June 25, 2003

For Further Information Contact: NARF, (303) 447-8760



BOULDER, CO – The Public Relations Administrator for the Native American Rights Fund, Montoya Whiteman, won first place at the 19th Annual Native American Journalist Associations "Photo Shootout" contest in Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 20, 2003. The New York Times, The Associated Press and The Green Bay Press-Gazette sponsored the contest.

"This years theme was A Day in the Life of Oneida, Green Bay, Northern Wisconsin-Indian style," says Whiteman. "It was tough competition with student, mainstream, and tribal photojournalists in the shootout, but my goal was to have fun. I went to the Oneida Nation Reservation to learn about the people and places on the reservation. It was an incredible learning experience and Oneida is a fine community."

To win the shootout contestants were required to get away from the pack and the conference location using their own equipment, research and transportation. Criteria included shooting a picture story focusing on one subject/person, a series of portraits, or a series of vignettes/scenes. Only 20 participants were allowed in the contest whose submissions were judged in their entirety rather than individual images. The film participants were provided two rolls of 35mm film and the digital photographers were allowed 72 images on slide cards with no re-shoots. Each participant was required to provide complete and accurate caption information with all 72 images for judging.

At the Awards Gala, the audience viewed a montage of the four finalists photos and their talent. Michale Kosechequetah, an intern with The News Journal in Wilmington, DE placed second. Third place went to Peta Tinda who works for the Smoke Signals newspaper in Grand Ronde, Oregon. Paul Arentz, the Editor of the Hocak Worak newspaper of the Ho-Chunk Nation placed fourth.

Based in Vermillion, South Dakota, the Native American Journalist Association is a national nonprofit that is committed to increasing the representation of Native journalists in mainstream and tribal media. Approximately 600 individuals from across the United States and Canada are members of NAJA (www.naja.com).