Board of Directors

Mary Hudetz, Crow -- President

Mary is the current editor-in-chief of Native Peoples Magazine.

She is a former editor on The Associated Press’ West Regional Desk in Phoenix, where she filed national breaking news and daily stories on broad range of topics and events in the West. She also worked closely with a team of reporters to develop stories specifically about Native issues and communities.

She is a graduate of Fordham University and the Freedom Forum's American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota, where she later became a faculty member for the annual AIJI program.

She was previously vice president of NAJA and chair of the 2013 National Native Media Conference in Tempe, Ariz. 

Tristan Ahtone, Kiowa -- Vice President

Tristan graduated in 2006 from the Institute of American Indian Arts with a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. In 2008, he received a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism.

Since 2008, Tristan has specialized in covering Native American, environmental and healthcare issues, and has worked with The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, National Native News, Frontline, Indian Country Today, Sirius Satellite Radio, NPR and the Fronteras Desk.

Tristan is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and currently serves as KUNM's Poverty and Public Health Reporter in Albuquerque, NM. 

Shannon Shaw-Duty, Osage -- Secretery

Shannon is the editor of the Osage News, the tribal newspaper of the Osage Nation in Pawhuska, Okla. She is also a former assignment editor for reznetnews.org, a Native American news, information and entertainment website that also trains and mentors Native college journalism students around the country.

A former reporter at The Santa Fe New Mexican, Shaw-Duty is a graduate of the American Indian Journalism Institute. She is also a Chips Quinn Scholar and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Shaw-Duty has held internships at the Associated Press in Sioux Falls, S.D., a copy editing internship at The Forum in Fargo, N.D., and participated in the writing workshop, "Writing About Race," at the Poynter Institute for Journalists. She has been a mentor at the Native American Newspaper Career Conference held at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota and an adjunct faculty member of the American Indian Journalism Institute.

Shaw-Duty is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Native American Journalists Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the Oklahoma Press Association.

Shaw-Duty resides in Pawhuska with her husband and six children. 

Jason Begay, Navajo -- Treasurer

Jason is an assistant professor and director of Native American Journalism Projects at the University of Montana School of Journalism in Missoula.

He graduated from the school in 2002, and was a recipient of NAJA scholarships. He has worked at The New York Times, The Oregonian and the Navajo Times, where he spent six years before accepting his current position.

Dalton Walker, Ojibwe, is the web editor and social media manager at www.gazette.com, Dalton is expected to engage readers through The Gazette's website and social media. His duties will include managing the website and sharing information through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, while developing new ideas.

He is a graduate of the Freedom Forum's American Indian Journalism Institute and the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

 

Prior to joining the Gazette team, Walker worked for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., as a digital reporter, and at the Omaha World Herald. He also has completed internships with The New York Times and Star Tribune in Minneapolis.  

 

He was elected to the NAJA board of directors in July 2013.

Eugene Tapahe, Navajo, works for Brigham Young University Office of Information Technology and is also the owner, senior designer and web developer of Tapahe Inventive Design. His experience ranges from Managing Editor, Art Director, Senior Animator/Designer, Photographer, and Creative Web Developer for publications such as The Navajo Times and ESPN The Magazine.

Eugene draws creative inspiration from his Navajo culture and credits his traditional upbringing for his continued success. His experiences have taken him to the NFL Super Bowl and MLB World Series. He continues to speak about his life experiences at professional media conferences, universities, elementary and high schools, and church assemblies.

During his career, Eugene has been a board member of the Native American Journalists Association and served as a student mentor at numerous NAJA conferences, UNITY 2008 and 2012. He continues to give back through student mentorship projects, alumni association groups, college student advisor/teacher positions, and promoting viable Native American businesses.

Eugene graduated in 1992 from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Currently, he is taking post-baccalaureate classes toward a Master’s of Business Administration at Brigham Young University.

Mark Dreadfulwater, Cherokee, serves as the chair of the 2013 NAJA Education Committee and led the 2013 college and high school student programs.

Dreadfulwater previously served as lead mentor during the 2010 NAJA National Native Media Conference in St. Paul, Minn., and the UNITY Convention in Las Vegas, N.V., in 2012.

Dreadfulwater currently works for the Cherokee Phoenix, the country’s oldest Native American newspaper. He serves the newspaper as the Multimedia Editor and is responsible for ensuring quality digital production is delivered in text, video and photo formats.

Jolene Schonchin, Comanche

Jolene Jimenez Schonchin serves as the Public Information Officer for the Comanche Nation in Lawton, Okla. She is also the editor for the Comanche Nation News and the content manager for the tribe's social media and website.

When activated, she serves as the PIO for the Comanche Nation's Emergency Management Team.

She has worked as the PIO since 2001, becoming the Editor in 2006.

She has been a member of NAJA since 2001 and served on the Board of Directors 2009-2012.

Christina Good Voice, Muscogee (Creek)/Cherokee

Christina Good Voice is the Communications Manager for Mvskoke Media, the media division of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Okmulgee, Okla.

NAJA Staff

Pamala Silas, Executive Director 

pamsilas@naja.com


Rebecca Landsberry, Membership & Communications Manager

rebeccalandsberry@naja.com

UNITY

UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc. pushes for fair and accurate news coverage — especially in regards to race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation. It represents NAJA, the Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

NAJA's UNITY board representatives are:

  • Tara Gatewood, Isleta Pueblo from New Mexico, co-host of Native America Calling.
  • Suzan Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee from Oklahoma, contributing writer for Indian Country Today, president of the Morning Star Institute.
  • Margaret Holt, (Tuscarora), standards editor at the Chicago Tribune.