It was a big night for candidates, but it was also a big win for Native journalism.
Three national media organizations, FNX | First Nations Experience, Native Voice One, and Indian Country Today, came together to broadcast the first ever live national coverage of election night focusing on the 103 Native Americans who are running for Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, as well as state legislatures.
According to Mark Trahant, editor at Indian Country Today and host of the election coverage, “If anyone in a news company ever, ever says, “I can’t find anyone” when hiring … I will make them sit and watch all five hours. The talent from Indian Country is amazing.”
Though there were a few technical challenges with Skype, Trahant says the reporting was solid, and “our viewers gained a lot out from this broadcast that they could not have found anywhere else.”
There were also reports from Indian Country Today contributors from the candidates’ campaign headquarters, as well as other locations across the country.
The election desk was anchored by Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today — the expert on American Indians and Alaska Natives who running for office — and Antonia Gonzales — the anchor and producer of National Native News which airs on tribal and public radio stations across the United States and Canada.
Across the scope of the evening, viewers watched as history-making candidates won their elections. Notably, the announcement of the first two Native women to win a Congressional bid — Deb Haaland, and Sharice Davids — highlighted the evening.
The evening was also filled with celebration on social media as many Native people from across the country tweeted their support using the hashtags #NativeElectionNight and #NativeVote18.
Here are some of our favorites below, including social media coverage by Indian Country Today.
According to Trahant, “There will be a next time!”