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Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Diné (Navajo)

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Year Inducted


Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi is a longtime storyteller from the Navajo Nation. She spent over a decade as sportswriter for the Navajo Times, telling stories of high school, college, and professional Navajo athletes. Clahchischiligi, a former athlete, developed an admiration for sports and storytelling at a young age. She completed six internships in three years, one at Sports Illustrated magazine in New York City. Clahchischiligi earned multiple awards for her writing in sports, editorial, community coverage, elder coverage, and investigative reporting. She wrote for the St. Cloud Times, the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Osage News, Searchlight NM, and the Salt Lake Tribune. From her extensive coverage of basketball on the Navajo Nation, she has been dubbed an expert in rezball, a fast-paced style of basketball played throughout Indian Country. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, to name a few. Clahchischiligi has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico, a master’s degree in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies from Northern Arizona University, and is currently a PhD candidate in rhetoric and writing at UNM. She also teaches composition in the English department.

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