Editorial


Nika Bartoo-Smith (she/her)
Osage and Oneida descent
Underscore + ICT Reporter

Nika is a journalist with a passion for working to center the voices and experiences of communities often left behind in mainstream media coverage. Of Osage and Oneida Nations descent, with Northern European and Indonesian ancestry, Nika was born and raised in Portland. A joint reporter with Cronogomet + ICT since March 2023, she previously worked as the health and social services reporter at The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington. Nika received a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. Her favorite way to unwind is by trying a new recipe, browsing a local bookstore or beading jewelry.

LinkedIn: Nika Bartoo-Smith
Email: nbartoosmith@cronogomet.com


Karina Brown (she/her)
Managing Editor

As managing editor, Karina guides Underscore’s mission to illuminate the strength and vibrancy of Indigenous communities as well as the challenges they face. Passionate about reporting that advances justice in the world, Karina shapes editorial strategy, manages collaborations and partnerships and does her own reporting. Karina started out in journalism in 2005, covering courts in Oregon. As a non-Native reporter born and raised in Portland, she has focused her coverage on environmental issues, policing and tribal sovereignty. At home, she loves to spend time in her garden, while her two cats purr and romp nearby.

X: karinapdx
Email: kbrown@cronogomet.com


Luna Reyna (she/her)
Little Shell Ojibwe descendant
Underscore + ICT Northwest Bureau Chief

Luna Reyna is a writer and broadcaster whose work has centered the voices of the systematically excluded in service of liberation and advancing justice. Before coming to Cronogomet and ICT (formerly Indian Country Today) as the partner organizations' Seattle-based Northwest Bureau Chief, Luna was Crosscut’s Indigenous Affairs Reporter, and her work has appeared in the South Seattle Emerald, Prism Reports, Talk Poverty and more. Luna is proud of her Little Shell Chippewa heritage and is passionate about reporting that sheds light on colonial white supremacist systems of power.

X: @LunaBReyna
Email: lunar@cronogomet.com


Jarrette Werk (he/him)
Aaniiih & Nakoda Nations
Reporter + Photographer
Report for America Corps Member

Jarrette is a multimedia journalist with experience in digital news, audio reporting and photojournalism. He joined Underscore in June 2022 in partnership with the national Report for America program. Originally from Montana, Jarrette is a proud member of the Aaniiih and Nakoda Tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Community. He previously served as an associate producer for Nevada Public Radio’s (KNPR) “Native Nevada Podcast,” an eight-part podcast series highlighting the culture, issues and perseverance of the 27 tribal nations in present-day Nevada. He has earned a national Hearst Journalism Award and regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his journalism, along with numerous awards for his reporting and photography from the Indigenous Journalists Association, Report for America and Society of Professional Journalists.

X: @Jarrette_Werk
Email: jwerk@cronogomet.com


Operations


Myers Reece (he/him)
Executive Director

Myers has been executive director of Underscore since May 2022, overseeing the hiring of all personnel, fundraising, strategic planning, program development and community relationship building. He was previously a founding member and managing editor of the Flathead Beacon in Montana. His award-winning journalism and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals and anthologies across the country. He serves on the board, including as president in 2023, of the Portland chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). As a non-Native Japanese American, he has unwavering belief in the mission of elevating BIPOC voices and communities in the media.

Email: mreece@cronogomet.com


Sabrina Smith (she/they)
Operations Director

An ardent believer in uplifting BIPOC communities to tell their own stories, Sabrina joined Cronogomet in 2023 as Operations Director. She brings years of experience in nonprofit administration, workplace equity and inclusion leadership, and lived experience as a non-Native woman of color to her role as head of operations at UNN. In between budget meetings, strategic planning sessions, and serving as a one-person HR department, Sabrina can be found digging through the funk, soul, and disco sections of record stores or snuggling with their cat, Joy.


Journalism Fellows


McKayla Lee, 2022

McKayla Lee (Diné) is a student at the University of Montana, where she double majors in Journalism and Native American Studies. She was born and raised in Whale Rock, Arizona on the Navajo Nation and is an enrolled citizen of the Navajo Nation. McKayla spent four years as a reporter at the Southern Ute Drum in Colorado and has won awards for her writing and photography from the Indigenous Journalists Association, SPJ and others.


Carrie Johnson, 2023

Carrie Johnson is Chickasaw and Pawnee from southern Oklahoma. She graduated from Austin College in 2024 and was accepted into New York University’s graduate journalism program. She has been a fellow for the Indigenous Journalists Association, a mentee for NPR’s NextGenRadio: Indigenous, an intern for the Chickasaw Press, a freelancer for the Sherman Herald Democrat and a staff writer for Austin College’s The Observer.


Aislin Tweedy, 2024

Aislin Tweedy is a journalist in Missoula, Montana. She is an enrolled member of the Nakoda tribe from Fort Belknap Reservation. She was the Editor in Chief of North Idaho College’s student newspaper, the Sentinel, and a news reporter for the Montana Kaimin at the University of Montana. She was an intern for the Daily Montanan in 2023. She focuses on state politics, student government and Native American politics and sovereign rights.


Board of Directors


Stone Hudson, Chair

Stone Hudson, an enrolled citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes, is a Program Officer to tribal communities for Meyer Memorial Trust, uses his experience in government to better inform public-private funding partnerships. Previously, he has overseen government relations to tribes on behalf of U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer and the City of Portland, where he worked for two years in the Tribal Relations Program.


Marcella Miller, Vice Chair

Marcella Miller is an organizational culture and equity analyst with the Oregon Department of Human Services. Her well rounded experience in nonprofit management, community direct service, and organizational development has spanned dozens of organizations and communities across Nebraska, Oregon and national projects.


Casey Pearlman, Treasurer

Casey Pearlman, Inupiaq and mixed settler descent, is the Executive Director of ATNI-EDC. She is an alum of the Rematriating Economies Apprenticeship and a board member-at-large for the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. She graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Business Management and Human Resource Management and an Associates in International Business earned while studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria.


Mago Torres, Secretary

Mago Torres is an investigative journalist who specializes in research, access to public records and project leadership. She is the Data Editor at The Examination, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates global health threats. Before that, she worked with Open News and was the data editor with CLIP. She worked for ICIJ on the investigations for the Pandora Papers, FinCEN Files, Luanda Leaks and Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers. She was a JSK Fellow at Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. in Humanistic Studies.


Joseph Bull, Member

Joseph Bull is Dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University and the first Native American dean of engineering in the U.S. He previously served as Tulane University's John and Elsie Martinez Biomedical Engineering Chair. He holds fellowships at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Dr. Bull, an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians, has worked tirelessly to improve racial equity and diversity.


Erin Dysart, Member

Erin Dysart is Managing Director of Strategic Services at Meyer Memorial Trust. Before joining Meyer, she helped administer the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Scholar Program at the Institute of International Education and managed scholarship programs at AFS Intercultural Programs. Most recently, she volunteered with the Fund for Education Abroad, a program that strives to make study abroad more accessible for underrepresented groups.


Lee Francis IV, Member

Dr. Lee Francis IV (Pueblo of Laguna descendant) is an Albuquerque-based activist, educator and comic creator. Dr. Francis is the Executive Director of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, owner and CEO of Native Realities Publishing, and founder of the Indigenous Comic Con (now called IndigiPop X) and Red Planet Books & Comics. He brings invaluable insights and perspectives to our team.


Stacey L. McQuade-Eger, Member

Stacey L. McQuade-Eger, JD, graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with a Juris Doctorate degree in transactional law and Indian law and brings to Underscore a wealth of experience in staff management, operations planning, organizational development and financial management. She is an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana.