About 150 native journalists, multimedia artists and entrepreneurs gathered in St. Paul for the annual Native American Journalists Association Conference. It was fun to see old friends and colleagues, but bittersweet to see how shrunken the organization has become over the past four or five years. I participated in a pilot program funded by the Ford Foundation through Unity: Journalists of Color to promote entrepreneurship among people of color. I was paired with native radio legend John Gregg, who is working to start a radio station in Sisseton, SD. Also met some other really smart, entrepreneurial native people who are starting businesses or nonprofits, including Rose High Bear, Deb Krol and Priscilla Wolfe. Joining me as mentors and faculty in the program were Rod Colon, Jodi Rave, Julie Sandidge, Doug Mitchell and Alli Joseph. Read more about the program and its participants here.

During the weeklong NAJA conference (hey, did I mention that we designed the conference logo?), we celebrated the life of our friend Minnie Two Shoes with her family, visited, laughed and told stories into the early morning hours.

Take a look at the videos below to see what the student journalists produced at the conference, as well as coverage of some of the speakers at the gathering from Paul DeMain’s Indian Country TV.

The final cut of the student project at the conference

Watch live streaming video from indiancountrytv at livestream.com

Ojibwe writer and language teacher Jim Northrup speaks on the Power of Words

Watch live streaming video from indiancountrytv at livestream.com

Michael Burgess, former executive director of NAJA and current chairman of the Comanche tribe, addresses the conference attendees

Watch live streaming video from indiancountrytv at livestream.com