Tribal Government & News

Smoke Signals wins six NAJA awards, including coveted general excellence

07.06.2023 Dean Rhodes Tribal employees


By Dean Rhodes

Publications Coordinator

Smoke Signals has won six awards for journalism excellence in the 2023 National Native Media Awards given out by the Native American Journalists Association, including the coveted first-place award for general excellence.

Smoke Signals bested The Cherokee Phoenix and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune to win the award for best overall publication in its circulation category of between 5,000 to 10,000 copies printed per edition.

“It’s so great to see the quality journalism that the Smoke Signals publishes be rewarded and recognized in Indian Country,” said Grand Ronde Editorial Board Chair Mia Prickett. “I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’re doing to bring timely information to our people.”

Smoke Signals also received a first-place award for its intermittent series "Parenting From Prison" that was conceived and written by Assistant Editor/Staff Writer Danielle Harrison and Social Media/Digital Journalist Kamiah Koch in the Best Coverage of Native America category.

The series interviewed Grand Ronde Tribal members who worked to continue parenting their children despite serving time in prison.

Koch also won a first-place award for Best Multimedia project for her video about Grand Ronde Tribal members returning to the Oregon Coast to crab. She also won a second-place award in the same category for her video about where Indian boarding schools were located in Oregon and a second-place award in the Best Radio/Podcast feature category for her story about a beer that was recognizing Grand Ronde's homelands on its label.

Finally, Smoke Signals page designer Justin Phillips received an honorable mention in the layout category.

The awards, for work published in 2022, were announced on Monday, July 3, and will be given out during the annual NAJA convention, which is being held this year in August in Winnipeg, Canada.

Smoke Signals has now won 125 state and national journalism awards since 2007.