Native American Journalists Association

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“In the Time of COVID-19”

is a set of audio and digital stories highlighting the experiences of people whose lives have changed dramatically during the pandemic.

This project was produced in March 2021 in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association and conducted virtually. Our reporters are early-career journalists.

Schriener assembles one of the tribal food boxes

Feeding family: nourishing Indigenous communities during the pandemic

As the pandemic continues to lay bare social inequalities like access to fresh foods, Spring Alaska Schriener finds an alternative way to feed her community through tribal food boxes full of nutritious Indigenous foods.
By Jessica Douglas

Revitalizing a Native language through a pandemic

Traditionally, the role as a tribal elder was to pass down the language through oral stories, but after years of assimilation, that role is now on the shoulders of the young language department staff. Zoey Holsclaw is a Grand Ronde language teacher and outreach coordinator struggling to teach and encourage participation in the Chinuk Wawa language in the midst of the pandemic.
By Kamiah Koch

A book from the Grand Ronde language program classroom
Masks, herbal teas, and menstrual products laid out on the floor.

Dignity, ceremony & healing: How one Indigenous midwife supports farmworkers during the pandemic

As a certified nurse midwife in Santa Cruz, Maria Ramos observed that the Indigenous farmworkers coming into her clinic were suffering from various reproductive health issues. When she received her first COVID stimulus payment, she used her money to create womb care kits for the women in Watsonville, CA.
By Adreanna Rodriguez

Listening the past: One woman’s journey to preserve tribal history

Dara Williams-Worden spends most of her days recording tribal elders’ stories about the Confederated Tribes of The Umatilla Indian Reservation’s past. She works in the Oral History for the Department of Natural Resources, and uses these stories to help protect and preserve the community’s sacred spaces.
By Lily Sheoships

Bear Paw Historical Park
Fremont Music store front

In Wyoming, music is spiritual

Sean Francis owns the only music store in central Wyoming. He is providing education, equipment, and inspiration to those interested in learning since the community has been apart because of the pandemic for over a year.
By Taylar Stagner

About NextGenRadio

The Next Generation Radio Project is a week-long digital journalism training project designed to give competitively selected participants, who are interested in radio and journalism, the skills and opportunity to report and produce their own multimedia story. Those chosen for the project are paired with a professional journalist who serves as their mentor.

This edition of the #NPRNextGenRadio project was produced in collaboration with the Native American Journalists Association in March 2021.


Managing Editors:
Jourdan Bennett-Begaye - Managing Editor, Indian Country Today, Washington, D.C.
Phyllis Fletcher - Senior Editor, American Public Media Studios, Seattle
Audio Engineer lead:
Selena Seay-Reynolds - Freelance audio engineer, Los Angeles/New Jersey, with Patrice Mondragon - Audio Tech, Colorado Public Radio
Visuals team lead:
Erica Lee - Freelance photojournalist, New Jersey, with Kevin Beaty of The Denverite and Colorado Public Radio, Denver
Illustration team lead:
Emily Whang - Freelance Illustrator, Los Angeles with Ard Su - Freelance Illustrator, Baltimore, and Lauren Ibañez - Freelance Illustrator, Houston
Digital Editors:
Manuelita Beck, Politics Now Editor, USA TODAY, Indianapolis
Alexis L. Richardson, Chief Innovation Officer & Digital Strategist, “The Mom Edit,” Philadelphia.
Web Developers/Producers:
Cameo Hill of NPR station KJZZ in Phoenix
Robert Boos of Metropolitan State in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Our journalist/mentors for this project were:
Brian Bull - Reporter, KLCC, Eugene, OR
Carrie Jung - Education Reporter, WBUR, Boston
Graham Lee Brewer - Associate Editor for Indigenous Affairs, High Country News, Norman, OK
Savannah Maher - Rocky Mountain News Bureau, Indigenous Affairs Desk, KUNM, Albuquerque, NM
Christine Trudeau - High Country News, Contributing Editor to the Indigenous Affairs Desk, San Diego

NPR’s Next Generation Radio program is directed by its founder, Doug Mitchell.