Tribal Government & News

Smoke Signals wins six awards from Native American Journalists Association

06.12.2018 Dean Rhodes Tribal Employees

Smoke Signals staff writer Danielle Frost's story about Tribal member Heather Cameron Haller, who has been missing for five years and is likely a victim of violence against Native American women, garnered a first-place award for Best Coverage of Native America in the 2018 Native American Journalists Association journalism competition.

Award recipients were announced on Tuesday, June 12.

“Danielle did a great job of covering a tragic and highly personal story of a missing Tribal member and including information about how violence against Native American women has become a national problem that needs to be addressed,” Editor Dean Rhodes said.

Frost’s award marks the second year in a row that Smoke Signals has won the first-place award in the Best Coverage of Native America category.

Smoke Signals photojournalist Michelle Alaimo won two second-place awards: one in News and one in Features. Her photo of the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse that occurred over Grand Ronde was honored in the News Photo category while her photograph of Tribal youth on spring break was honored in the Features Photo category.

Rhodes was honored with a second-place award in News Writing for his story about the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse and a third-place award in Feature Writing for his story about a book that recounted Louis Kenoyer being the last speaker of the Northern Kalapuya language.

Tribal member Justin Phillips, who just celebrated his 19th year working for Smoke Signals, received a third-place award for designing the newspaper.

Frost, Alaimo and Rhodes competed in the Associate Division, which is for nonNatives who work for Tribal publications. Phillips competed in the Professional Division, which is for Native Americans who work for Tribal publications.

Smoke Signals competed in the 5,000- to 10,000-circulation category in both divisions.

The awards marked the 49th time Smoke Signals has received an award from NAJA over the last decade.

The awards, which are for work published in 2017, will be handed out in mid-July during NAJA's annual convention being held in Miami, Fla.