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People: Greyhills grad honored for service to Pacific Northwest; Times CEO/publisher to receive NAJA-Medill award


In May, the Bonneville Power Administration, under the U.S. Department of Energy, presented Corrina Ikakoula, Diné, with the BPA Unsung Hero award as part of its 2021 Administrator’s Excellence Awards program.

Corrina Ikakoula

BPA is a federal agency headquartered in Portland that markets and transmits high-voltage electricity in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of northern California, Nevada and Wyoming.

Ikakoula is Tsédeeshgizhníí, born for the Bilagáana. Her maternal grandfather is Tł’izíłání.

Her grandparents are Evelyn and the late Seymour Tso Sr. of Cameron, Arizona, and her parents are Chris and Sue Sutter residing on the Tulalip Indian Reservation in Washington.

This year’s virtual ceremony on April 22 celebrated 37 exceptional individuals – all nominated by their peers – who embody the 2021 AEA theme, Change-Makers.

Ikakoula received the Unsung Hero Award for consistently contributing essential efforts to BPA through building and maintaining the agency’s tribal relationships as a tribal account executive.

In this role, she serves as a point of contact for western Oregon and western Washington tribes. She helps the agency meet its government-to-government consultation requirements.

Additionally, she leads the coordination of BPA’s internal tribal training program, which helps staff learn about how to work effectively with tribes, tribal trust responsibility, culture and history.

Ikakoula graduated from Greyhills Academy High School in Tuba City. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University-Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii, in 2004.

She earned a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in 2012.

Times CEO/publisher to receive NAJA-Medill award


Tom Arviso, Jr., is the CEO and Publisher of Navajo Times Publishing Co., Inc.

EVANSTON, Ill. – The Native American Journalists Association and Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications have selected Tom Arviso Jr. as the 2021 NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award recipient.

Arviso is the CEO of the Navajo Times Publishing Company and publisher of the Navajo Times.

The award recognizes an individual who has had a lasting effect on media to the benefit of Indigenous communities.

Given by NAJA and Medill, the award celebrates and encourages responsible storytelling and journalism in Indian Country.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this honor from Medill,” Arviso said. “When the NAJA office notified me of the award, I was totally surprised. However, it was a pleasant surprise and a great way to start the day.”

Medill Dean Charles Whitaker said, “Medill is delighted to continue our partnership with NAJA to recognize Native American journalists who are making a true difference. Tom has shown he is committed to the important work of elevating stories of indigenous communities, which need to be included in mainstream media.”

Arviso is a lifetime member of NAJA, where he served on the Board of Directors as vice president, treasurer and a board member from 1994 to 2000.

This isn’t Arviso’s first time receiving an award from NAJA. In July 1997, NAJA presented him with its “Wassaja Award for extraordinary service to Native journalism.”

In April 2000, Arviso was selected for a John S. Knight Fellowship in Journalism at Stanford University. He was the first full-blood Native American to have been selected for a Knight Fellowship.

As a Knight Fellow, Arviso studied newspaper publishing and business management at Stanford and used his studies to help him devise a business plan to separate the Navajo Times from the Navajo Nation government.

To seek independence from tribal government ownership, Arviso lobbied and then convinced the Navajo Nation Council to approve the for-profit incorporation of the Navajo Times. The Council voted in favor of this official legislation on October 23, 2003.

May 2021 marked the start of Arviso’s 36th year at the Navajo Times and his 17th year as the CEO/Publisher of the Navajo Times Publishing Company, Inc.

Arviso is Tó’áhani and born for the Ts’ah Yisk’idnii. His maternal grandfather is Tábąąhá and his paternal grandfather is Tsénahabiłnii’.

He will receive the award on Nov. 9.

Navajo, former dean are new board members for Southwest Center for Equal Justice

FLAGSTAFF –The Southwest Center for Equal Justice, a Flagstaff-based nonprofit equal rights organization, recently added a member of the Navajo Nation and a former associate dean of students at Northern Arizona University to its board of directors.

George Joe, Diné, and Deborah Harris are the new board members.

They join board members Darrell Marks, Flagstaff High’s Indigenous advisor and community activist, Mikkel Jordahl, a Flagstaff attorney in private practice with extensive civil rights litigation experience, and Joelle Clark, director of Northern Arizona University’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning.

Joe was born and raised in Dilkon, Arizona, and attended schools in Winslow. He brings over 25 years of experience in media and marketing. George joined the SWCEJ board in July 2021.

“I am privileged and honored to be asked to join an organization committed to standing up for those wronged by the system,” Joe said. “All my life, I have seen minorities wrongfully charged and sometimes beaten by authorities, yet nothing ever becomes of it.” Joe has master’s degrees in English and educational leadership and is currently the director of Marketing and Communications at Diné College.

Harris is president of the Flagstaff Southside Community Association and interim director of the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Services at NAU. She retired as associate dean of student affairs at NAU in 2016 after 16 years of service.

Harris is originally from Wisconsin and studied at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

“Our two new board members are well respected with depth of knowledge and experience in their fields,” said long-time Flagstaff attorney and SWCEJ Executive Director Wendy White. “They bring experience, education, and a wealth of knowledge to help us continue to fight injustices.”

In 2019, SWCEJ took on the city of Flagstaff, in a case in which Tremayne Nez was wrongfully charged and arrested by Flagstaff Police Department during a joint task force investigation.

SWCEJ took the case and reached a settlement with the city in December 2020.

Most recently, SWCEJ negotiated a settlement against the city of Winslow for another wrongly arrested man.


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