• Home

Solutions Journalism Network: What’s Working in Indian Country?

Solutions Journalism Network What’s Working In Indian Country event imageSolutions journalism offers reporters the tools and strategies to tell meaningful stories in their communities that highlight resilience and strength while pushing back against the dominant, negative narratives in mainstream media. PEN America is thrilled to co-present an interactive conversation geared toward journalists and storytellers covering Native American and Alaska Native communities in media. 

Join Sarah Gustavus, Solutions Journalism Network; Rebecca Nagle (Cherokee Nation), This Land podcast; and Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee Nation), High Country News as they provide an overview of the solutions journalism approach, as well as tools and questions to consider that will help journalists strengthen their research and reporting across Indian Country. Aimed to support reporters pursuing rigorous stories that examine responses to problems, the majority of the session will take place in small groups with opportunities for attendees to share and receive feedback in relation to past challenges with data, records requests, and sourcing. Attendees are encouraged to come with a shortlist of issues or ideas they might want to explore through solutions reporting.

This event will take place at the National Native Media Conference, which will feature sessions on Indigenous media and journalism led by Indigenous journalists teaching in-depth skills and sharing new insights on media in Indian Country. This year, the conference will be co-presented with the Fourth Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition and also focus on food systems, nutrition, and health in Indian Country.

This event is open to Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) members and supporters. To learn more and attend, visit here.


Sarah Gustavus photoSarah Gustavus is the Mountain West regional manager for the Solutions Journalism Network. Sarah has extensive experience reporting on issues in both rural and Native American/Alaska Native communities. As executive producer of national programs for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, a Native American-owned media company, she led coverage of the nationally-syndicated radio programs Native America Calling, National Native News and Earthsongs. In 2017, she co-reported on health and wellness issues in Native American communities in New Mexico, Arizona and California with Antonia Gonzales from National Native News in the multimedia series “Reconnecting With A Healthy Lifestyle.”

Rebecca Nagle is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a two spirit (queer) woman. Nagle is a community organizer and writer currently living in Tahlequah, OK and studying the Cherokee language. Nagle was recently named one of the National Center American Indian Enterprise Development’s 2016 Native American 40 Under 40 for her work to address violence against Native Women. As the co-founder and co-Director of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture and The Monument Quilt, Nagle organized national art and advocacy projects to create a culture of support for survivors. Nagle was also a co-creator behind the 2017 viral #GoRedhawks culture jam. Her original writing has appeared in Bitch Media, The Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, ThinkProgress, Indian Country Today and more. Nagle’s organizing and advocacy work has received national press including coverage from NBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR and more.

Graham Lee Brewer is a contributing editor for tribal affairs at High Country News and a member of the Cherokee Nation. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.


Mary Annette Pember photoMary Annette Pember, a member of the Red Cliff Tribe of Wisconsin Ojibwe, is an independent writer and photographer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 2003, her work has focused primarily on native people and issues, exploring topics such as the high rate of diabetes and obesity among Native people, sexual violence towards Native women, the impact of climate change and fossil fuel extraction on Native people and their lands. She is past president of the Native American Journalists Association and has worked as a staff photographer and photo editor at The Green Bay Press Gazette, The Arizona Republic, The Oregonian and The Lexington Herald-Leader. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Progressive Magazine and others. She is a regular contributor to Indian Country Today Media Network and The Daily Yonder, a Kellogg Foundation supported rural news blog. She currently lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children.