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Haskell Indian Nations University Journalism Program Recognized for Outstanding Coverage of Indian Country

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LAWRENCE, KS – Haskell Indian Nations University is proud and honored to congratulate its journalism students for receiving outstanding achievement awards from the Indigenous Journalists Association. Students and a faculty member received the recognition for their exceptional reporting in the university’s paper, the Haskell Indian Leader.

"Quality journalism is one of the cornerstones of a free and just society,” said Interim Vice-President of Academics Rhonda Levaldo. “We are extremely proud of our students for their hard work providing insightful reporting within Native communities. We are committed to producing informative and newsworthy content.”

Among the first-place winners for best reporting are:

  • Zachary ‘Xakai’ Arquette, Jada Martin, and Kaya Friday for Best TV News Story and Best TV Sports Story
  • Zachary ‘Xakai’ Arquette for Best TV Feature Story
  • Zachary ‘Xakai’ Arquette for Best Print/Online News Story
  • Haskell Indian Leader staff for Best Editorial
  • Haskell Indian Leader staff for Best Digital Publication


Student being interviewed


“Our journalism program is among the best in the country,” said Haskell President Dr. Francis Arpan. “We are competing with top journalism schools across the United States and these awards are a testament to the academic rigor and high standards we strive to instill in the next generation of journalists. They have all done outstanding work covering Indian Country and deserve national recognition.”

Additional awards include:

  • Zachary ‘Xakai’ Arquette – Second and Third place for Best Print/Online News Story
  • Zachary ‘Xakai’ Arquette – Third place for Best Print/Online Feature Story

The Indigenous Journalists Association was previously known as the Native American Journalists Association. Its annual competition recognized excellence in reporting from the U.S. and Canada with more than 200 awards. In all, Haskell won ten of those awards.

About Haskell Indian Nations University

Haskell has an average student enrollment of more than 700 students each semester with students representing 140 federally recognized Tribes from across the United States. Haskell prepares students to enter baccalaureate programs in elementary teacher education, American Indian studies, business administration, and environmental science; to transfer to another baccalaureate degree-granting institution; or to enter directly into employment. Haskell also integrates American Indian and Alaska Native culture into all its curricula.

Haskell’s vision and mission live in all they do, as they work to serve students in this unique and diverse inter-Tribal setting with a commitment to the advancement of sovereignty, self-determination, and the inherent rights of Tribes. Haskell is focused on building leadership capacity within its students by serving as the leading institution of academic excellence, cultural and intellectual prominence, and holistic education that addresses the needs of Indigenous communities. For more information, visit Haskell Indian Nation University website at https://www.haskell.edu/.

The Bureau of Indian Education implements federal Indian education programs and funds 183 elementary and secondary day and residential schools serving approximately 47,000 students. BIE oversees the operation of two postsecondary schools, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute and Haskell Indian Nation University. For more information, visit the BIE website at https://www.bie.edu/.

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