Members to vote online and in-person; candidate forum set for Aug. 25 following NAJA Membership Luncheon
The Native American Journalists Association will hold an election Aug. 20-27 to determine incoming board members. There are three board vacancies for 3-year terms, which will begin in September 2022.
Candidates will be available to answer questions from membership during a virtual candidate forum on Thursday, Aug. 25 from 12-2 p.m., local time following the NAJA Membership Luncheon and Business Meeting during the 2022 National Native Media Conference. NAJA Election Committee Chair Pauly Denetclaw will moderate the Q&A. Conference registration is open through July 31.
Eligible NAJA members voting online will receive an email with a unique link to their online ballot. Members may only cast one vote per person.
In-person voting will take place on Aug. 27, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., local time during the conference near the registration desk in the second floor Atrium at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Phoenix. An informal candidate forum will follow the NAJA Membership Meeting and Business Luncheon on Thursday, Aug. 25 from 12-2 p.m.
The terms of the election are determined by the Native American Journalists Association bylaws, and can be found under Article VII, and the Board Guidelines Manual found on www.naja.com.
2022 Board Candidate Slate
I am from the Peguis First Nation. My mom is Cree, and my father was non-Indigenous (a person I have never met). I was raised by my mother and grandmother, I attended school in Winnipeg where I lived with my mother. When not in school, I was with my grandmother (Grannie) and relatives on Peguis, my true home.
As a young adult, I struggled with mental health issues and addictions. With the support of my family, I learned how to live life. I am fortunate to have recovered. I love learning, and I became a ‘professional student’ I believe that although I spent years waiting on tables to pay for post- secondary education, it kept me going, and eventually I ended up where I belong.
I spent hours listening to Elders in my community talk about the past, their lives, and family
history. I am grateful for their knowledge. The consequential trauma of residential schools,
relocation, loss of language and culture, we are on the path of healing. I believe it is more
important than ever to tell Indigenous stories.
My student career began at the University of Manitoba, to follow a lifelong passion and study
science, in the pre-med program for Indigenous students. As I spent one year at the largest city
hospital, I realized I wanted to do more. Medicine seemed to be a band aid.
A dream to live by the ocean, I attended Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, and switched my
studies to the International Development Studies program. I completed my degree and it felt
completely colonial. I was not happy.
Back to journalism at the University of King’s college. I did not like mainstream media, how it
represented and stereotyped people. APTN was the only media outlet I applied to; mainstream
media was not for me. Thankfully APTN hired me days after classes ended. I love my job as a
video journalist, and I have developed close relationships with people in my territory.
I now live in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) Nova Scotia with my partner. I love to write, read, bead, surf,
bike, kayaking, all ocean activities. When I am not on the water, I am at powwows or community
As you can see, education, whether it be traditional knowledge or formal academia, has always
been a major aspect of my life. My partner is also a professor, that is a coincidence. 😉 I am
passionate about sharing knowledge and helping others learn.
Shondiin Silversmith is an award-winning Native journalist based on the Navajo Nation. Silversmith has covered Indigenous communities for more than 10 years, and covers Arizona’s 22 federally recognized sovereign tribal nations, as well as national and international Indigenous issues. Her digital, print and audio stories have been published by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic, Navajo Times, The GroundTruth Project and PRX’s “The World.” Silversmith earned her master’s degree in journalism and mass communication in Boston before moving back to Arizona to continue reporting stories on Indigenous communities. She is a member of the Native American Journalist Association and has made it a priority in her career to advocate, pitch and develop stories surrounding Indigenous communities in the newsrooms she works in.
Christine Trudeau, a citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the Managing Editor for the Indigenous Investigative Collective (IIC) project Covering Covid-19 in Indian Country and is a current fellow with the Muckrock Transparency Corps cohort. She has served on the Native American Journalists Association’s Board of Directors since 2019. Trudeau got her start in journalism as a student member of NAJA, attending the Native Voices Student Program at Phoenix, Arizona’s National Native Media Conference in 2013. While finishing her undergraduate degree at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, she began stringing news for NPR, National Native News, and Native Peoples Magazine. After receiving her BFA in 2014, Trudeau took an internship at NPR’s national headquarters in Washington DC as Diversity Intern running NPR’s Source of the Week database, website, social media, and weekly newsletter. In 2015, Trudeau began attending Columbia Journalism School and received her M.S. in 2016. Trudeau went to Alaska in 2017, reporting at KYUK public radio in Southwest Alaska’s Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Wildlife Refuge. Based in Bethel, Trudeau covered tribal affairs, local municipalities, climate change, and education for the 56 tribal communities. In 2018, Trudeau became an Investigative Fellow with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. That same year, she worked with National Native News through a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network on a five-part audio series on Indigenous voting rights in North Dakota. In 2020, Trudeau covered the impacts of Covid-19 on Indian Country for National Native News again through a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network. From 2021-2022, Trudeau was the Contributing Editor for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs Desk, managing their Catena grant-funded coverage of natural resources. In her work with the Indigenous Investigative Collective, Trudeau has collaborated with Native journalists and news organizations across the country to bring investigative coverage in Indigenous Affairs to the fore, with the help of Muckrock, since 2021. In that time she has worked on building workshop training in data and document investigative skills. Starting in August, for the 2022/2023 academic year, Trudeau will be a visiting adjunct faculty member at the University of Montana School of Journalism, teaching classes in diversity in media, a native news honors project, as well as beat, intermediate, and investigative reporting.