2023 National Native Media Conference Agenda

2023 National Native Media Conference Agenda

Thursday, Aug. 10.  

All events will take place at the RBC Convention Centre (located at 373 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3J3) in downtown unless otherwise noted. 

7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration | East Concourse (South End)

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. NAJA Opening Ceremony + Breakfast | MR 1-2, 11-13
Join leaders of the Native American Journalists Association, conference attendees, and representatives of Indigenous nations from across the globe during the Opening Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 10 from 9-10:30 a.m., in MR 1-2, 11-13. Breakfast will be provided.

Norman Meade (Métis), Elder-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba will offer a welcome and blessing and representatives will post colors during grand entry. Cathy Merrick (Cree), Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will offer welcome remarks and an Indigenous land acknowledgement. Stephanie Scott (Anishinaabe), Executive Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will welcome attendees and the Strong Warriors Girls Anishinaabe Singers will perform a song in Anishinaabemowin. NAJA will recognize the milestone 40th anniversary year by honoring two of the organization’s founders in attendance, Loren Tapahe (Navajo) and Verna Friday (Temagami First Nation). President Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee) will introduce the 2023 Board of Directors. 

10:30 – 11 a.m. Break

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Developing Community Partnerships to Support Indigenous Journalism | MR 9-10
Presenters: Melissa Greene-Blye (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma), Faculty Supervisor, Good Morning Indian Country, University of Kansas; Rhonda LeValdo (Acoma Pueblo), Interim V.P. of Academics, Haskell Indian Nations University; Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock), Editor-at-Large, ICT; Alyssa Noriega, Anchor, Good Morning Indian Country.

This session will discuss avenues to develop partnerships and find funding sources to launch Indigenous media initiatives using “Good Morning Indian Country” as an example. GMIC features students from Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas to produce a weekly Indigenous news and information program in partnership with Native News Online and the Lawrence (KS) Arts Center.

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Q&A with Duncan McCue and the Native American Journalism Fellowship | MR 1-2, 11-13
Join students from the 2023 Native American Journalism Fellowship for a Q&A with the recipient of the 2023 NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award Duncan McCue (Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation).

McCue is an award-winning CBC broadcaster, he recently released a new textbook ‘Decolonizing Journalism: A Guide to Reporting in Indigenous Communities’ and has joined Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication as an associate professor specializing in Indigenous journalism. McCue has been with CBC News for 25 years. In addition to hosting CBC Radio One’s ‘Cross Country Checkup,’ he has been a longstanding correspondent for CBC-TV’s flagship news show, ‘The National.’ 

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Newsroom Staff Wellness in the ‘Reconciliation’ Era | MR 7-8
Presenters: Eden Fineday (Cree from Sweetgrass First Nation), Publisher, IndigiNews; Cara McKenna (Cree-Métis), Editor, IndigiNews; Anna McKenzie (Cree from Opaskwayak Cree Nation), Storyteller, IndigiNews; Aaron Hemens, Storyteller, IndigiNews

In newsrooms today, stories on residential schools, MMIW and other traumatic experiences of Indigenous people are now commonplace. What toll does it take on the Indigenous journalists reporting on these topics, and what can a newsroom do to support their staff? Learn what IndigiNews is doing to safeguard the mental, emotional and spiritual wellness of their staff. From consciously creating a non-competitive, mutually supportive environment to a radical policy around paid time off, the IndigiNews team is leading the way in trauma-informed care for readers and reporters alike.

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. NBCU Academy Presents: How to Start an Indigenous Affairs Beat | MR 3
Presenters: Moderator: Felicia Fonseca, Southwest Assistant News Director, Associated Press; Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee), National Investigative Reporter, NBC News; Savannah Maher (Mashpee Wampanoag), Reporter, Marketplace; Tristan Ahtone (Kiowa), Editor at Large, Grist

Are you looking to start an Indigenous Affairs beat in your newsroom? Learn how to build relationships, battle mistrust and encourage your news organization to value Indigenous stories and voices. Hear insights, tips and techniques from trailblazing journalists who have experience building successful Indigenous beats in their newsrooms. 

This session is sponsored by NBCUniversal.

12 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch (On Your Own)

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Creating New Indigenous Pathways into Journalism | MR 9-10
Presenters: Mervin Brass (Anishinaabe / Cree, Key First Nation), Senior Managing Director, CBC North and Member, CBC Indigenous Pathways to Journalism Steering Committee; Kris Clemens (Métis, Manitoba Métis Federation), Senior Administrator, CBC Indigenous Pathways to Journalism; Louise BigEagle (Nakoda/Cree, Ocean Man First Nation), Former Participant, Indigenous Pathways and Reporter, CBC Indigenous Storytelling; Janell Henry (Anishinaabe, Roseau River First Nation), Former Participant, Indigenous Pathways and Reporter, Indigenous Unit 

CBC’s Indigenous Pathways to Journalism is a new, 9-month, full-time learning and development program, piloted in 2022-2023, for six First Nations, Inuit and Métis candidates seeking to develop practical skills and careers as storytellers in CBC newsrooms across Canada. Lessons learned from the evaluation of the program’s first year highlight opportunities and challenges for Indigenous journalists seeking to develop their careers through non-mainstream learning and employment trajectories, and for mainstream media outlets seeking to improve their recruitment, development and retention of Indigenous talent through an approach centered on cultural relevance and wraparound supports.

This session is sponsored by CBC.

1:30 – 3 p.m. Taking Your Podcast to the Next Level | MR 3
Presenters: Kim Wheeler (Mohawk/Anishinaabe), Producer, canadaLANDBACK; Karyn Pugliese (Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation), Editor-in-Chief, Canadaland

So you want to make a podcast but don’t know where to start? In this workshop presenters share how they created the canadaLANDBACK series, worked apart together, and tips on how to cut through the noise and have your podcast heard.

1:30 – 3 p.m. Reporting on Repatriation | MR 1-2, 11-13
Presenters: Mary Hudetz (Apsaalooke), Reporter, ProPublica; Graham Lee Brewer, (Cherokee), Reporter, NBC News; Dan Lewerenz (Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska), Professor, University of North Dakota School of Law; Asia Fields, Engagement Reporter, ProPublica

In the past year, cultural institutions and universities have faced renewed scrutiny for holding onto the belongings and ancestral remains of Indigenous people. There are hundreds of stories to be told of how institutions have either resisted repatriating to tribal nations or worked to return ancestors and belongings back to the communities from where they were taken. Each story presents a chance for journalists to engage with impacted communities during the reporting process and think through what it means to report with sensitivity and respect. 

1:30 – 3 p.m. Covering Climate in Global Indigenous Communities: Nuances and Cultural Considerations | MR 7-8
Presenters: Moderator: Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, Climate Collaborations Editor, AP; Peter Prengaman, Global Climate and Environment News Editor, AP; Tristan Ahtone (Kiowa), Editor at Large, Grist; Joaqlin Estus (Tlingit), National Correspondent, ICT; Matteo Cimellaro (Cree), Reporter, Canada’s National Observer

Covering the climate crisis responsibly means covering its global impact on communities, nature, livelihoods and people with nuance and sensitivity. In this session, The Associated Press and partner news organizations will highlight climate stories from Indigenous communities around the world and the approaches taken: from the use of local languages to the observance of cultural protocols and name references in final stories. Panelists will share their collective experiences covering the global climate crisis through the lenses of Indigenous peoples of the Pacific islands, Latin America and India, exploring parallels with coverage of tribal nations.  

The AP Global Climate Desk collaborates with small and large newsrooms from the Global South and beyond to strengthen the coverage of climate change by local journalists. To explore climate collaboration with AP, email lcjackson@ap.org.

This session is sponsored by the Associated Press.

3 – 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Indigenous Journalism and Communication: Post-Secondary Education Opportunities | MR 9-10
Presenters: Shannon Avison, Program Coordinator; Dr. Patricia Elliott, Distinguished Professor of Collaborative and Investigative Journalism; Kerry Benjoe (Saulteaux/Cree), Sessional Instructor and Editor / Co-Owner, Eagle Feather News

The First Nations University of Canada offers certificate and diploma programs for students pursuing careers in journalism, broadcasting and communication. We also expect to offer a Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Communication Arts) program as early as Fall 2025–which will be a first in North America. This panel will review training available through the Indigenous Journalism and Communication (INJC) one-year certificate program, which focuses on community radio and community relations; the Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA) 2-3 year diploma program, and the new BA (INCA) program.

3:30 – 5 p.m. My Role in Advancing Reconciliation: What to Know about the Calls to Action, UNDRIP and Reconciliation in Media | MR 3
Presenter: Kaila Johnston (Ochapowace First Nation), Supervisor of Education, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation 

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is the permanent, safe home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) regarding the residential school system in Canada. In this 90-minute presentation from Kaila Johnston, participants will learn about the lead up to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) and the TRC, including related apologies. Attendees will come away with a greater understanding of TRC Calls to Action 84 (media) and 92 (business) as well as the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Articles 15 and 16 (representation in education and media) and related Calls for Justice.

3:30 – 5 p.m. How to Pitch the Funders | MR 7-8
Presenters: Steve Sapienza, Pulitzer Center; Eric Ferrero, Fund for Investigative Journalism; Pam Dempsey, Data-Driven Reporting Project

Budget cutbacks and layoffs are forcing more staff reporters and independent journalists who once relied on newsrooms to cover reporting expenses, to now find their own funds to carry out their reporting projects. The good news is there is money out there for reporting projects, thanks to organizations such as the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Pulitzer Center, and the Data-Driven Reporting Project. This workshop will give NAJA members a unique opportunity to meet and ask the funders about the various types of resources available to journalists, especially those new to the world of freelancing and grants, to find the money for reporting expenses, secure letters of commitment from publishers and draft pitches to land reporting grants. We’ll focus on the elements of a successful pitch, how to draft a budget and how to grab the attention of editors and grant evaluators.

3:30 – 5 p.m. Lessons from Law’s Front Lines: Covering Complex Legal Stories | MR 1-2, 11-13
Presenters: Mary Hudetz (Apsaalooke), Reporter, ProPublica; Dan Lewerenz (Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska), Professor, University of North Dakota School of Law; Savannah Maher (Mashpee Wampanoag), Reporter, Marketplace

Legal stories often are complex stories, and covering them presents its own challenges. This panel will revisit recent legal stories from Indian Country, with reporters who covered them and legal professionals who lived them. Presenters will share tools for researching legal stories, tips for accurate and comprehensive reporting, and how to avoid the pitfalls in the field.

5:30 – 8 p.m. NAJA Opening Reception | Delta Hotel Grand Ballroom
(Offsite Event – Host Hotel)

Welcome: Emcee Jim Compton (Keeseekoose First Nation), Wahbung Anung Films Ltd.; Hevyn-Lee Martens, Youth Coordinator, Treaty One Nations Inc.; Entertainment: Norman Chief Memorial Dancers; NAJA Membership Address: President Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee); Keynote Presentation: Duncan McCue (Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation)

Emcee Jim Compton and Youth Coordinator Hevyn-Lee Martens from Treaty One Nations Inc., will welcome attendees to Winnipeg for the Opening Reception from 5:30-8 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 10 in the Grand Ballroom at the Delta Hotel, located at 350 St. Mary Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3J2, Canada. Entertainment will be provided by the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers. NAJA President Graham Lee Brewer will address members and attendees and author Duncan McCue will deliver the keynote address. Small plates and refreshments will be served. 

NAJA MEMBERS ONLY: 5:30 – 8 p.m. NAJA Elections | Delta Hotel Grand Ballroom
In-person voting for the NAJA Board of Directors and “Indigenous Journalists Association” name change will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the Delta Hotel on Thursday, Aug. 10 at the NAJA Voting Table during the Opening Night Reception from 5:30-8 p.m. Only eligible NAJA members in good standing may vote. 

Friday, Aug. 11

7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration | East Concourse (South End)

8 – 9 a.m. Breakfast | MR 1-2, 11-13
Daily breakfast buffet is included with full registration.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Indigenous Media Expo | MR 4-5
The Indigenous Media Expo is the networking hub of the event, where editors and reporters meet, experts trade experiences, journalists get critiques and friends connect. Attendees can also shop local Indigenous vendors and crafter booths.

9 – 10:30 a.m. The ABC News Storyteller Summit Presents: A Conversation on Covering Indigenous Communities | The Metropolitan Theater (Offsite Event – Walking Distance)

Presenters: Charly Edsitty (Diné), Reporter, ABC 11 KTRK Houston; Katie den Daas, VP Newsgathering, ABC News; Jay Alpert, Senior Producer, Weekend Good Morning America; Simone Swink, Executive Producer, Good Morning America

The ABC News Storyteller Summit is a development series created by ABC News and the ABC Owned Television Stations designed to bring producers, writers, reporters and content creators together for a series of cutting-edge conversations and training sessions to take their storytelling to the next level. The summit is led by ABC News journalists and executives from across all of our platforms and shows. Participants will walk away with first-hand knowledge around the skills that make ABC News the number one source for new and innovative ways to enhance their storytelling.

The Metropolitan Theater is located within walking distance from the Delta Hotel (.25 mile / 400 meters) at 281 Donald St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1M9, Canada.

This session is sponsored by ABC News.

9 – 10:30 a.m. Freedom of Information | MR 9-10
Presenters: Jodi Rave Spotted Bear (Mandan-Hidatsa, Lakota), Founder and Director, Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance and Society of Professional Journalists FOIA Committee Chair; Francisco Vara-Orta, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Investigative Reporters & Editors; Dillon Bergin, Data Reporter, MuckRock; Marsha McLeod, Investigative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press

The U.S. Freedom of Information Act and the Canadian Access to Information Act give all citizens the right to request government information. But it’s not always an easy process. Once it’s broken down into steps, anyone can file a claim. The records can be used for research or the public good of Indigenous communities, including expanding knowledge of treaties, sovereignty, boarding schools, environmental rights, public health; first amendment rights, civil rights, criminal justice reform and more.

9 – 10:30 a.m. Navigating Online Risks | MR 3
Presenter: Trish Audette-Longo, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

This workshop is designed to take on online risk scenarios and share practices, questions and strategies for assessing and responding to online harassment. Trish Audette-Longo will share recent data about the kinds of online harassment journalists face. Participants will work together to learn more about available resources for navigating risk, and leave the session with accessible resources they can use whether they are freelance journalists or work in a newsroom.

9 – 10:30 a.m. Collaborating to Improve Coverage of the “Child Welfare” System | MR 7-8
Presenter: Anna McKenzie (Cree from Opaskwayak Cree Nation), Storyteller, IndigiNews

How can we collaborate rather than compete to create journalism about the so-called “child  welfare” system that truly serves children and families? The Spotlight: Child Welfare project brings together journalists, youth, parents, advocates and others connected to the system to  produce community-driven stories, launch investigations and shift standard media practices. This session is about sharing our model and inviting new collaborators and feedback.

10:30 – 11 a.m. Break

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. NAJA Membership Luncheon and Business Meeting | MR 1-2, 11-13 (Ticketed Event)
Welcome: Chief Gordon BlueSky (Brokenhead Ojibway Nation), Chairperson, Treaty One Nations Inc.; Presenters: NAJA Staff; Charles Whitaker, Dean and Professor, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism; Patty Loew, Ph.D. (Mashkiiziibii-Bad River Ojibwe), Professor, Medill School of Journalism and Inaugural Director of the Native American & Indigenous Research Center at Northwestern University; 2022 NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award Winner Cheryl McKenzie (Anishinaabe / Cree and Peguis First Nation), APTN and 2023 NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award Winner Duncan McCue (Anishinaabe / Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation), Author and Professor, Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication; Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee), NAJA President; Christine Trudeau (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation), NAJA Vice President and Elections Chair.

Join leaders and fellow members of the Native American Journalists Association for lunch and networking during the annual business meeting on Friday, Aug. 11 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Attendees will review NAJA’s accomplishments and hear remarks from the 2022 and 2023 NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Awardees Cheryl McKenzie and Duncan McCue respectively. NAJA will announce election results for the board of directors and the name change live at the conclusion of the meeting.

This event is sponsored by the Medill School of Journalism. Conference attendees must have a ticket to attend. Tickets are available for $75 each and may be purchased online through July 31.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Search Tools for Journalists | MR 3
Presenter: Colleen Kimmett, Teaching Fellow, Google News Lab

Learn about free digital tools and techniques that journalists can use to find and analyze data and documents. We’ll cover advanced search tips for the web and social media, and explore a new tool called Pinpoint that allows you to analyze large volumes of documents and extract tables and data from pdfs and scanned files.

This session is sponsored by Google News Initiative. 

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Reporting on Education in Indian Country | MR 7-8
Presenters: Sequoia Carrillo, Education Reporter, NPR; Sam Yellowhorse Kesler (Navajo), Producer, Planet Money; Christina Cala, Senior Producer, Code Switch, NPR; Jess Kung, Producer, Code Switch, NPR

Reporting on education in Indian Country comes with unique challenges. For federal Indian boarding schools, you must go through government agencies and navigate bureaucracy. For more grassroot, charter-style movements, you have to find the people doing the work, make connections and gain trust to tell the story right. NPR Education desk’s Sequoia Carrillo, Planet Money’s Sam Yellowhorse Kesler, and Code Switch’s Christina Cala share lessons from a year reporting on Indian education from Pennsylvania to Arizona to the Dakotas.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Access to Abortion, Data, and IHS | MR 9-10
Presenters: Adreanna Rodriguez (Lakota Sioux), Freelance Reporter / Producer; Allison Herrera (Salinan), Indigenous Affairs Reporter, KOSU; Pauly Daniel Denetclaw III (Diné), Political Correspondent, ICT

Even before the current assault on reproductive rights, access to abortion services, as well as reproductive health care in general, has been severely limited in Native American communities.  Listen in on three Indigenous reporters who have been covering the issue, as they discuss their reporting on access, data, and the Indian Health Service (IHS).

This session is sponsored by The Commonwealth Fund. 

2:30 – 3 p.m. Break – Indigenous Media Expo is Open! 

1:30 – 3 p.m. Ice Worlds: A Tribal Youth Media Project | The MET Theater
(Offsite Event – Walking Distance)

Presenters: Patty Loew (Mashkiiziibii–Bad River Ojibwe), Professor, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University; Pam Silas (Menominee/Oneida), Native American & Indigenous Research Center at Northwestern University; Kadin Mills (Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe), Northwestern University

Ice Worlds is a video project that explores changes in the cultural and natural landscapes of four tribal communities as documented through an Indigenous lens. Centered on a large format film for IMAX and other giant screens, the project features a special program for Native American youth designed to create new climate stories and emphasizes the ways that the knowledge and resilience in their communities can contribute to solutions. The Tribal Youth Media Workshop is one of multiple components in the Ice Worlds media project, a collaboration of media producers and informal science educators, designed to engage millions of public viewers in conversations about the disproportionate effects of climate change on Indigenous communities. This session focuses on the 4 R’s of Ice Worlds’ film making approach: relationship building, respect, responsibility, and reciprocity. Excerpts of the youth-produced films will be shown.

3 – 4 p.m. Community Broadcasters and the Importance of Local News | MR 7-8
Presenters: Alex Freedman, Executive Director, Community Radio Fund of Canada

This session will examine the state of local news in Canada today and examine its importance, the role it plays in community development, and ways to collaborate to improve access. The session will be followed by an audience Q&A.

3 – 4 p.m. Reporting on Residential ‘Schools’ and The Tk’emlúps 215 | MR 9-10
Presenters: Eden Fineday (Cree from Sweetgrass First Nation), Publisher, IndigiNews; Cara McKenna (Cree-Métis), Editor, IndigiNews; Anna McKenize (Cree from Opaskwayak Cree Nation), Storyteller, IndigiNews; Aaron Hemens, Storyteller, IndigiNews; Kelsie Kilawna (syilx), Guest

When the 215 potential graves were uncovered at a former residential school in Kamloops, journalists parachuted in from around the world. But as the only Indigenous news outlet in Secwepemcúl’ecw, IndigiNews chose to stay silent and follow protocol. As similar stories unfold around the country, our staff will discuss the complexities around covering these stories and participants will learn about how Indigenous outlets can lead the way and make a difference when it comes to trauma-informed reporting, changing the narrative and when to stand back.

3 – 4:30 p.m. Covering the Pope’s Apology for Residential Schools | MR 3
Presenters: “Ka’nhehsi:io Deer (Kahnawà:ke), Journalist, CBC; Willow Fiddler (Anishinaabe Oji-Cree from Sandy Lake First Nation), Journalist, The Globe and Mail; Brittany Hobson (Long Plain First Nation), Journalist, The Canadian Press; Tina House (Métis), Journalist, APTN; Leitha Kochon, Journalist, CBC

Pope Francis apologized last year for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system. His words came a year after the first discovery of unmarked graves at former school sites and dominated much of the country’s news agenda. Two Indigenous journalists were on the Pope’s plane and many others were on the ground during his historic tour of Canada. Several discuss their experiences covering the emotional visit and why it’s important for Indigenous journalists to cover these stories on the world stage; Q&A to follow.

3 – 4:30 p.m. Producing the Next Generation of Native American Journalism Educators | MR 1-2, 11-13
Presenters: Rhonda LeValdo (Acoma Pueblo), Interim Vice President of Academics, Haskell Indian Nations University; Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock), Editor-at-Large, ICT; Melissa Greene-Blye (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma), Ph.D., Indigenous Studies Program, Affiliate Faculty, KU School of Journalism & Mass Communications; Antonia Gonzales (Navajo), Anchor and Producer, National Native News

With a small percent of Native Americans teaching journalism in higher education, what efforts can we make to encourage more Indigenous students to attain a Master’s or Ph.D., in journalism so we can create our own teachings about Native Americans and media?

3:30 – 5 p.m. NBCU Academy Presents: “The Culture Is: Indigenous Women” Screening | The MET Theater (Offsite Event – Walking Distance)

Presenters: Moderator: Richard Lui, MSNBC Anchor & Documentary Filmmaker; Panelists: Alyssa London (Tlingit), Host, “The Culture Is: Indigenous Women”; Rebecca Landsberry-Baker (Muscogee Creek), NAJA Executive Director & “BAD PRESS” Co-Director / Producer; Angel Ellis (Muscogee Creek), Director, Mvskoke Media

Join us for a special screening of MSNBC’s “The Culture Is: Indigenous Women” hosted by MSNBC Contributor Alyssa London (Tlingit). She’ll lead a thought-provoking conversation with trailblazing Indigenous women who each share how they’ve shown strength in the face of adversity to become the pioneers they are today. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring London, NAJA Executive Director and award-winning “Bad Press” Co-Director Rebecca Landsberry-Baker (Muscogee) and Mvskoke Media Director and “Bad Press” star, Angel Ellis (Muscogee). 

This session is sponsored by NBCUniversal. 

5 – 6:15 p.m. Reception | The MET Theater
(Offsite Event – Walking Distance)

Conference attendees can take a break and refuel after a full day of sessions and networking during the evening reception hosted by CBC at the MET Theater on Friday, Aug. 11 from 5-6:15 p.m. Generous appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided and traditional movie snacks and a cash bar will be available. The MET is located within walking distance from the Delta Hotel (.25 mile / 400 meters) at 281 Donald St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1M9, Canada.

This reception is sponsored by CBC. 

6:15 – 8:15 p.m. “Bad Press” Screening + Q&A | The MET Theater
(Offsite Event – Walking Distance)
Join conference attendees for a private screening of the award-winning feature documentary, “Bad Press”, followed by a Q&A with co-directors / producers Rebecca Landsberry-Baker (Muscogee Creek) and Joe Peeler and participant Angel Ellis (Muscogee Creek), moderated by Bryan Pollard (Cherokee), Associated Press.

When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring their free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian Country. Variety called “Bad Press,” “an engrossing documentary on a fight for tribal government transparency” and the Hollywood Reporter said, “Landsberry-Baker and Peeler’s documentary is thus the perfect illustration of what happens when you dismantle the Fourth and Fifth Estates and wind up putting democracy in peril, and it’s something everyone in America should be worried about right now.” The film was the recipient of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize: Freedom of Expression at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. 

The screening will begin at 6:15 p.m. (runtime is 98 mins.) followed by a 30-minute Q&A. The MET Theater is located within walking distance from the Delta Hotel (.25 mile / 400 meters) at 281 Donald St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1M9, Canada.

Saturday, Aug. 12

7 a.m. – 12 p.m. Registration | East Concourse (South End)

8 – 10 a.m. Breakfast | MR 1-2, 11-13
Daily breakfast buffet is included with full registration.

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Indigenous Media Expo | MR 4-5
The Indigenous Media Expo is the networking hub of the event, where editors and reporters meet, experts trade experiences, journalists get critiques and friends connect. Attendees can also shop local Indigenous vendors and crafter booths.

8:30 –11 a.m. Writing for Broadcast | MR 3
Presenter: Kristy Snell (Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation), Interim Academic Director, Institute for Inclusive, Investigative, and Innovative Journalism, Concordia University Department of Journalism

Participants will learn how to “write for the ear”, making their writing more clear, concise, and dynamic. Instructor Kristy Snell is a member of Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation and currently a Journalist-in-Residence at Concordia University, where she is leading a collaborative journalism project that sees high school students in Kahnawà:ke produce original pieces of journalism for publication and broadcast by CBC Montreal. She has been the voice of morning radio news at CBC Radio in Montreal for nearly 15 years, and has also worked as a television news anchor and reporter for CBC and CTV. 

9 –10:30 a.m. NAJA MEMBERS ONLY: Two-Spirit LGBTQIA+ Listening Session | MR 6

The NAJA Two-Spirit LGBTQIA+ Listening Session is presented by the inaugural NAJA Two-Spirit LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee Council. Committee Chair Christine Trudeau (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) and member Angel Ellis (Muscogee Creek) will facilitate a listening session open to all current NAJA members. Members are invited to share their thoughts on how NAJA can move forward in setting goals to meet our Two-Spirit LGBTQIA+ community needs that includes: reconciliation within our community and beyond; developing a reporting best practice and terminology guide; member support; education and outreach; growing the Two-Spirit LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee Council membership; and ensuring committee goals are included in the current NAJA strategic plan. 

9 – 10:30 a.m. Then: Boarding & Residential School Students  Now: Award-winning Journalists | MR 7-8 (Note: Room Change)
Presenters: Kerry Benjoe (Saulteaux/Cree), Editor / Co-Owner, Eagle Feather News; Patty Talahongva (Hopi), Journalist, Frontline

Join Kerry Benjoe and Patty Talahongva as they share their first-hand accounts of being in government-run institutions; the Canadian Indian Residential School system and the American Indian Boarding School system, respectively, which were both established to assimilate First Nation and Native people into mainstream society. Learn how they survived and how they have used their unique experiences to help shape their journalism careers. 

Now, they are reporting on this history at a time when both countries are starting to reconcile this tragic past. The veteran journalists aim to bring the First Nation / Native American perspective to this history − that’s not taught in either country’s public schools.

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. q’sapi Journalism Training: Trauma-informed culturally aware practices in media | MR 9-10
Presenters: Kelsie Kilawna (syilx), Co-Owner and Journalist, Your syilx Sisters and Lauren Marchand (syilx), Co-Owner and Digital Artist, Your syilx Sisters

The q’sapi journalism training was first developed by Kelsie Kilawna, former Cultural Editor and Senior Aunty at IndigiNews after the uncovering of her 215 relations in Tk’emlups te Secwepemc.The training has been deeply enhanced by Lauren Marchand, trauma-informed sqilx’w facilitator at Your syilx Sisters, and Indigenous communications company. Together the sisters come together to share their cultural teachings from their upbringings in their homelands of the syilx to the newsroom to uplift the voices of Indigenous Peoples. Together they empower Indigenous storytellers to use culture as a rooting to guide their work, they also share teachings and tools where appropriate and in alignment with their protocols. 

The q’sapi training was developed from the law of story. ‘q’sapi,’ is how syilx people start their old stories; it means “a long time ago.” The intention of the journalism workshop is to honor and uphold Indigenous voices while reducing the harm caused by media practices. Often it’s because of the lack of understanding that comes from not knowing the protocols around genuine kinship engagements, the power of accurate and authentic imagery, or not understanding cultural terms of engagement. We empower the participant to call upon their own culture (if Indigenous) and strengths to enhance their skill set in trauma-informed practice. After all, trauma-informed storytelling is inherently Indigenous. 

This workshop is built to engage communicators, journalists and reporters, storytellers, digital designers, frontline workers who work within communities or with Indigenous Peoples, media relations, government officials, government workers, or anyone interested in learning more about protocols and Indigenous teachings that support positive connections.

Our journalism training is a full day training covers the following:

The wisdom of trauma: We talk about how we live in kinship with trauma and how to host the “visitor.” We also share how cultural understandings and engagements are the keys to working with the visitor. This delves into a clinical aspect and, most importantly, looks at trauma from an Indigenous perspective.​ 

Trauma-informed and culturally aware understandings of self-location when writing with Indigenous folks and communities: Using sqilx’w tools and teachings for coming together. We talk about the importance of self-location. Rooting yourself in proximity to a conflict or situation that needs to be addressed so you can find your strength in speaking to it to come to a resolution. We discuss this through our oral storytelling laws from the syilx homelands and offer it as a tool for every journalist to utilize when telling particularly traumatic stories.

Tips, tools, and techniques for trauma-informed storytelling: Using trauma-informed approaches to engaging with Indigenous Peoples and community and how to ensure you are not creating further harm or making harmful assumptions. ​We share dozens of tips, tools, and techniques for interviewing, how to create a safe space, and engaging in kinship-building with your Knowledge Source. 

Uncolonizing the newsroom: Tips, tools and suggestions to uncolonizing the newsroom. Uncolonizing benefits everyone, and to ensure workplace wellness, we discuss how Indigenous folks have different needs in the workplace and how to best support your team through practical means.​ And how to set up care plans for yourself when working on traumatic stories. How can we bring culture into care for ourselves and others around us. 

Indigenous land connection: We share how our responsibilities as sqilx’w (Indigenous) people are sacredly tied to our homelands, and the responsibilities are given to us in our Creation. So when we feel uneasy, it’s often because our blood memory calls us to enact our homeland responsibilities. So as Indigenous journalists, how can we use our culture to empower our storytelling? Indigenous storytelling laws are often of the highest ethical standard, so how can we implement those practices into our work? 

Representation Matters: We discuss the importance of proper and accurate representation in all media forms through art, photography, digital art, and storytelling. We also discuss how improper representation can lead to cultural erasure. 

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Press Freedom in Indian Country: Vital Components | MR 7-8 (Note: Room Change)
Presenters: Angel Ellis (Muscogee Creek), Director, Mvskoke Media; Sterling Cosper (Muscogee Creek), Membership Manager, NAJA;  Karyn Pugliese (Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation), Editor-in-Chief, Canadaland

How do you advocate for press freedom and access to information in your Indigenous newsroom? Presenters will cover next steps in developing a free press outreach strategy, tailored to the needs of the outlet. No two tribal nations are the same, however presenters from U.S. tribes and those from First Nations will examine key differences in culture and government across the Medicine Line and how they are reflected in their free press challenges.

12 – 1 p.m. All About APTN | MR 3
Presenters: Moderator: Dennis Ward (Métis), Host/Producer; Cheryl McKenzie (Anishinaabe / Cree, Peguis First Nation), Executive Director, News and Current Affairs; Angel Moore (Swampy Cree, Peguis First Nation), Video Journalist; Rick Harp (Cree), Founder and President, INDIGENA Creative Group

Learn the history of APTN National News, the first newscast dedicated to sharing stories of Indigenous People by Indigenous People. We will discuss the impact APTN National News has had on Indigenous Journalism and share some of the major breaking coverage from the past, present and future.

1 – 5 p.m. Afternoon Break

5 – 6 p.m. NAJA President’s Reception | MR 1-2, 11-13
Join NAJA leadership and enjoy light refreshments during the NAJA President’s Reception from 5-6 p.m., with outgoing president Graham Lee Brewer and the NAJA Board of Directors. Attendees will also get a sneak peek of the NAJA Silent Auction.

6 – 9 p.m. NAJA National Native Media Awards Banquet and Silent Auction | MR 1-2, 11-13 (Ticketed Event)
Celebrate culture and the outstanding coverage of Indigenous communities by NAJA members during the 2023 National Native Media Awards Banquet on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 6-9 p.m. NAJA will present the Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Journalism to Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee), the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Tim Giago Free Press Award to Jodi Rave Spotted Bear (Mandan-Hidatsa, Lakota). 

Attendees can shop for Indigenous art, clothing, jewelry and unique beaded items during the NAJA Silent Auction. Conference attendees may donate auction items in-person at the registration desk during daily conference hours. Donors should include a description of each donated item, including the estimated value by completing a Silent Auction Donation Form available at the registration desk. All funds raised through the auction benefit annual NAJA scholarships. The online auction site will open prior to the event with more information on donations and online bidding forthcoming.

9:30-11 p.m. After-Awards Concert featuring William Prince | MR 1-2, 11-13 
(Ticketed Event)
Join awardees and members in celebrating NAJA’s milestone 40th year anniversary and the winners of the 2023 National Native Media Awards at the After-Awards Concert, featuring live music from local artist William Prince (Peguis First Nation). Attendees can listen to music, take pictures in the 360 photo booth and make memories as they say farewell to Winnipeg!

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