NAJA announces 2017 board candidates

Posted by NAJA on 09/01/2017


Norman, Okla. -- The Native American Journalists Association will launch online voting for the 2017 NAJA Board of Directors election. 

The elections committee created a process document with policy and procedure, which NAJA has adopted to ensure a secure online and in-person balloting process, prior to the opening of online voting Sept. 4-8, 2017.

Election Dates and Times

  • Online elections will be open Monday, Sept. 4 from 8 a.m. CST through Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 until 7 p.m. CST

  • In-person voting for the elections will be open from 10.a.m. - 5 p.m. PT, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in coordination with the 2017 Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim, Calif. The NAJA election booth will be located onsite during the event.

Below is a description of the design and process of online ballot voting. Any member who chooses to vote in-person will still be able to do so onsite during the 2017 Excellence in Journalism conference. In order to maintain privacy within the elections process, individual votes will not be tied to specific member information.

Voting Procedure

NAJA will email unique links to each eligible voting member prior to opening the online voting period, Sept. 4-8, 2017.

Once eligible members are determined and addresses are uploaded, a unique ballot link will be sent to each voter, via the email associated with their NAJA membership. You MUST access the ballot from this email. Ballots include a unique link that may only be accessed through the specified email address associated with the member’s account.

Members must ensure that NAJA has a current email address on file. Please visit the NAJA membership portal at prior to the online voting period to update your contact information.

The election committee chair will review the distribution of the online survey and upon close of the online voting period, will download a data report that will show those who have completed, partially completed or did not complete the ballot.

Voter Eligibility

Eligible membership types include: Individual Professional, Student, Tribal Media and Lifetime Members. Associate Members are not eligible to vote in NAJA elections. For voter eligibility determinations, please reference your membership level here:

Online Voting Process

Eligible members in good standing, as validated by the election committee chair and prescribed in Article III of the NAJA bylaws, will receive an email with a unique ballot link with the subject line: “NAJA Board Online Voting Ballot.”


2017 NAJA Board of Directors Elections

Candidate Profiles

Shyanne Beatty Shyanne Beatty.jpg

My name is Shyanne Beatty and I am Hän Hwëch’in Athabascan from Eagle, Alaska and Trondëk Hwëch’in Athabascan from Moosehide, Yukon Territory. I am writing today to formally announce my candidacy for the NAJA Board of Directors.

I currently work at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage as the Major Gifts and Development Officer. Before heading to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, I worked for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation where I started as a Production Assistant fellow in 1999.  My work for Koahnic has included directing the 2004 Native Media Empowerment Project where I designed and constructed media training sessions for Alaska Native participants in rural locations including Barrow, Bethel, Kotzebue, St. Paul Island, Unalaska and Sitka.

I also co-produced the award-winning oral history/Native language programs "Native Word of the Day" and "Stories of Our People" and the award-winning 2008 radio documentary "Coming Home: The Return of the Alutiiq Masks." 

I then become an on air personality for 90.3 KNBA, Anchorage, Alaska and eventually moved on to host and producer of  “Earthsongs” which was the first nationally syndicated radio show to air out of the State of Alaska. Before leaving Koahnic, I served as the network manager for Native Voice One,  a national radio network that distributes Native radio programming to stations throughout North America, Canada, Australia and Guam. 

I also serve on Doyon Foundation’s Language Revitalization Committee, Alaska Native Heritage Center Athabascan Cultural Advisory Committee and I am the current President of Alaska Native Heritage Month, Inc.

I have been on the NAJA board for one year and would like to continue serving since I have just begun to cultivate relationships with possible donors here in Alaska. I would like to set up a committee to reinvigorate our NAJA Award submissions as well as redefining our categories and how we judge submissions.

I believe I am the only Alaska Native to currently serve on board and think that it is important to have representation from Alaska since we have over 21 different cultures represented in our state and would like to be the voice for our northern Indigenous people. 

Graham Lee Brewer

Graham Lee Brewer is a freelance journalist and contributing editor for High Country News, where his focus is Indian country.

Brewer spent four years as a reporter at The Oklahoman, the state's largest newspaper, where he covered the state Legislature, crimnal justice, the state prison system and the death penalty.

He began his news career as a reporter for KGOU, the University of Oklahoma’s NPR member station, and later joined Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit investigative news team. 

Brewer has won several local and national awards for his reporting, including a 2011 UNITY Young Journalist Global Reporting Fellowship at the United Nations. He received a bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and a master’s in 2011. He is an Oklahoma native and a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Mark Dreadfulwater


Mark Dreadfulwater (Cherokee) has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2006. He began as a graphic designer, a position that exposed him to all factions of the organization. Upon completing his journalism degree from Northeastern State University in 2009, he was promoted to media specialist, switching his main focus to videography and visual journalism while maintaining his design duties. In 2012, he was promoted to multimedia editor.

He is a member of Native American Journalists Association and spent three years on the board of directors from 2013-2015. He was the education chair all three years and has also spent numerous years as the lead mentor for the student projects.

Mark is also an active member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Society for News Design.

Jacqueline Keeler

Jacqueline Keeler is a Diné/Ihanktonwan Dakota writer living in Portland, Oregon. She has contributed to many publications including The Nation, Yes! Magazine and Salon. Her book “The Edge of Morning: Native Voices Speak for the Bears Ears” has been published by Torrey House Press and her next “Standing Rock to the Bundy Standoff: Occupation, Native Sovereignty, and the Fight for Sacred Landscapes” will be out next year.


I believe expanding local coverage and journalism from Native communities is key. Collaborations with funders like the Knight Foundation and with leading established news outlets like The Guardian, with up and coming digital news platforms like Vox—and with mixed media outlets like VICE News—could be key to supporting and providing outlets for Native voices. Native communities are on the front lines of climate change and best situated to report on the biggest story of the 21st century.