Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Indigenous Press Association.
Article II: Statement of Purpose
The Indigenous Press Association, doing business as the Indigenous Journalists Association, seeks to develop and to improve communications among Indigenous people and the Non-Indigenous public.
It will provide unified organizational strength and a code of ethics for Indigenous journalists, thereby assuring their ability to perform objective services and minimizing any infringement on their journalistic freedom. It will encourage Indigenous people to enter the field of journalism.
Article III: Qualifications for Membership
The membership of this organization shall consist of six classifications as follows: Individual, Sustaining, Associate, Institutional, Student and High School.
Individuals – Indigenous media professionals may be members of IJA, hold office and vote. Individual members should be able to provide proof of tribal affiliation, if requested by the Board of Directors.
Institutional – This classification of membership shall be vested to those non-Indigenous organizations interested in promoting knowledge and understanding of Indigenous people and issues. Institutional members, however, may not vote in Board elections or hold office.
Student – Indigenous students who are students at educational institutes shall be eligible as members and eligible to vote and hold office.
- Student members should be able to provide proof of tribal affiliation, if requested by the Board of Directors.
- Proof of current registration must be provided at the time of request for student membership.
High School – Indigenous high school students. A non-voting membership.
Associate – A non-Indigenous individual who is a journalist, instructor, or supporter of IJA. A non-voting membership.
Sustaining – A principal supporter of IJA. Sustaining members may not vote or hold office.
The Board of Directors or its committee shall decide by simple majority vote, providing a quorum is present, whether it will accept publications, organizations or individuals for membership to IJA.
Membership renewal is based on the annual payment of dues. Membership will be reviewed by the Board if challenged by any member of IJA.
Article IV: Membership Dues
Membership dues shall be published by the Board of Directors at a meeting in which a quorum is present.
When any indebtedness of a member remains unpaid for ninety (90) days, the membership will thereby be terminated. A former member whose membership has thus terminated will, however, within a period of one year, upon payment of all indebtedness due, will be reinstated as a member.
Article V: Assessments and Fees
Special assessments may be authorized by a majority of the vote of all members present at a regular meeting of IJA. Special assessments may also be authorized by a majority vote of all membership when the intent to authorize such an assessment is contained in the call for such meeting.
Expenses of holding the annual meeting may be met by the assessment of special fees. Balances from meeting fees shall be deposited to the general fund of IJA following the annual meeting. Any deficit may be paid from the general funds of IJA on authority of the Board of Directors.
Article VI: Meetings
IJA will hold a minimum of one membership meeting a year. The meeting will be the annual business meeting. In conjunction with this annual business meeting, educational and technical assistance workshops will be held.
The Board of Directors will determine the site of the meeting.
Notice of the annual business meeting will be given to each member of IJA at least sixty (60) days before the time set for such meeting
Special meetings of IJA may be called by the president or by the Board of Directors or by a majority of the membership. The purpose(s), time and place of meeting shall be stated in the notice to members. A notice for a Special Meeting will be given at least thirty (30) days prior to such meetings.
A majority of those eligible, voting members attending a regular or special meeting, will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A simple majority vote shall be required on any subject pertaining to IJA business.
Article VII: Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of IJA shall consist of nine (9) members.
Each Board member will serve a three-year term of office. No Board member shall be elected to more than (2) terms in succession.
The Board of Directors and its officers shall set policy for IJA.
Specific responsibilities shall include:
- Holding annual meeting and meetings to select among its Board of Directors, a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer;
- Employing an executive director or other employees as deemed necessary and fixing his/her salary, providing offices, job description, and designing a fund for administrative purposes. The executive director’s contract shall be reviewed annually;
- Holding semi-annual meetings of the Board of Directors, or when deemed necessary, with meetings called by the President (who notifies the secretary to send a meeting notice).
- Seeking and securing funds for the operation of IJA;
- Developing strong regional association ties with working Indigenous and non-Indigenous media
- Associating themselves with state and area press associations in order to create ongoing press contacts with the area mass media and thereby enhancing and expanding coverage of Indigenous life by the mass media.
Duties of Officers – Herein follows the description of the duties of IJA Board of Directors’ officers:
- President – Preside at all meetings; cannot vote except in case of tie votes; calls meetings; sets meeting dates; supervises organizational staff; serves as Ex Officio member of all committees.
- Vice President – In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall assume all the duties of the President; serves as Ex Officio member of all committees.
- Secretary – shall maintain all the records of the organization; records the minutes of all meetings; may assign an assistant to help with the taking of the minutes.
- Treasurer – shall provide quarterly financial statements to the Board, shall provide annual statements to the membership; shall maintain three (3) accounts of IJA funds – a general fund, an account on grants received and a scholarship account.
Section 5 Five (5) members of the Board of Directors, including a minimum of one (1) officer shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
- The Board shall determine how checks shall be issued.
- Board approval by telephone, mail, (facsimile) or at a meeting is required for all transactions over $1,500.00.
The IJA Board of Directors has the full authority to create an advisory Board, which can consist of only those members who have paid their dues in full.
Board members will be responsible for all travel costs incurred while conducting IJA business, with the exception of partial expenses provided by IJA for the annual conference and the annual board retreat.
- IJA shall provide Board members with a waiver of the conference registration fee for the annual conference.
- IJA shall provide Board members with lodging and per diem during the annual Board retreat. Per diem will be calculated according to US government rates.
- Board members who cannot afford transportation expenses for the annual conference and annual fall retreat may request air fare or mileage from IJA by submitting a written proposal to the IJA Board for approval. Approval will be based on need and funds available under general operating expenses.
- Board members who cannot afford expenses to attend any other in-person IJA Board meetings and/or official trips on behalf of IJA may request airfare, or mileage, lodging and per diem from IJA by submitting a written proposal to the IJA Board for approval. Approval will be based on need and funds available under general operating expenses.
- Approved travel requests for the IJA president other than the annual conference and annual Board retreat shall not exceed $1,200 per fiscal year.
Board members may apply for paid positions within IJA, but must abstain from discussing and voting on the matter.
- If hired for a permanent position, the board member must immediately resign from his or her board seat on acceptance of the position and submit a letter to the Board Secretary within ten (10) days.
- If hired as a temporary employee or consultant, the board member has the option of resigning or taking a leave of absence from Board duties for up to six (6) months.
A one-time leave of absence from Board duties for up to six (6) months may be granted by the IJA Board. If granted, the Board seat will remain unfilled for the length of the leave. A leave will be granted:
- In cases where a Board member has been hired as a temporary employee or paid consultant;
- For extenuating circumstances to be determined as such by the IJA Board.
Article VIII: Nominations and Elections
The general membership shall determine the process of election for membership on the IJA Board of Directors at the annual meeting.
Only one (1) individual per publication or medium shall serve on the Board of Directors.
Article IX: Vacancies in Office
A vacancy on the Board of Directors shall be filled by the temporary appointment of the member in good standing by the President until such time as the Board of Directors can in regular or special meeting review nominations for the vacancy and elect a member.
Members of the Board of Directors can make nominations for the temporary Board member by telephone, mail or at any meeting of the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall send out nomination ballots membership with the nominations of the Board of Directors listed along with spaces for any write in nominations the members might have.
If a vacancy arises in the office of the President by death, resignation or temporary inability to perform all duties of said office, the Vice President shall be the presiding officer of IJA until such time as a meeting of the Board of Directors can be held for the purpose of electing such executive officer.
If a vacancy arises in the office of the Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer, a successor shall be appointed by the President from the Board of Directors until such time as a special meeting of the Board of Directors can convene to elect a successor.
Any member of the Board of Directors for IJA may be removed from office for failure to attend three (3) duly called meetings.
Officers and members of the Board of Directors may be released from office for due cause, as defined by the Board of directors, by a three-fourth vote of the membership of the Board.
Article X: Rules of Order
The Board of Directors will strive to conduct its meeting in an amiable manner, and the officers will endeavor to collect the sense of agreement of the members on all matters of policy.
The Chair, to be conducted or designated by the President, shall have the option of calling upon Robert’s Rules of Order in the event of resolution of issues requiring a simple majority vote.
Article XI: Amendment
The charter of IJA can be amended at any regular or special meeting of the Board of directors. Amendments will be subject to ratification by two-thirds of the voting membership present at the annual business meeting.
The charter of IJA can be amended by the voting membership at the annual business meeting. Amendments so enacted will be subject to ratification by two-thirds voting by mail ballot.