NAJA board of directors election ballot opens, candidates present platforms

The Native American Journalists Association will hold an online election to fill three open board seats with 3-year terms. Electronic ballots were sent to all voting members on Aug. 26, and the opportunity to cast a ballot will remain open until 5 pm CT on Sept. 10.

A virtual candidates forum was held on Aug. 25 via Zoom. The forum was moderated by Election Committee Chair Christine Trudeau, and each of the four candidates presented their board service priorities and answered questions submitted by the membership.


The NAJA board of directors is made up NAJA members in good standing who volunteer their time and talents to strengthen journalism in Indian Country.

Fundraising is a major function of the volunteer board, which supports membership needs and the pipeline of Native talent into media careers, including the Native American Journalism Fellowship and next generation of storytellers.

Elected board members are required to attend monthly meetings as well as regularly scheduled committee meetings. Meeting times are determined by the board. If an elected member misses more than three meetings due to unexcused absences, they may be removed from the board.

The 2020 candidates for the NAJA board of directors are:

Kevin Abourezk (Lakota)

Kevin is the managing editor of

Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee Nation)Brewer-sq

Graham is an associate editor on the Indigenous affairs desk at High Country News and a regular contributor to NPR and the New York Times.



Jourdan Bennett-Begaye (Diné)Begaye-sq

Jourdan is the deputy managing editor for Indian Country Today in Washington, D.C.  She received her master’s degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism through the Newhouse Minorities Fellowship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York. After graduate school, she taught high school journalism, video production, and theatre in her home state, New Mexico. She’s written for Native Peoples Magazine, Fan First, MediaShift, The Daily Times, NAJA’s Native Voices News, NPR’s NextGen Radio Project, and Post-Standard. While in New Mexico, Jourdan co-founded the Survival of the First Voices, an art and media organization for Native youth.

Pauly Denetclaw (Diné)Denetclaw-sq

Pauly is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and from Manuelito, N.M. She is Haltsooi (Meadow People) born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House People). Denetclaw is currently a staff reporter for the Navajo Times in Window Rock, Arizona where she has worked for the last three years. Denetclaw is an award-winning reporter who has received awards from the Arizona Newspaper Association and the Native American Journalist Association. She has been a member of NAJA since 2014 when she was selected as a Native American Journalism Fellow. Later becoming a lifetime member of the organization. She has also been a Knight-CUNYJ Journalism Fellow in New York City, Emerging Fellow for the Journalism and Women Symposium and Indian Country Today Tribal Media Fellow in Washington D.C. Her radio work has been aired on National Native News, NPR’s Latino USA and Texas Public Radio. Denetclaw started off as a cub reporter for the Navajo Times in 2012 and has been a reporter ever since. Follow her on Twitter, @pdineclah.


Election Guidelines

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

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