By Lani Hansen, Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– Mvskoke Media’s Editorial Board seats three members to serve, with the first seat being chosen by Principal Chief David Hill.
Chief Hill appointed Muscogee (Creek) citizen Rebecca Landsberry to serve on the Editorial Board for a three-year term. Upon her appointment she underwent verification of citizenship. Landsberry then received a certificate that stated she was on the Editorial Board.
“This is my second time to serve on the Editorial Board, so I’m pretty excited to be back on the new board,” Landsberry said. “I’m also excited for the other folks to eventually join us as well.”
Landsberry has previously served on the Editorial Board from 2015 to 2018 when free press was repealed. She grew up in the Henryetta/Okmulgee area before moving to Norman, Oklahoma to study Public Relations and Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
“I knew I wanted to go into journalism and storytelling, I think I changed my major like three different times,” Landsberry said.
While studying at OU, Landsberry interned with Muscogee (Creek) Nation District Court for three summers. This internship led her to following tribal affairs, Landsberry enjoyed being in the courtroom listening to different cases.
“That’s where I got my taste for Native journalism, and wanted to begin covering tribal politics,” Landsberry said.
Before she finished school at OU, she got a job offer from Mvskoke Nation News (now Mvskoke Media) in 2008. She began as a Senior Writer for MNN, working in all sorts of media from learning the paper layout, inserting ads, co-hosting the radio show and some work with the tv show.
Later in 2008, Landsberry became the Managing Editor which came with more responsibility. She had to make sure the nation had accurate and ethical information, and how to craft that into operation. Landsberry was at MNN from 2008 to 2013.
In 2013, Landsberry went to work for the Native American Journalist Association (NAJA) Headquarters as the Membership and Communications Manager when it was at the Gaylord College on OU campus.
“I love working with Indian country and love working with journalists who are working in tribal media,” Landsberry stated. “That’s still a passion of mine, even though I’m not doing journalism anymore. I’m facilitating professional development opportunities or connecting them with funding and connecting non-Native media to Native sources.”
Landsberry loves the work she does at NAJA, and feels it has set her up to be able to see things from different points of view. As a board member, Landsberry hopes to see some of the challenges to free press. Landsberry hopes her and the other board members collectively, can draw in that knowledge as former or working journalists to make decisions that will impact Mvskoke Media.
Landsberry has seen the repeal of free press in 2018 and stated it was eye-opening that legislations like that can be taken away at any time.
“The challenge for us as a newly seated board will be, how do we ensure that free press is inshrined into the Muscogee (Creek) Nation at the consititutional level,” Landsberry stated.
One of Landsberry’s long term goals for serving on this board is having a constitutional amendment fully formed and voted on by the people. She said if the amendment is not completed by the end of her term but the process is there, it would be a really good long term goal.
“I was thrilled to be asked to serve my tribe and to serve on the Editorial Board is the best use to my particular set of skills and expertise,” Landsberry added about serving on the board again. “One of the isssues for NAJA as the Exuctive Director we focus on is free press in Indian country.”
Landsberry added she is excited for the other two members to join the board, and to get going on some of the goals she mentioned. Also to get a stable leadership for Mvskoke Media, because it is up to the Editoral Board to hire the Director for the department.
This is the second time Landsberry has served on the Editorial Board.