Photos by Jarrette Werk, Alex Milan Tracy, Leah Nash, Kathy Aney, Amiran White and McKayla Lee for Underscore News, with additional images contributed. Photo collage created by Jes Abeita of Underscore News.

The Year in Stories

A sampling of our favorite stories from 2022 and a sneak peek at what's on the horizon for Underscore News in 2023.

Dec 26, 2022
Karina Brown
Managing Editor, Underscore News

It's been a big year. 

In 2022, Underscore added reporting positions, moved our newsroom to a beautiful new office along the Willamette River and covered important, complex stories that show the strength and vitality of Indigenous communities, as well as the obstacles they face. We’re poised to grow even more in 2023.

This year, we hired multimedia journalist Jarrette Werk, a member of the Aaniiih and Nakoda Tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Community, and welcomed McKayla Lee, Diné from the Navajo Nation, as the first recipient of the Underscore Indigenous Journalism Fellowship

Our leadership team also grew and changed this year. Former Managing Editor Myers Reece took the helm as executive director, while I stepped into his old role, after 17 years at the national legal news wire Courthouse News. We also brought on Jes Abeita, a member of the Pueblo of Isleta and a descendant of the Pueblo of Laguna, as our audience engagement manager.

And we’re currently hiring a reporter to fill our shared position with ICT, the top national news outlet covering Indigenous communities today.

We’ve also expanded our partnerships through events like a half-day training that we provided to select staff at the largest daily in the state, The Oregonian, as well as our participation in the Lakota Media Summit and by strengthening our relationships with tribal newspapers. 

We plan to continue our growth with new reporting positions in 2023. We strive to be the trusted source you turn to for news that illuminates the vital work of Indigenous leaders and community members. Their fight for environmental justice, language revitalization, equitable healthcare, and strong tribal economies, among many other issues, increases justice for tribal citizens and for everyone. 

Underscore wants to do our part in strengthening democracy. We want to challenge and explain inequities imposed by federal and state authorities and help tribal citizens hold their own leaders accountable. 

We’re grateful for your readership and continued support. As a small nonprofit, we’re committed to putting in the time and effort to tell the accurate, in-depth stories that matter most to Indigenous communities in the Pacific Northwest. 

Here’s a taste of our work from 2022.

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