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Outta Your Backpack Media (OYBMedia) seeks to create community ownership of media through youth empowerment. We challenge corporate dominated media by telling our own stories and by establishing our own networks and opportunities for media distribution. We emphasize resource access for Indigenous Youth with a focus on media literacy. We do this by holding free workshops, providing mentorship projects, coordinating community film screenings and festivals, and by distributing fully equipped decentralized media centers in backpacks.

Who We Are:
Outta Your Backpack Media is a project of Indigenous Action Media (
OYBmedia is organized as an all Indigenous collective that acts to efficiently provide Young People with access to independent media skills and resources. We are actively creating a broad network of mentors including independent media professionals.
Most of our work is volunteered.

OYBmedia is an Indigenous Youth response to the need for Media Justice in our communities. From corporate media bias or non-coverage, media injustices are rampant. We believe that media literacy provides an empowering and active perspective for young people that can enable us to creatively address and overcome some of the most critical issues affecting us.
More and more our identities are being shaped by popular culture. If we interview our elders and tell our own stories, we hope to also provide an intergenerational bridge that can support our own cultural survival.

Imagine if every community had the power to create its own media. What would it look like? We would see youth sharing their stories online, displaying their films on projection and bed sheets in public spaces (or home) in every community. What would it sound like? We would hear high school students making guerilla radio/Podcasts so all can hear. What would it read like? We would read Outta Your Backpack newspapers incorporating art, comedy, current news, and events concerning community empowerment and resistance.
Every organization & community needs an Outta Your Backpack Media collective!

What We Accomplished in ’07:
Throughout 2007, OYBmedia hosted multiple workshops, produced more than 10 short videos and released OYBmedia DVD Vol. 1, supported local youth filmmakers with equipment loans, sponsored and coordinated the 4th Annual Southwest Native American Film Festival in partnership with the Museum of Northern Arizona and Flagstaff Cultural Partners, attended festivals and screened at national film festivals, and distributed a fully equipped backpack media kit.
Shelby Ray (16, Dine’), OYBmedia’s Youth Coordinator was recognized with the Arizona Student Film Festival’s “Award of Excellence”.
On October 25th 2007, OYBMedia and Indigenous Action Media established an Indigenous Youth Media Arts Center in connection with Taala Hooghan, an infoshop/bookstore in Flagstaff, AZ.
OYBmedia also established partnerships with Snag Magazine, Guerilla Griots/Green Guerillas, Kinlani Dormitory, and Taala Hooghan.

Project Description 2008
Goal: We will train youth from Indigenous communities in media skills.
Objective: We will continue to host media workshops in and around Northern Arizona.
We will also partner with schools and other community organizations/groups. We will train Indigenous youth to become mentors.

Goal: Ensure grassroots community access to media resources (individuals, organizations, communities).
Objective: Pay rent for the Youth Media Arts Center. Acquire more editing and productions equipment for workshops and for loan to youth working on associated media projects. Create and distribute four Outta Your Backpack Media kits.

About the Indigenous Youth Media Arts Center:

Outta Your Backpack Media has established itself in a Youth Media Arts Center that will provide resources, technical training and support for Indigenous youth and emerging youth organizations focused on environmental and social justice issues in the Southwest. Our hopes in establishing this center are:

1) to facilitate media justice education and empowerment for youth and Indigenous communities through workshops and mentorship projects. This includes cultural awareness and educational opportunities.

2) Become a youth driven/focused information “clearing house” through video, web and print.

3) Build an autonomous media collective (driven by community with little to no foundation support) that has the ability to provide media support for grassroots issues impacting youth, Indigenous peoples and other impacted communities.

4) The center will serve as a space that provides creative self expression for all - to offer a voice to the growing number of youth who have something to say and to deter the youth that have been caught up in attempts to harm themselves through drugs, gang activity, and other issues.

OYBmedia's space provides:

    • A meeting, gathering, and screening space for Outta Your Backpack Media and other organizations. 
    • Computers for video and audio editing and high speed internet.
    • Provide media equipment (cameras, mics, etc.) to lend out for associated projects.
    • Art supplies and storage space.
    • Silk screening.
    • and more!


    We are in need of equipment donations for workshops and backpack kits.
    Used equipment is cool!

    Specifically we need:

    1. Apple computers (800mhz G4s or better). Laptops preferred for backpack kits.
    2. Video Cameras (MiniDV or Digital 8)
    3. Tripods for video cameras
    4. Digital still cameras
    5. External Harddrives
    6. Lighting equipment
    7. Headphones
    8. Microphones
    9. Computer monitors (flat panel preferred)
    10. Solar Panels (email for details of what specs we need)


    Klee Benally, Indigenous Action Media/OYBmedia Coordinator
    Phone: (928) 527-1431

    Shelbi Ray, OYBMedia Youth Coordinator

Indigenous Action Media • (928) 527-1431 • info(at)indigenousaction.(org) •