After of the Oct. 26 arrest of mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc Jr., some outlets reported that he is a citizen of the Seminole Tribe of Florida without confirmation from the tribe. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, through a statement, confirmed that he is not and has never been a citizen of their tribe.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a story, the Native American Journalists Association urges all media outlets to verify tribal citizenship before reporting someone is Indigenous. When possible, NAJA also urges outlets to specifically identify the name of the person’s tribe, nation or band, such as the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma or the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
For more information about how to properly locate or cite tribal citizenship, please contact NAJA at firstname.lastname@example.org.