultures continue to thrive in the digital age.

These initiatives are part of Apple’s broader commitment to social responsibility and community engagement. By supporting underrepresented communities and promoting diverse narratives, Apple is helping to create a more inclusive and equitable society. This approach aligns with the company’s overall ethos of innovation and creativity, demonstrating that technological advancement can go hand in hand with social progress.

Overall, Apple’s recent announcements reflect the company’s dedication to leveraging its resources and influence to make a positive impact on society. By supporting Indigenous storytelling and cultural preservation, Apple is helping to ensure that these vital narratives are not only preserved but also celebrated. This commitment to cultural diversity and inclusion not only enriches the global narrative but also sets a standard for corporate responsibility in the tech industry and beyond.


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