Rita Karppinen-- Co-Host
Rita Karppinen (Anangikwe) is an enrolled band member of Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Growing up in Elk River she moved to northeastern Minnesota in 2010, attended college at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and ultimately graduated from the College of Saint Scholastica. Aspinwall has been modeling, doing voiceover work, and appearing in commercials since 2014. She has worked for the Fond du Lac Reservation as the Communications Director since 2019.
Aspinwall enjoys spending time with her partner Kolten and her children: Kayson, Kade, Kole, and Baby Rita. In her free time she enjoys listening to podcasts, enjoying the outdoors, and running with her indigenous women’s running group, the KwePack.
“I feel honored to be a part of Native Report. Sharing stories across Indian County has been one of my greatest accomplishments. My hope is that our young leaders take every opportunity that cross their paths; you never know where it will take you.” –Rita Aspinwall
Ernie Stevens -- Co-Host
Ernest (Ernie) Stevens is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Stevens has over 14 years of marketing, communications, and media production experience. A recent recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development's 40 Under 40 Award, Stevens has been recognized on a national level for his efforts in film, TV, tourism and media.
He has also spent over 14 years in community and economic development. He has served as the Vice President of the Tribal Gaming Network, and later as Chief Marketing Officer for an international marketing agency serving gaming and hospitality properties worldwide. He recently completed a 3-year term as Councilman for the Oneida Nation Business Committee. Stevens was recently named the Chief Operations Officer for WEBE Worldwide, operating and improving gaming facilities and platforms across the globe. Recently he has become the Founder, President and CEO of iGEA (Indian Gaming Esports Authority), as well as the founder and Managing Director of the Great Lakes Hemp Cooperative.
Ramona Marozas -- Senior Producer
is WDSE•WRPT's Senior Producer. Marozas will bring her years of journalistic expertise to NATIVE REPORT, a nationally syndicated program that celebrates Native American culture and heritage.
Marozas joined WDSE•WRPT as a multiplatform producer in 2020 with over a decade of journalism experience. Marozas trained at the American Indian Journalism Institute and was a student, mentor, and board member of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). She served as Minneapolis-based WCCO's first news apprentice and has produced news for KBJR and CBS in Duluth. In addition, she has produced two documentaries, MISSING AND MURDERED: AN INVISIBLE EPIDEMIC and OPIOIDS: CRISIS IN THE NORTHLAND, a WDSE•WRPT production. Marozas has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from St. Cloud State University's Mass Communications program and a minor in American Indian Studies.
“I look forward to bringing my perspective and talents to these two important shows from WDSE•WRPT," Marozas said. “I hope to stay true to the traditions of these shows, while also lending my own experiences to help these shows continue to improve and enrich lives throughout the region and, in the case of NATIVE REPORT, the nation.”