An award-winning journalist with a passion for advocacy and the environment has joined the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as an information officer in the Parks and Trails Division.

Former Fond du Lac Reservation newspaper editor Deborah Locke will work with the media to improve the division’s outreach to culturally diverse and underserved populations, with the goal of connecting more citizens with the outdoors. The Parks and Trails Division’s multicultural outreach initiative was launched in response to research showing the demographics of parks and trails visitors does not reflect Minnesota’s population demographics.

Locke spent 10 years as an editorial writer, columnist and influential member of the Editorial Board at the Pioneer Press. She also served as editor of the newspaper of the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet and oversaw several 1862 U.S.-Dakota War projects for the Minnesota Historical Society.

She has received numerous awards from the Native American Journalists Association, along with two Premack Awards for excellence in public affairs journalism from the Minnesota Journalism Center.

In addition to her work with multicultural media, Locke will assist with publications and social media. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Macalester College and an Master of Arts degree in communication/journalism from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Reach Locke at 651-259-5695 and deborah.locke@state.mn.us.