Tristan Ahtone is an award-winning journalist and member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
Before becoming a reporter, Tristan held a number of exciting jobs, such as door-to-door salesman, delivery driver, telemarketer, secretary, janitor, busboy, and office clerk to name a few.
In 2006, Tristan graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with a bachelors degree in Creative Writing. In 2008, he received a masters degree in broadcast journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism.
Since 2008, Tristan has specialized in covering Native American, environmental and healthcare issues, and has worked with The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, National Native News, Frontline, Indian Country Today, Sirius Satellite Radio and NPR.
Before moving to Albuquerque, Tristan worked as Morning Edition Host and Reporter for Wyoming Public Radio and currently serves as Poverty and Public Health Reporter for KUNM and the Fronteras Desk.
This summer, New Mexico froze Medicaid payments to several mental health agencies due to "credible allegations of fraud." From there, the providers were taken over by Arizona companies, leaving approximately 30,000 patients to navigate New Mexico's complex mental health system alone.