Rebecca Nagle Joins the NYU-Yale American Indian Sovereignty Project

August 31, 2023

In August, Rebecca Nagle joined the NYU-Yale American Indian Sovereignty Project as a Research Fellow. Nagle is an award-winning journalist, citizen of Cherokee Nation, and a two spirit (queer) woman. She is the writer and host of the podcast This Land. Her writing on Native representation, federal Indian law, and tribal sovereignty has been featured in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, The Guardian, USA Today, Indian Country Today, and more.

In the first season of This Land, she told the story of one Supreme Court case about tribal land in Oklahoma, the small-town murder that started it, and the surprising connection to her own family history. That story is the subject of her first book. Season two, which premiered in the fall of 2021, was a timely exposé about how special interests are using custody battles over Native children to attack tribal sovereignty in a case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

This fall, during her fellowship, she is completing her first book, scheduled to be published by HarperCollins in the summer of 2024. The book will tackle one of the most consequential Supreme Court cases of the century to share with readers what it says about our country’s

contemporary relationship to the first people of this continent. The book will follow two parallel stories: the history of tribal land in eastern Oklahoma and the story of how a small-town murder turned into a Supreme Court battle over the treaty and land rights of Muskogee Nation. The historic 2020 McGirt Supreme Court decision resulted in the largest restoration of Indigenous land in the history of the United States. The reservations of six tribes, including Nagle’s, were affirmed because of the ruling.

Nagle believes Indigenous communities deserve the same standard of journalism as the rest of the country, but rarely receive it from non-Native media outlets. Her journalism seeks to correct this. From the census, to COVID, to the Supreme Court, Nagle focuses on deeply reported and timely stories that impact her community.

Rebecca Nagle is the recipient of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize, the largest cash prize for journalism in the United States. She has also received the Exceptional Journalism Award from the Women’s Media Center, a Peabody nomination, a National Magazine Awards finalist, two Webby Awards for best documentary podcast, the Medal of Distinction from Barnard College, and numerous awards from the Native American Journalist Association. In 2016, Nagle was named one of the National Center American Indian Enterprise Development’s Native American 40 Under 40 for her work to support survivors and advocate for policy change to address the crisis of violence against Native women. Nagle has also been recognized as Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People (2012) and in 2015 was on Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ 100 List.

In addition to her fellowship at Yale and NYU, Rebecca will be spending her fall at writing residencies at the Blue Mountain Center and MacDowell.