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Media Release

GRAND RONDE, Ore. – The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has joined an increasing number of other Native American Tribes nationwide in adopting an Independent Press Ordinance that will codify that the Tribal news publication has the independence to report Grand Ronde news objectively and free from undue political influence by Tribal elected officials.

The ordinance was adopted by the Grand Ronde Tribal Council at its Wednesday, Dec. 28, meeting and goes into effect in mid-January. 

Although the Grand Ronde Tribal Constitution, adopted in 1984, states that “Tribal Council shall not deny … freedom of speech, press, or religion,” the Tribal publication, Smoke Signals, has for many years been supervised by a manager who reports directly to Tribal Council. The government structure created concerns among newspaper staff members, Tribal employees and Tribal members about the newspaper’s ability to report news objectively without undue influence.

The new ordinance was shepherded through the ordinance process by Tribal Council member Chris Mercier, who previously worked as a reporter for Smoke Signals before being first elected to Tribal Council in 2004.

“Freedom of the press was guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution when this country was founded,” Mercier said. “It has always been a fundamental right of American citizens. I think that when people approved our Tribal Constitution in 1984 they included language for freedom of the press for a reason. I do believe that this is what they had in mind.”

The ordinance will create an Editorial Board of between three and five members with a majority being Grand Ronde Tribal members. The board, which will be appointed by Tribal Council, will supervise the editor of Smoke Signals. Board members will serve for three-year terms and adhere to accepted ethics of journalism as defined by the Society of Professional Journalists and endorsed by the Native American Journalists Association. “The Editorial Board members shall serve their terms of office free from any undue influence or any political interest,” the ordinance states.

The ordinance also requires the editor to adhere to accepted ethics of journalism and to serve free from undue influence and any political interest. The ordinance also provides Smoke Signals staff members with protection from disclosing their sources.

Smoke Signals has been published by the Grand Ronde Tribe since 1984 and is currently published on the first and 15th of each month. The newspaper consistently wins awards from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association and Native American Journalists Association.

About the Tribe

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon includes more than 27 Tribes and Bands from western Oregon, southwestern Washington and northern California that were relocated to the Grand Ronde Reservation between 1855-1875.

These Tribes and Bands include the Rogue River, Umpqua, Chasta, Kalapuya, Molalla, Salmon River, Tillamook and Nestucca Indians.

The Tribes’ ceded lands in Oregon extend from the California border to southwestern Washington, and reach from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

For more information about the Tribe, visit www.grandronde.org.

Contact: Dean Rhodes

Publications Coordinator



For Immediate Release


January 9, 2017

Dear Colleagues,


Vacancy Announcement Number:


Title, Series and Grade of the Position:

Telecommunications Program Analyst; GS-1101-14

Promotion Potential



Organizational Location of the Position:

Policy and Outreach Division, Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

Duty Station Location:

Washington, DC

Position Information:


Opening Date:

January 9, 2017

Closing Date:

January 13, 2017

Area of Consideration:

Please review announcement under

“Who May Apply”

Relocation Expenses Statement:

Relocation expenses will not be paid

Agency Contact:

Aquia Davis

Contact Phone Number:


Vacancy Announcement Website:




Elyse Dempsey


January Deadline to comment on FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn’s #Solutions2020 Call to Action


Flagstaff, AZ – January 10, 2017-  Mignon L. Clyburn, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), released a draft of the #Solutions2020 Call to Action Plan on December 19, 2016. The plan identified six actionable items that would address digital divides by delivering robust connectivity within four years. The deadline to submit comments, suggestions, and feedback on the plan is January 11, 2017. The final report will be released in early 2017.

“Commissioner Clyburn’s continued support for increased media ownership among Native Americans and people of color is critical.  Tribal communities continue to have a need for multiple means of communication including radio,” Loris Taylor, President and CEO of Native Public Media, previously stated.

The plan includes a call to action for the following areas: 1) Ensuring Affordable Communication, 2) Empowering Communities, 3) 5G and Beyond for All Americans, 4) Enhancing Consumer Protections, 5) Broadband as a Driver of Improved Health Service, and 6) Promoting a More Diverse Media Landscape. Comments, suggestions or feedback can be submitted to solutions2020@fcc.gov. To view the document, visit: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db1219/DOC-342689A1.pdf.


Native Public Media is a national organization devoted to encouraging healthy, independent and engaged tribal communities through media access, control and ownership.  Currently 58 Native owned and operated radio stations and a handful of television stations and projects serve Indian Country.

For a fifth consecutive year, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has been awarded as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Since launching in 1999, APTN has become a pillar for indigenous media, leading by example with its commitment to professional and educational development, to new parents with the establishment of parental leave, and to programming created by and for indigenous people.

“APTN is extremely proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers,” says Jean La Rose, APTN’s Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our people, the network’s successes are only achieved through the outstanding efforts of all employees.”

APTN is to Canada’s first national public network for indigenous people. APTN is available in approximately 11 million Canadian households and commercial establishments. For more information, visit www.aptn.ca or read more on the network’s recognition here.


The annual Information Technology Summit hosted by the Navajo Nation Department of Information Technology will be held at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque on November 14-17, 2016. The summit is expected to draw presentations and attendance from varied stakeholders seeking cyber solutions and technology instruction. Loris Taylor, President and CEO of Native Public Media, will provide a session on radio licensing and ownership November 15, 2016.

“I am honored to be invited by the Navajo Nation to present on the importance of media access, control, and ownership.  Judging by what is happening at Standing Rock in terms of media coverage, or the lack of it by mainstream media, this conversation is timely.  Currently Native media and independent media are the primary providers of news from Standing Rock on a consistent basis regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline.  We also need to talk about technology based abuses levied against the water protectors where media overlaps with technology,” stated Taylor.

The four-day summit will provide technology education sessions to address broadband technology opportunities and challenges across Indian County with specific attention to the technology needs of tribal offices in the fields of health, social services, judicial, communications, telecommunications, higher education, and more. For additional information, visit http://www.nnits.navajo-nsn.gov.