Harlem students make an audio portrait of their home

The first stop on our summer 2022 high school workshop road trip was in Harlem, Montana. Students took to the streets with microphones and notebooks to report an audio portrait of the quiet town just off the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Their story aired around the state on Yellowstone Public Radio.

One of the interviews featured in the piece was with the students’ classmate Darrius Longknife “I would just have to say that there is nothing else like Harlem,” Longknife said. “Harlem — it’s its own special place.”

Reporting in Indigenous communities

Students developed a reporting plan they thought would capture the most important facets of Harlem

One focus of our summer high school workshops is teaching students how to report stories in Indigenous communities. Tribes and Indigenous people are at the center of a lot of news in Montana, yet they are underrepresented in media.

Students captured sounds like the notorious Hi-Line wind in the trees for the story

Student instructor JoVonne Wagner, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, taught students and teachers how to find stories, research and connect with Native communities, and accurately report stories that involve Indigenous people.
JoVonne gave students tips on building relationships to include Indigenous voices in their journalism without perpetuating stereotypes or inaccurately reporting on tribal affairs. Students put these skills to work in their reporting on Harlme, where many residents are Indigenous.

This group of brilliant young journalists put together an amazing story