The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) awarded The Southern Ute Drum a total of five media awards in its annual National Native Media Awards competition, including the prestigious honor of winning first-place for General Excellence and first-place for Best Digital Publication. The remaining three awards were won by individual staff members for excellence in photography. Winners were announced in a press release from NAJA on Thursday, July 6.
Newspaper Editor, Jeremy Wade Shockley took home a first -place win in the Best Photo of Native America category for his image of the Acoma Sky City Dancers performing the Corn Dance at Chimney Rock National Monument; competing in the “associate” categories, which are open to non-Native employees of tribal newspapers.
Reporter/Photographer Divine Windy Boy was also recognized for her photography, bringing home a third-place win for her feature “Powwow: Native nations reunite at Tingley” in the Best Feature Photo category during her first year working on staff as a reporter for the Southern Ute Drum.
Administrative Assistant Krista Richards rounded out the photography awards, earning Honorable Mention in the category of Best News Photo for her image of the Southern Ute Tribal Fair grease pole contest.
“Receiving recognition from our peers in Indian Country is really special,” Shockley said. “As the editor of this publication I truly believe this reflects on the quality of work we do for the membership, these accolades are not just a win for the newspaper, but for the Tribe as a whole.”
The Southern Ute Drum competes in Professional and Associate Division I for newspapers with a print circulation under 5,000. Digital excellence is a reflection of our newspaper’s website and social media presence. The Drum’s affiliation with NAJA goes back to the early 1990’s; the association’s mission is stated as — Empowering a unique network of members and journalists covering Indian Country. NAJA serves more than 900 members, including media professionals working in tribal, freelance, independent and mainstream news outlets, as well as academia and students covering Indigenous communities and representing tribal nations from across North America.
NAJA will recognize outstanding Indigenous journalism later this summer during the National Native Media Awards ceremony in Winnipeg, Canada Saturday, Aug. 12.