Vision Maker Media recognized and honored Syd Beane (Flandreau Santee Sioux) with The Frank Blythe Award in Media Excellence on May 9, 2023 in Saint Paul, MN with a community reception at Twin Cities Public Television.
Syd is a citizen of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Dakota nation. He first began his journey in media organizing as co-host/producer of the weekly 21st CENTURY NATIVE AMERICANS TV talk Show in Phoenix, Arizona during the 1970’s. In California, he worked with his dear friend and relative the late Floyd Red Crow Westerman and film producer/writer Chuck Banner in developing documentary films.
He was instrumental in creating the INTERTRIBAL ENTERTAINMENT media training program with Southern Californian Indian Centers. This partnership led to relationships with the major studios and native media Tribes and national organizations that formed the NATIVE MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY NETWORK. Syd served as national coordinator of the Native Media & Technology Network (NMTN) developing media training and business opportunities with major media companies and the AMERICAN INDIAN SUMMER FILM INSTITUTE in partnership with FOX ENTERTAINMENT GROUP in Los Angeles.
Syd is a former board member of both Vision Maker Media and Native Public Media. He is a past board chair of Migizi Communications, a youth media training organization based in Minneapolis, MN. Syd is an educator, having taught media, organizing, and community development at both Minneapolis College and Metro State.
Upon retiring for the third time, Syd became an established documentary filmmaker of the films NATIVE NATIONS: STANDING TOGETHER FOR CIVIL RIGHTS,” and “OHIYESA: THE SOUL OF AN INDIAN.” He is currently researching and in preproduction of a documentary film focusing on the history of American Indian basketball, and his most recent book collaboration “IN THE BEGINNING, THE SUN: THE DAKOTA LEGEND OF CREATION” by Charles Eastman was released in April 2023 by Minnesota Historical Society Press.
Frank Blythe, founding executive director of Vision Maker Media, retired in 2006 after his life’s career in broadcasting and public media. The Frank Blythe Award for Media Excellence was then created to recognize outstanding contributions by an individual or organization in creating opportunities engaging and empowering Native American and Alaska Native media makers. Based on his achievements, Frank Blythe set the standard for this recognition.
Much of what we’re witnessing today in Native American content and media (commercial and public media) is rooted in the groundwork laid by Frank Blythe and his collaborators.
Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns.