NAJA calls for 2018 board candidacy declarations through June 1, 2018

Posted by NAJA Elections Committee on 04/02/2018

The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) is calling for candidate nominations and declarations to serve on the NAJA Board of Directors.There are three vacancies for 3-year terms, which will begin in July 2018.

NAJA members in good standing may submit declarations of candidacy and supporting materials including bio, resume and video message through the deadline of June 1, 2018 to NAJA Election Chair Darren Brown, [email protected]

Volunteer Board

The NAJA Board of Directors is made up of all volunteers, who dedicate their time and talents to strengthening journalism in Indian Country.

Membership Needs

In a recent 2017-2018 NAJA membership survey, completed by nearly 150 participants, members noted the need for skills training, funding and support for Native journalists and youth to participate in professional development opportunities and conferences, a tribal media summit to discuss ethics and freedom of the press; and more resources for freelancers.


Fundraising is a major function of the volunteer board, which supports membership needs and the pipeline of Native talent into media careers, including the Native American Journalism Fellowship and next generation of storytellers.

NAJA board members will receive training as an elected representative of the organization through hands-on experience in writing sponsorship proposals and grants as well as understanding the fiscal responsibilities and strategy needs of leading a non-profit organization.

Commitment Expectations

Elected board members are required to attend monthly meetings as well as regularly scheduled committee meetings. Meeting times are determined by the board. If an elected member misses more than three meetings due to unexcused absences, they may be removed from the board.

Membership Vote

In-person voting for the board election will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday, July 21, 2018 in coordination with the 2018 National Native Media Conference in Miami. The NAJA election booth will be located on site during the event.

Online Voting

Current NAJA members will receive a unique link in their NAJA email for online voting in 2018, prior to the on-site election. Members may only cast one vote per person, either online or in-person. All votes will be verified so there are no duplicates.

Renew your Membership / Join NAJA as a new member

To renew your membership or update your member profile, log in to your account at: with the email address associated with your NAJA membership or to join as a new member.

How to Become a Candidate

Candidates must be determined to be NAJA members in good standing in order to be eligible to run for any position within the board. Associate members are not eligible for board candidacy. Read more about nominations and board elections in Article VIII of the NAJA bylaws.

After the NAJA Election Committee has determined eligibility, candidates must then submit a biography, photo and brief summary of fundraising goals and ideas (no more than 500 words) in addition to a current resume. Candidates should also provide an outline of how they will address the membership needs, as outlined at the beginning of this announcement, and their personal strategies to support the execution of the 2018-2020 strategic plan.

Candidates may also submit a public YouTube video link to introduce themselves to the NAJA membership. NAJA may share the video profile with members and it should be 2 minutes or less.

All candidacy declaration documents should be submitted to NAJA Election Chair Darren Brown at [email protected] by 5 p.m. CT on June 1, 2018.

Candidate Meet and Greet

An informal candidate meet and greet will be held following the NAJA Membership Luncheon, where candidates will be introduced by NAJA Election Chair Darren Brown, at the conclusion of the event.

Election Guidelines

The Native American Journalists Association charter states, under Article VII, Section 1, that the membership shall determine the election process.

In 1996, the NAJA membership voted to establish an Election Committee to organize and facilitate annual board elections. The following guidelines were adopted on June 22, 1996 in Bangor, Maine. It was later revised and adopted by the board in March 26, 2006, and updated in March 2009.

Declaration of board candidacy:

Candidates must declare their intention to run for the board between Jan. 1 and six weeks before the election (deadline: June 1, 2018).

After their eligibility to run for the board has been determined, candidates shall submit a photo, bio and brief summary of what the candidate hopes to achieve through service on the board, including fundraising goals and ideas.

In addition, the NAJA Board of Directors has adopted the following definition of "media professional" and recommended procedure for the Election Board to follow:

"A media professional is defined as a journalist who works for either tribal media or mainstream media and earns 51 percent of his or her annual income through journalism. A journalist is someone who works in the gathering, writing, editing, photographing, publishing and disseminating of news as through, but not limited to, a newspaper, magazine, radio, television station, or World Wide Web publication owned and operated by a news media outlet.”

"Determining whether a board candidate is eligible to hold office shall be the responsibility of the Election Committee. When the NAJA office receives written notification that a NAJA member has declared his or her candidacy for office, the Election Committee has 21 days to notify the candidate in writing whether he or she is eligible to run for the NAJA board. The written determination of eligibility will be sent to the candidate, with copies to the NAJA President and Executive Director. Any candidate determined ineligible will receive an explanation for the ruling within the notification letter.”

"An election report shall be prepared and distributed during the annual membership meeting. The report shall include the list of board candidates and any explanations why a candidate was determined ineligible to run, along with general procedures followed during that year's election process."

(Note: This policy shall be published in every document that NAJA releases concerning board candidates)

Candidates must declare their intention to run for the NAJA Board before deadline:  June 1, 2018.