Kaitlyn Nicholas

Tribal Affairs Reporter

Kaitlyn covers tribal affairs for Yellowstone Public Radio. She recently finished her master’s in audio journalism at NYU, where she reported on whales in the city, as well as genetic editing. Kaitlyn has also worked as an archival researcher and podcast editor. She studied English writing (as well as science and photography) at Montana State University. She’s a big fan of bicycling, backpacking and public libraries.    

A micropscopic image of the novel coronavirus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Public Domain)

The most recent data analysis this week by Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services revealed more about COVID-19’s impact on Native Americans. 

A generic photo of a school crossing sign.
Rafael Sato/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Billings Public Schools are opening an investigation into a middle school principal following the possible connection to social media posts a local superintendent calls "appalling."

Nurses administer a nasal swab to test people for the COVID-19 illness at a surveillance testing event in Crow Agency May 27, 2020.
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Last weekend, Montana saw its biggest spike yet in COVID-19 cases. YPR reports how the disease is impacting Native Americans across the state.

Cletus and Earline Cole hold a picture of their son Steven Bearcrane-Cole with his daughter, Precious. The Cole family has been involved in a decade-long lawsuit against the FBI for what they alledge was a mishandling of their son's death in 2005.
Shane Thomas McMillan / University of Montana School of Journalism’s Native News Project


An eleven-year discrimination lawsuit brought by a Native American family against the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reached a settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement releases both the FBI and the family of Steven Bearcrane from any wrongdoing and promises his family a meeting with officials from the FBI and the Department of Justice.

A poster for the short film "Iniskim"
Courtesy Daniel Glick

A film made on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and starring Miss Blackfeet has won a major award.

A herd of bison roam on lands owned by the American Prairie Reserve, a sprawling wildlife reserve in northeastern Montana.
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

A privately funded nonprofit that manages a nature reserve in northeast Montana is offering bison harvest opportunities for the fourth time.

A graph showing analysis of runaway Indigenous juveniles taken on June 3, 2020.
Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force

Montana’s Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force reconvened on June 3 for the first time since April to review their work to date and go over future goals, including an upcoming legislative report due this fall.

A screenshot of the memebrs of the 2019 Montana American Indian Caucus taekn on June 3, 2020.
Montana State Legislature

Following Montana’s June 2 primary 15 Native American candidates will continue onto the general election. That includes a candidate for the statewide position of state auditor.

A nurse in a green gown holds a long swab in a white car door
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

As Montana scales up COVID-19 testing while preparing to enter phase two of the state's economic reopening plan, mass surveillance drive-thru testing sites popped up in Crow Agency and Hardin this week.

This week we chat with the Billings Gazettes' Tom Lutey about what's in place to help the people and town of Colstrip transition past the partial closure of the power plant. We taste treats at Brockel's Chocolates and spend the day with Miss Crow Nation as she steps down from her throne.