Mallory Black


Mallory Black (Navajo) is a freelance journalist based out of San Diego, California, where she is also the communication specialist for Student Affairs at San Diego State University. Her stories on Native American health and culture have been published by the Native Health News Alliance, Native Peoples Magazine and by the American Heart Association’s Voices for Healthy Kids initiative. A former reporting intern for WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio, Mallory has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Utah Valley University, where she also minored in peace and justice studies. A member of the Native American Journalists Association, Mallory is also a former National Press Foundation fellow.

Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton


A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Lenzy Krehbiel-Burton is a freelance reporter based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work currently also appears in the Native American Times, the Tulsa (Okla.) World, the Bigheart Times, the Cherokee Phoenix and Reuters. She is a 2006 and 2008 graduate of Oklahoma State University, with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science and a master’s in international studies. When she is not chasing her husband, Jacob Burton, or their two children, Krehbiel-Burton volunteers on the board of directors for Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc., the country’s oldest and largest Native American Greek-letter organization. A 2015 Dennis Hunt Fund fellow through the Center for Health Journalism, she is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Rhonda LeValdo (Acoma Pueblo)


Rhonda LeValdo (Acoma Pueblo) is a faculty member in Media Communications at Haskell Indian Nations University and the faculty advisor for the Haskell Indian Leader, the country’s oldest Native American student newspaper. LeValdo also serves as a host for Native Spirit Radio 90.1 FM-KKFI Kansas City. She is a past president of the Native American Journalists Association and also sits on the board of directors for Native Public Media and Unity Journalists for Diversity.

Debra Utacia Krol


When asked what she covers, Debra Utacia Krol succinctly replies, “Indians.” Krol, award-winning reporter, photojournalist and editor, is well-known throughout Indian Country as a force in Native American journalism who fearlessly ventures into most anything to get to the heart of compelling stories. She also covers local politics, travel, environmental issues and ‘quirky’ stories, the tackier the better. “I can write anything except play-by-play sports,” says Krol. “I love to dig out stories and find where the bodies are buried — or why Alzheimer’s disease patients are going without care. I can hobnob with senators, tribal councilmen, scientists, medicine people and bums without batting an eye.” Her commitment to deep reporting and ability to dig golden stories has brought Krol nine Tribal Media Awards, an Arizona Press Club award, several national journalism fellowships and national acclaim. Krol keeps a precept expressed by one of her cherished mentors, the late Native Peoples publisher Gary Avey, close to heart: “People love to learn, but they hate to be taught.” An enrolled member of the Xolon (Jolon) Salinan Tribe, a Central California Indian tribe, Krol works to entice readers to learn about the cultures, challenges and achievements of Native America in all its diversity while avoiding the tendency to talk down to mainstream audiences. She parleyed the clips, photo credits and expertise garnered over the lean years into relationships with major publications such as High Country News, the Official Arizona Visitor’s Guide, Winds of Change, Native Peoples, Indian Country Today Media Network, Arizona Highways and America West (now known as U.S. Airways) magazines. She also managed the Fort McDowell Yavapai News for two years. Krol is a member of the Native American Journalists’ Association, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Tommy Cummings


Tommy Cummings is a print and digital journalist based in the Dallas area where he’s a home page editor/social media producer for The Dallas Morning News. Born on a Menominee reservation in Wisconsin and raised in Oklahoma, he is of Muscogee Creek-Menominee-Potawatomi descent. Tommy’s first experience in Native American journalism came in 1981 when he was hired as editor of The Muscogee Nation News. Later, he was communications manager of the tribe and redesigned the newspaper, created a clearinghouse system for chartered community news releases and launched the MNN radio program that was broadcast weekly on nine Oklahoma radio stations.

Tommy, a University of Oklahoma alum, has been an editor at metro newspapers in Tulsa (the Tulsa Tribune), Little Rock (the Arkansas Gazette), Fort Worth (Star-Telegram), San Francisco (Chronicle) and Dallas (The Dallas Morning News). A member of the Native American Journalists Association, he was once a Heisman Trophy voter and has covered news, technology, entertainment, sports and business.

His wife, Brigitte, is the morning drive editor for KRLD News Radio in Dallas. Tommy has four children and two grandsons.