Norman, Okla. – Rhonda LeValdo (Acoma), a faculty member at Haskell Indian Nations University in Media Communications, was recently selected by the Native American Journalists Association to serve on the newly formed board of directors for Indian Country Today, LLC. LeValdo is a former president of NAJA and is an accomplished journalist and filmmaker. She hosts a weekly radio show, “Native Spirit” on KKFI in Kansas City.
“I am excited to be working with Indian Country Today on the board as it moves forward with this exciting partnership with Arizona State University,” said LeValdo. “Thanks to the Native American Journalists Association for selecting me as the representative, it is an extreme honor.”
The purpose of the board is to create a governance structure that would hold the news organization to the highest standards for both journalism and business. NAJA made the selection at the request of Indian Country Today editor Mark Trahant.
“Indian Country deserves a news outlet by Native people for Native people,” said NAJA president Tristan Ahtone. “We are excited to see ICT continue to grow and innovate.”
The non-profit news enterprise is now Indian Country Today, LLC., a single member company. The company operates independently and is owned by the non-profit arm of the National Congress of American Indians. Indian Country Today will officially open its main newsroom at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on July 1.
“The structure of the company does two things. First: It sets us on course as an independent, non-profit media enterprise. And second it sets in place a governing structure to protect that independence,” said Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today. The editor is the chief executive of the news company. “As part of this new structure, I am pleased to announce the appointment of our first board of directors: Larry EchoHawk, Rebecca Crooks-Stratton, and Rhonda LeValdo.”
Indian Country Today’s weekly public television show is scheduled to begin this fall and it will be the first national news program serving Indian Country.