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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tribal Business News has added a veteran journalist to its growing reporting team. 

Tamara Ikenberg joined Tribal Business News as a senior reporter on Dec. 7. Based in southern California, Ikenberg will take a lead role in reporting on Indian Country’s arts and tourism industries, as well as coverage of the Alaska Native business community.

Previously, Ikenberg was a contributing writer for Native News Online, where she participated in a four-month project focused on covering the broad effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indian Country, touching on issues ranging from arts to sovereignty. She also contributed to Tribal Business News as a freelancer.

“Tamara has a keen eye for stories and an innate ability to pull on various threads in her reporting to identify issues that deserve attention and help inform our readers,” said Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi), editor of Tribal Business News. “She’s a great addition as we continue to build our reporting team and explore the $130 billion tribal economy.”

Ikenberg’s nomadic culture-writing career has brought her to Alabama, Alaska and several other states. Her interest in Indigenous issues and culture was sparked in Alaska, where she was an arts and entertainment writer for The Alaska Dispatch News and a grant and article writer at Juneau-based Sealaska Heritage Institute, a nonprofit promoting and perpetuating the art of Southeast Alaska tribes. 

Prior to that, she covered pop culture, fashion, classical music and more for publications including The Courier-Journal in Louisville, The Mobile Press Register, NYLON Magazine and The Baltimore Sun. 

Ikenberg has journalism degree from Northwestern University and won first place in the culture category in 2018 from the Alaska Press Club for her First Alaskans magazine piece about reviving traditional Southeast Alaskan Native halibut hooks. She currently resides in Southern California. 

Ikenburg joins reporter Chez Oxendine (Lumbee-Cheraw) and managing editor Joe Boomgaard in the Tribal Business News virtual newsroom. The publication is currently seeking to hire a full-time general assignment reporter in a joint position with Native News Online, as well as add additional freelance and contract writers to its reporting staff. Contact [email protected] for more details.

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