Joanelle a descendant of Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache, Dinétah, Paiute Nations and is SpanishSephardic. A relative of Pawnee, Pojoaque, Southern Ute, Haudenosaunee and Lakota. Joanelle’s father was born on the Jicarilla Reservation and her great-grandma her grandpa’s mother from her mother’s side was born on the Mescalero reservation. Chief Leonard Crow Dog gave Joanelle her name Oyate Wayanka Po Win (People Who See This Woman).
Joanelle Romero Founder President CEO Native-led Woman-led enterprise Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI), the pioneer longest standing Native Media Arts & Cultural non-profit organization in The City of Los Angeles, founded in Santa Fe NM 1995. Under the parent RNCI organization, Joanelle with more than 44 years curating Native films, established the largest and first Native Film Festival in Los Angeles RED NATION INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (RNIFF) The Authentic Voice of American Indian & Indigenous Cinema, held in the month of November in Los Angeles and concludes with RNCI RED NATION AWARDS recognizing excellence in film, television and media.
Most recently 2020, Joanelle established RNCI CREW, California Native Film Commission, New Mexico Film Commission to address below-the-line Inclusion and quality within the entertainment industry. The program is led by Red Nation Celebration Institute with Global partners, it’s a pathway that focuses on entry-level, below-the-line opportunities for Native and Indigenous talent.