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Indian Country Today has another change to announce in a year of rapid growth for the news enterprise.

Monday, it named Shirley Sneve, of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and former executive director of Vision Maker Media, as its new (and first) vice president for broadcasting.

“We’re fortunate to have Shirley overseeing our broadcast division,” said Karen Michel, Ho-Chunk, president and CEO of IndiJ Public Media, the parent company of Indian Country Today. “She brings expertise from broadcasting, documentary filmmaking and fund raising that will help us raise the quality of our newscast.”

Michel said Sneve, as a member of the company’s executive team, will develop strategies for expansion and fundraising. She will work with stations to broadcast the company’s newscasts, and produce the weekend newscast.

“Shirley has already made an impact by heading up our weekend edition as a contractor,” Michel said. “Now she’ll have a greater influence throughout all our broadcast operations.”

Indian Country Today’s editor Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, said, “Shirley is going to propel us forward at a critical time in our development, as we increase broadcast production value and add to the number of stations across the country, and even around the world, that are carrying our daily newscast.”

Sneve is “excited” for this next chapter.

“Throughout my career, it’s been my passion to empower Native American peoples to tell their stories, to share their experiences, values, and rich cultures,” she said. “I’m excited to be part of a company that embraces a simple yet powerful cause: to report the news and make sure Indigenous voices are heard in the public square.”

Sneve brings extensive experience in visual arts and broadcasting to Indian Country Today.

She headed Native American Public Telecommunications, and led its name change to Vision Maker Media. She served as director of Arts Extension Service in Amherst, Mass., and the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science’s Visual Arts Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sneve has also taught Native American studies courses. She began her career as a producer at South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

A Year of Growth

Indian Country Today has grown exponentially since its revival three years ago and entered the broadcast arena when the pandemic hit.

On April 6, ICT will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Indian Country Today daily half-hour newscast, which is carried by the FNX network and several public television stations across the country. It also airs on the National Indigenous Television channel in Australia. The show is produced at Arizona PBS and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Last week, the National Congress of American Indians and the NCAI Fund transferred ownership interests in Indian Country Today, LLC to IndiJ Public Media.

Michel said the amicable split from NCAI signals a new day for ICT. It allows Indian Country Today to operate as an independent company owned by IndiJ Public Media, an Arizona nonprofit corporation.

IndiJ, a combination of the words “Indigenous” and “journalism,” pronounced in-Didge, was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in Arizona in November 2020. 

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Indian Country Today is a nonprofit news organization. Will you support our work? All of our content is free. There are no subscriptions or costs. And we have hired more Native journalists in the past year than any news organization ─ and with your help we will continue to grow and create career paths for our people. Support Indian Country Today for as little as $10. Sign up for ICT’s free newsletter.