American Indian Journalist Jenni Monet Arrested While Doing Her Job


American Indian Journalist Jenni Monet. Photo from Facebook.

Published February 2, 2017

CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA — Award-winning American Indian journalist, Jenni Monet (Laguna Pueblo) was among the 76 arrested on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Monet, an independent journalist, was at the newly established Last Child’s Camp on assignment for Indian Country Today when she was arrested.

The Last Child’s Camp was erected on private land, up the hill and across the street from the Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments. Water protectors have been looking for new locations to establish camps because the Oceti Sakowin is in a flood plain and campers need to evacuate the camp prior to the spring thaw.

Details on what Monet is being charged with  charged were not available early Thursday.

“We are looking carefully into the incidents leading to the arrest, to learn what happened and ensure that our journalists’ rights are protected. To arrest and silence our journalists without proper cause would be an assault not only on the freedom of the press, but yet another infringement on the rights of all Natives to live as free and independent peoples,” said ICMN Publisher and Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. “The events at Standing Rock are why Indian Country Media Network, and other minority media outlets, exist: to give a voice to diverse points of view often drowned out in the mainstream press.”

“Yesterday’s unlawful arrest of Native journalist Jenni Monet by Morton County officers is patently illegal and a blatant betrayal of our closely held American values of free speech and a free press,” said Bryan Pollard, President of the Native American Journalists Association. “Jenni is an accomplished journalist and consummate professional who was covering a story on behalf of Indian Country Today.

As late Thursday afternoon, Monet was still in custody. Attorneys for the Oneida Nation, which owns Indian Country Media Network, were able to talk to Monet on Thursday afternoon.

Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney and publisher of Last Real Indians was among others arrested on Wednesday.

Monet was interviewed last Tuesday by MSNBC after President Donald Trump signed the presidential memorandum seeking to to have the Dakota Access pipeline’s easement approved.

Monet’s journalism career has included reporting for PBS NewsHour, High Country News, PRI The World, Yes! Magazine, and Indian Country Today.  In October 2016, she launched the podcast, Still Here.  Other works have been featured with Al Jazeera, CNN, and NPR.  

Updated: Friday, February 3, 2017 – Monet was bailed out of jail at 9:00 p.m. – CST on Thursday, February 2, 2017. She has been charged with criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot. Both charges are Class B misdemeanor.

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