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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Kyle Edwards (Anishinaabe), the managing editor of Native News Online, has been named a 2021 Nieman Visiting Fellow by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Edwards is one of 12 journalists named to this fellowship, which develops projects advancing racial justice or improving public health journalism in the United States.

Edwards will examine, catalog and memorialize the loss of Indigenous elders, knowledge and culture during the COVID-19 pandemic by creating a website devoted to sharing oral histories and interviews with families affected by the disease. This will inform a podcast series focused on individual stories of Indigenous resilience in the face of the Covid-19 surge. His work will be featured on Native News Online.  

“Native News Online is excited Kyle has been selected for this prestigious fellowship. We look forward to his further growth to his already enormous journalistic talents,” Levi Rickert, publisher and editor of Native News Online said. “Kyle’s examination of the losses sustained in Indian Country during the Covid-19 pandemic will complement our publication’s pandemic coverage and give it context.”

Edwards will remain in his post as managing editor during his fellowship.

Announcing the new fellows, Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski said: “This past year journalism has faced urgent challenges but also explored opportunities for change. Nieman sought individuals with ideas for using journalism to address public health and racial justice inequities. These new visiting fellows seek to make real contributions to their communities and we’re excited to work with them to advance their projects.”

“Indian Country has been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and these are stories that deserve the country’s attention,” Edwards said. “I’m honored that the Nieman Foundation acknowledged the importance of this project, and I’m excited about where it will take our newsroom.” 

Edwards previously worked at ProPublica, where he was the Lorana Sullivan Senior Business Reporting Fellow, and Maclean’s, based in Toronto, where he earned various awards.

The Nieman Visiting Fellowship program began in 2013 to invite individuals with promising journalism research proposals to take advantage of the many resources at Harvard University and the Nieman Foundation.

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You’re reading the first draft of history. 

November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

  • Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
  • Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.  
  • Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country.  We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.   

We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.

Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

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