NAJA announces 2021 Native American Journalism Fellows

The Native American Journalists Association selects six fellows for virtual curriculum

NORMAN, Okla. – The Native American Journalists Association has selected six students, including three returning fellows, for the Native American Journalism Fellowship (NAJF) class of 2021. 

With the cancellation of NAJA’s national convention due to COVID-19, the 2021 class will participate in a virtual curriculum with selected veteran mentors. This innovative experience will be designed to leverage the advantages of online learning and hands-on professional experience while promoting the health and wellbeing of all Indigenous student journalists.

Introducing the NAJF Class of 2021!

McKenzie Allen-Charmley
(Dena’ina Athabaskan of the Tribal Village of Eklutna)
Arizona State University
Meghanlata Gupta
(Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
Yale University
Sarah Liese
(Chippewa/Navajo)
Ohio University

Mentor-in-Training
September Martin
(Yup’ik)
Texas A&M University
Zane Meyer-Thornton
(Cherokee)
Western Kentucky University
Jarrette Werk
(A’aniih/Nakoda)
University of Nevada-Reno

Mentor-in-Training

Fellows will be eligible to receive three hours of college credit at the undergraduate or graduate level through their respective universities. 

Student fellows will work remotely with mentors to produce coverage of Indian Country on a range of topics during the fall semester.

Mentors for the Class of 2021 include: 

  • Jourdan Bennett-Begaye (Diné), Indian Country Today
  • Frank Blanquet (Maya), FNX | First Nations Experience
  • Graham Brewer (Cherokee), NBC News
  • Darren Brown (Cochiti Pueblo), CATV | Cheyenne and Arapaho Television
  • Victoria LaPoe (Cherokee), Ohio University

“As was the case last year, NAJA’s Education Committee wanted to provide opportunities for as many students as possible,” NAJA Education Committee Chairwoman Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton (Cherokee) said. “However, we also wanted to make sure that we did not over promise and under deliver on the quality, which is particularly challenging when considering all the lingering impacts of COVID-19. We are excited to work with this year’s class and fervently hope to offer an in-person student newsroom in 2022.” 

About NAJA
The Native American Journalists Association serves more than 900 members, including media professionals working in tribal, freelance, independent and mainstream news outlets, as well as academia and students covering Indigenous communities and representing tribal nations from across North America.


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