Amanda Blackhorse to give keynote address during 2015 National Native Media Conference in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Rebecca Landsberry on 05/18/2015

NORMAN, Okla. -- The keynote for this year's National Native Media Awards Banquet co-hosted by the Native American Journalists Association and Native Public Media will be Amanda Blackhorse, a licensed clinical social worker from Big Mountain, Arizona, who was the lead plaintiff in Blackhorse vs. Pro Football Inc.

Blackhorse and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office petition filed against the Washington NFL team name -- a term the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and other sources identify as offensive -- have been the subject of countless news reports. Ms. Blackhorse's remarks as part of the NAJA-NPM banquet will center mostly on her experiences with the case in recent years and offer personal perspective. 

NAJA invited Blackhorse, who is Dine' and enrolled in the Navajo Nation, to participate in the conference, knowing that her case, appearance on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," interviews with USA Today, Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN), Arizona Republic, Washington Post, Democracy Now and multiple network news outlets may have given her a unique outlook on the media, and attitudes on race, appropriation and Native representation. She also has begun writing columns for ICTMN.

Last year, USPTO judges ruled in Blackhorse's favor to strip the Washington franchise of six trademark registrations after finding the team name disparaging toward Native Americans. The trademark case is now in appeal, with the NFL suing Blackhorse and four other petitioners in federal court to overturn the decision. 

The annual National Native Media Awards Banquet and silent auction benefiting the NAJA Scholarship Fund for college students pursuing careers in journalism begins at 6 p.m., on Saturday, July 11, during the final evening of the three-day National Native Media Conference, which officially closes the morning of Sunday, July 12. 

Leading Native American journalists and broadcasters who are recipients of yet-to-be-announced NAJA and NPM awards are also expected to deliver remarks. The event will showcase Native journalism and Native cultures, for a unique and dynamic evening. This year, the NAJA-NPM dinner is set for Saturday, July 11, at the Hyatt Regency-Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202). It marks the first time NAJA will host a major event in the Washington, D.C., area, outside of participation in a past convention of UNITY Journalists of Color (now UNITY: Journalists for Diversity). 

One ticket to the National Native Media Awards Banquet is included with each paid registration for attendees of the 2015 National Native Media Conference. 

For stand alone tickets to the event or to purchase a table, click here: ( and select "Media Awards Banquet Ticket Only." Tickets are $85 before Eventbrite transaction fees. 

To pay with cash or check, send inquires to [email protected] with attention to Interim NAJA Executive Director Rebecca Landsberry.