Native American Journalism Fellowship

Meet the 2016-2017 class of Native American Journalism Fellows and NAJA EIJ16 News interns

NAJA is proud to welcome a new class of Native American Journalism Fellows for 2016-2017. The eight fellows will meet in New Orleans during the 2016 Excellence in Journalism conference Sept. 18-21. Read more about the students and follow their coverage on the EIJ16 News website.

During the conference, NAJ Fellows and EIJ16 News interns will produce coverage for the event under the guidance of professional journalists. Fellows will also be assigned to personal mentors who are NAJA members and working media professionals. These mentors will oversee internships, resumes and the professional development of the assigned students over the 2016-2017 academic year. 

The 2016-2017 NAJF is supported through generous contributions from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Columbia Journalism School.

NAJF EIJ16 News Interns

  • Jennifer Falcon (Assiniboine / Sioux), University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Shana Lombard (theCowlitz Indian Tribe), Haskell Indian Nations University
  • Keiti Rueter (Chiricahua Apache), Western Kentucky University
  • Franklin Robertson (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), South Dakota State University
  • Rachel Whiteside(Narragansett Indian Tribe), Haskell Indian Nations University

Columbia NAJF EIJ16 Fellows

  • Rustie Anglin (Chickasaw), Oklahoma State University
  • Raven Marshall, (Sicangu Lakota Rosebud Sioux Tribe) University of South Dakota

UNITY: Journalists for Diversity Fellow

  • Charlie Kedado, Wayne State University

The students were selected through a competitive application process. In its third year, the Native American Journalism Fellowship represents a revamped program launched by NAJA in partnership with the School of Journalism at University of Montana to prepare aspiring journalists and storytellers for real-world success. It also aims to increase the number of Native American voices in media and visibility of Native stories and communities across the U.S.  

To learn more about how to support the Native American Journalism Fellowship, contact NAJA Executive Director Rebecca Landsberry at

Meet the 2016 NAJF EIJ News interns

Jennifer Falcon is a citizen of the Assiniboine and Sioux nation. She is currently the Policy and Zoning Director for San Antonio City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales and a contributing writer for Indian Country Today. Jennifer attends the University of Texas San Antonio. She is currently making a documentary about the movement behind Indian hiring preference at the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the 1970’s titles Freeman V. Morton. Jennifer is the mother of Kayla and Alana, and the three enjoy spending their time hiking and volunteering for women candidates for office. Jennifer has worked for several women Texas politicians including Senator Leticia Van de Putte and Senator Wendy Davis. Jennifer was the lead organizer for GetEqual Texas and helped passed a non-discrimination bill in the city of San Antonio in 2013. Jennifer also played a part in organizing the citizens’ filibuster, which helped Senator Wendy Davis’ abortion filibuster in 2013 by pushing the vote past midnight. 


Shana Lombard is a sophomore from Haskell Indian Nations University, earning her Associates of Arts in Media Communications. She is also a member of the university’s cheerleading squad and secretary of The Indian Leader. Shana is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, located in southwest Washington state. Shana found her love for video production in high school when she took a video production class. She excelled so well, that she was asked to transfer to the Warrior News class. She wrote and recorded stories, anchored for the daily, live newscast and spent her senior year being the newscast’s producer.

She plans to move onto the University of Kansas. Shana one day hopes to work for national sport league stadiums, concert venues and represent Native Americans in major media outlets. She also plans to use her video skills to revitalize her tribal language. 


Frank Robertson is living in Ohio while pursuing a master of mass communication degree through South Dakota State University. He spent several years in South Dakota as a photojournalist at two of the state’s largest newspapers before returning to his alma mater where he held positions as senior photographer, multimedia coordinator and instructor. Frank moved to Ohio in 2004 where he spent 10 years with Chillicothe Gazette Media, first as a staff photojournalist then as a multimedia editor for eight years. He’s received numerous awards during his career, most recently being recognized at the 2014 Ohio APME Newspaper Awards where he received eight awards, five of which were first place including Division I Best Photographer. While appreciative of his recognitions, the real rewards for him are serving his communities both as a photojournalist and as an instructor and mentor for youth and young journalists through programs like the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop. 


Keiti Rueter is an undergraduate at Western Kentucky University in her senior year, currently pursuing a B.S. in both physics and religious studies. Rueter, as a Chiricahua Apache, is the president of WKU’s Native Student Association which advocates for historical transparency and political, social, and environmental change in Native America. Her recent activities supported by the Native Student Association have included a poster campaign tackling appropriation and a movie screening and talk on boarding homes. With her membership to the Native American Journalist Association she hopes to keep abreast of new issues and contribute to the media landscape surrounding minority news and social activism. Rueter is also a member of the Applied Physical Society and hopes to publish a paper in the fall of her summer physics research. Besides her devotion to physics which keeps her busy with programming and calculus, she is an avid reader and has spent her summer with her nose in the books.


Rachel Whiteside, a junior at Haskell Indian Nations University, is almost finished with her associates in media communications.  She is majoring in American Indian Issues and soon hopes to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University to purse anthropology. Even though she is living in Kansas now, Rachel is originally from Washington D.C., but her tribal affiliation is from the Narragansett Indian Tribe in Rhode Island. Her main interest for this years NAJA Internship is to learn more about print journalism and photo journalism. She would really like to write for newspapers or magazines such as the National Geographic, or even Life Magazine. Whiteside want's to be able to use her future degrees in anthropology and journalism to interview countries and their native population within them. 

UNITY: Journalists for Diversity fellow

Charlie Kadado is a junior broadcast journalism student at Wayne State University in Detroit. He is a member of the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity, a nationally-acclaimed honors program which promotes diversity and inclusion at WSU. Kadado currently works as a reporter for Shelby TV, the local news station in Macomb County, Mich., where he covers courts and breaking news. His professional experience includes working as the online editor for Lebanese Examiner, a multicultural publication for Lebanese Americans, where he helped grow its circulation by 25,000. He also covered the widely reported trash crisis and mass protests in Beirut in August 2015.

Kadado developed an early interest in journalism in 2008 after working as a Kid Reporter for the New York-based Scholastic News. In his free time, he enjoys keeping up with daily news, traveling and photography. Kadado expects to graduate in winter 2017.