Join the Alaska Native Heritage Center for a LIVE Q&A in partnership with the Sundance Institute & MMIWG2s Alaska!
Leya Hale comes from the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Diné Nations. She makes her home in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her companion and children. She is a producer for Twin Cities PBS and is best known for her first feature documentary, The People’s Protectors, a Vision Maker Media grant production, and winner of the 2019 Upper Midwest Emmy Award for Best Cultural Documentary. In 2020, Leya was awarded the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists and attended the 2020 Berlinale European Film Market as a NATIVe Fellow. When not producing feature films, Leya works on a variety of short form content in efforts to create social change within the upper Midwest region.
Adam Piron is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and a Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) descendant. He currently acts as the Director of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program where he helps oversee the organization’s investment in Indigenous filmmakers globally. He also serves as a short film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. He is also a co-founder of COUSIN: a film collective dedicated to supporting Indigenous artists experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of the moving image. He was previously the Film Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He received his BA in Film Production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Piron currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Seen, a journal produced by BlackStar examining the visual culture of communities of color, featuring interviews, reviews, and essays about Black, Brown, and Indigenous visual culture. He concurrently serves on the Board of Trustees and Programming Committee of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar as well as on the Indigenous Advisory Board for TIFF. He has also been on advisory panels for Canyon Cinema, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, The Princess Grace Awards and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.