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Indigenous Affairs Editor - High Country News

  • 2021-05-06 4:52 PM
    Message # 10448946

    Indigenous Affairs Editor

    High Country News seeks an editor to oversee the work of our award-winning Indigenous Affairs Desk. This individual will lead a team of passionate journalists to produce stories that are important to Indigenous communities and tribal nations across the Western United States.  

    HCN’s Indigenous Affairs coverage often focuses on the intersection of Indigenous people and nations with HCN’s other coverage areas, which include land, water, wildlife, conservation and climate change. But we also examine issues unique to Indigenous communities such as tribal sovereignty, the federal government’s unique relationship with, and responsibility to, Native people, post-colonialism and the legacy of genocide.

    The ideal candidate has a deep understanding of Indigenous communities and experience working with Indigenous writers, photographers and illustrators to produce stories that resonate with Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences. We strongly encourage Indigenous journalists to apply.

    Duties will include:

    • Identifies key themes, stories and ideas that capture and define the present realities of Indigenous communities in the Western United States

    • Leads the Indigenous Affairs Desk to produce a range of stories, from deep-diving features and investigations, to news, analysis, perspectives, essays and humor

    • Ensures that the Indigenous Affairs Desk’s journalism is smart, curious, fair and eclectic, and in line with the organization’s mission of “inspiring people to act on behalf of the West’s diverse natural and human communities”

    • Engages in and initiates occasional collaborations with the desk editors responsible for the northern and southern parts of our coverage area

    • Hires, guides and mentors an assistant editor, interns, fellows and freelancers, with a focus on fostering Indigenous journalists

    • Collaborates with other members of the Editorial Team to assure cultural competency and sensitivity across the magazine

    • Manages an annual freelance budget, working with the Business Office to ensure that writers are paid promptly for their work

    • Represents HCN at conferences, speaking engagements and events

    Skills and experience:

    This position requires a sophisticated understanding of Indigeneity, as well as HCN’s other coverage areas, including the West’s land, water, wildlife, conservation and climate change. 

    The ideal candidate will have the ability to write, assign and edit high volumes of editorial content for both our print magazine and digital platforms, as well as the ability to manage staff and contractors and to maintain a budget.

    They will have a strong desire to work in a nonprofit media environment and support HCN’s mission. 

    Compensation and general terms:

    This is a full-time, exempt position with medical, dental and vision healthcare benefits; paid vacation leave starting at 12 days a year plus 9 paid HCN holiday days each year; paid sick and family leave benefits; and a salary in the range of $55,000 to $62,500 annual equivalent, dependent on skills and experience. 

    This position is open to candidates who reside in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming. HCN’s business headquarters is in Paonia, Colorado, but the editorial staff works remotely. 

    High Country News is part of a growing number of newsrooms addressing a historic lack of representation, inclusion and equity in journalism with effective solutions. We are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion among our staff, volunteers, programs, and partners. We encourage applicants of diverse abilities, backgrounds, and life experiences to apply.  

    HCN is committed to equal employment opportunities and prohibits the unlawful discrimination against applicants or employees based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

    To apply, please send a résumé and cover letter to with “Indigenous Affairs Editor” in the subject line. Please include information about your unique background, experience and insight into Indigenous people and nations.

    Closing date for applications is May 26th, 2021.


    High Country News is the nation's leading independent source of thoughtful, in-depth reporting on the Western United States. Established in 1970, HCN produces an award-winning monthly magazine and a popular website, along with email newsletters, special reports, books and events. From Alaska and the Northern Rockies to the Desert Southwest, from the Great Plains to the West Coast, HCN is a beloved and essential resource for those who care about this region.

    High Country News is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities. Its journalism is supported largely by its devoted readership through subscriptions and contributions, with additional revenue from grants and advertising. It has received countless honors and accolades, including three coveted George Polk Awards.

    The most recent of those awards went to the leader of our Indigenous Affairs Desk, which was founded in 2017. The desk was among the first in the nation to be led, and largely staffed, by Indigenous journalists and housed in a non-tribal publication. It quickly gained recognition for its smart, incisive reporting on issues such as Indigenous land rights, the legacy of genocide, and the racism faced by Indigenous people. 

    Notable projects of the Indigenous Affairs Desk include a feature story about a forgotten trove of Indigenous art, a collaboration with the New York Times about the governor of Oklahoma, who claimed tribal ancestry while fighting tribes over a gaming compact, and a work of “speculative journalism” that imagined a future in which the last climate criminals are brought to justice. A two-year investigation into how the expropriation of Indigenous land became the foundation of the land-grant university system won not only a 2020 George Polk Award, but also a national prize from Investigative Reporters and Editors.

    Last modified: 2021-05-06 4:52 PM | Anonymous
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