NAJA calls for board candidacy declarations through Aug. 25

Posted by NAJA on 07/18/2017

The Native American Journalists Association 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 September 2017.

NAJA members in good standing may submit declarations of candidacy through Aug. 25, 2017.

In-person voting for the board election will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sat., Sept. 9, 2017, in coordination with the 2017 Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim, California. The NAJA election booth will be located on site during the event. 

NAJA will also offer an online voting option. Members may vote using their name or NAJA membership number. 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 or join NAJA as a new member: 

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

Official election results will be announced during the NAJA National Native Media Awards Banquet.

Candidates must be determined to be NAJA members in good standing in order to be eligible to run for any seat. Associate members are not eligible to run for any position on the board. 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 what he or she hopes to achieve through service on the board, including fundraising goals and ideas (no more than 500 words) to the NAJA Election Chair, Jolene Schonchin, by 5 p.m. Aug. 25 at [email protected]. Submitting a resume is also encouraged, however, not required.

An informal candidate meet and greet will be held following the NAJA Membership Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 8 from 11:30 - 1:30 p.m., at the Anaheim Marriott. 

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:

  1. Candidates must declare their intention to run for the board between Jan. 1 and six weeks before the election (Sept. 9, 2017).
  2. 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 Aug. 25, 2017.

For more information on the specific requirements of board members, click here to read Article VII of the NAJA bylaws: 

Note: This release originally stated there would be two open seats on the NAJA Board of Directors. It was edited at 2:15 p.m., on Aug. 11 to reflect the correct number of seats to be filled, which is three.