Reclaiming the National Bison Range 

After decades of battling misinformation, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes recover their lands and the herd.

The New York Times: Indigenous beadwork flourishes on Instagram,

Interest in Indigenous artistry has created an ecosystem of beadwork drops that sell out in minutes online.

Audubon: An Indigenous effort to return condors to the Northwest nears its goal

The Yurok Tribe will soon reintroduce North America's largest bird to northern California, where the raptor hasn't soared for a century.

Tribal leaders oppose online consultations with the U.S. during the pandemic

‘It is not possible to meaningfully convene and internally develop comments at this time when we are at capacity, focused on critical and life-threatening measures.’

When public lands become tribal lands again

A story of fire, stolen lands, and how hard it is to get the U.S. to follow its own laws.

‘This system cannot be sustained’

This year, tribal nations enter negotiations over Colorado River water.

5 obstacles for Native voters in the November election

Native Americans have low participation rates in federal and state elections, but the problem doesn’t lay with political passivism.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh's impact on
Indian Country

The recently confirmed justice was heavily opposed by Indigenous leaders.

The next Supreme Court pick could shape Indian law for decades

The highest court in the land holds legal power over tribal nations, but it lacks knowledge of tribal law.

How the Yurok Tribe is reclaiming the Klamath River

For the first time, the largest tribe in California has one of its own to lead its legal battles.

Harassment pervades the Bureau of Indian Affairs

One of the oldest agencies in the Department of Interior appears to have some of its worst harassment problems.

In a burning West, wildfire smoke threatens public health

Montana hospitals handled an increase of respiratory-related problems this year.

What Trump's Supreme Court pick could mean for Indian Country

Neil Gorsuch’s background in Indian law and Western issues could be useful to tribal litigants.

Tribal leaders respond to the idea of an Indigenous Interior secretary

Representation is important, and so are policy decisions impacting tribes on the ground.

Slate: When nature speaks for itself

Karl Schroeder’s “The Suicide of Our Troubles” shows a near-future where pollution cleanup is profit, and lakes and slag piles have a seat at the table.

The Klamath River now has the legal rights of a person

A Yurok Tribe resolution allows cases to be brought on behalf of the river as a person in tribal court.

Casino closures in Indian Country hit core tribal services

Tribal government gaming is at a standstill, amounting to $4.4 billion in lost economic activity.

How do tribal nations’ treaties figure into climate change?

U.S. courts rarely favor environmental protections as a right — except for tribal treaty rights.

Eleven Alaska Native tribes offer a new way forward for managing the Tongass

The proposal comes after a failed consultation process of ‘one way communication’ over the Tongass National Forest.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs steps up its harassment policy 

Timeframes for responding to allegations and more show improvements from ‘zero tolerance’ rhetoric.

Former Bureau of Indian Affairs director engaged in abusive behavior, no action taken

Bryan Rice’s behavior at the BIA highlights a culture of harassment and inaction.

Senate hears stories of Indian Country’s missing and murdered 

Data gaps, understaffing and lax investigations have deepened the crisis.

How the American's with Disabilities Act could affect Native voters

The relocation of polling sites near the Navajo Nation months before midterm elections raises concerns of future voter suppression.

Bureau of Indian Affairs director resigns

As the agency navigates turbulent times, its leadership changes hands.

A Northwest tribal sovereignty battle, centered on culverts

21 tribal nations wait to see if the Supreme Court will hear a decades-old case about salmon.

Revisiting Malheur, one year after the occupation

The wildlife refuge system is more vulnerable than ever.


Best Feature Story

Native American Journalists Association


Best Coverage of Native America

Native American Journalists Association

2018, 2019, 2020

Best Environmental Coverage

Native American Journalists Association

2019, 2020


Covering Indian Country and Tribal Affairs

Society of Environmental Journalists, October 2019



Anna V. Smith writes and edits from the Pacific Northwest and Boulder, Colorado. She is currently a Ted Scripps Fellow at the Center for Environmental Journalism at CU Boulder, on sabbatical from her position at High Country News as the assistant editor for HCN’s Indigenous affairs desk. Her work has appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, Audubon, Undark, Slate and Mother Jones.

Anna has spoken at multiple journalism conferences and university classes and is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She is an alum of the University of Oregon, with concurrent degrees in journalism and environmental studies.

Anna is available as a sensitivity reader, freelance writer and editor, panelist and guest lecturer. For inquiries and rates please email annavtoriasmith[at]

Photo by Sam Gehrke

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