Staff Writer, Indigenous Affairs

  • Full-time

Company Description

Grist is a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to highlighting climate solutions and uncovering environmental injustices. Since 1999, we have used the power of journalism to engage the public about the perils of the most existential threat we face. Now that three-quarters of Americans recognize that climate change is happening, we’ve shifted our focus to show that a just and sustainable future is within reach.

Grist is seeking a Staff Writer to join our Indigenous Affairs team. We’re looking for someone with stellar news judgment, a passion for narrative storytelling, a drive to develop their craft, and a deep commitment to Indigenous journalism.

The writer will pitch, report, and write stories on the connections between Indigenous communities and the environment, the impacts of climate change, and policy, including everything from foodways to treaty law, #LandBack to UNDRIP.

The right person for this job will have a deep background covering Indigenous communities with an interest in approaching the beat with an accountability lens – though they should also be comfortable writing with an eye toward solutions. We’re looking for someone whose stories reveal the unique relationships Indigenous people have with the world, and climate change, while recognizing the difference between journalism and anthropology. 

The United Nations reports that Indigenous peoples represent 5 percent of the global population but protect nearly 80 percent of the world's remaining biodiversity. With threats to lands, territories, and resources in the U.S. and abroad, the ideal writer will create eye-opening journalism that explores the intersections of capitalism, environmental degradation, climate impacts, climate policy, and Indigenous self-determination, recognizing that colonialism operates across borders. 

What does this role look like in practice? You’ll generally write 5 to 7 stories a month – ranging from roughly 600 words to a few thousand – and report a handful of enterprise projects per year. While most of your work will be on the Indigenous affairs beat, some stories you work on might not be. Grist is a small team, so you may also be asked to contribute to newsletters, collaborate on larger projects, appear in the occasional video, and represent Grist at conferences and workshops. You will also be required to mentor, and work closely with our Indigenous Affairs fellows.

The annual base pay for this position is between $65,330 and $94,080 depending on experience. Grist is based in Seattle, but the job doesn’t have to be. We have staff around the country. This position is represented by Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild Local 37082 (“Grist NewsGuild”). 

Job Description



  • Conceive of, report, write, and produce stories of varying lengths that detail how Indigenous communities deal with the effects of environmental degradation, warming, and, in some cases, are adapting to a changing climate

  • Cultivate a broad array of sources at the local, state, federal, and international level who can speak to the way climate change affects Indigenous peoples

  • Turn complicated human rights covenants and arcane international policies into gripping prose that focuses on their impact on everyday lives

  • Contribute to Grist’s newsletters, special packages, and other projects, as requested

  • Be excited about sharing your methods and talents with your colleagues and learning about theirs 

  • Other duties as assigned



  • At least 2 to 4 years of experience reporting Indigenous Affairs

  • Journalism degree or equivalent work experience

  • A track record of covering stories of national importance and impact

  • A track record of covering stories of importance to Indigenous communities

  • Comfort with magazine-style journalism

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, juggling multiple priorities and deadlines

  • Proficiency with desktop writing tools and web technologies for news gathering and publishing

  • Ability to work independently, demonstrate good personal judgment, and exercise a commitment to ethical conduct toward sources, story subjects, and readers

  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and writing skills

  • Demonstrated poise, tact, diplomacy, and the ability to interact with individuals at all levels of the organization

  • Comfort with technology, social media, and digital tools for journalism

Additional Information


Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter explaining why you’re a great fit for this position. Applications without both a resume and cover letter will not be considered. 

Total compensation package includes a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision insurance. No phone calls, please.

Cultivating an inclusive staff is central to Grist’s focus on advancing equity. We’re interested in hearing from people who can work with diverse colleagues of varied experience. Candidates of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Grist is an equal-opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.