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Stephanie Woodard
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Journalist Stephanie Woodard's writing on human rights and culture, including food, gardening and the arts, has garnered support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the George Polk Center for Investigative Reporting, among others. She has received awards for her articles, including the Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting from the Native American Journalists Association, of which she is an associate member. Find more of her writing at

Entries by Stephanie Woodard

North to Alaska: Images of Election 2014 in Native Villages

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2014 | 8:04 PM

"We live in very exciting times," said Togiak, Alaska, tribal administrator Clara Martin about Election 2014. She can be seen in slide 22 in the slideshow above; it was the night of November 4, and villagers were gathering for a post-election potluck celebration.

There was plenty to celebrate....

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Does the Democratic Party Have an Indian Problem?

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 9:35 PM


"They wouldn't even bring it to the floor," said Mark Wandering Medicine, a Northern Cheyenne spiritual leader and voting-rights advocate. It was the afternoon of March 9 in Helena, Montana, and he and several other Native Americans had just met with...

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Sioux Mother Rescues Abused Children, Faces Arrest

(11) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 6:37 PM

2014-01-09-Blackeyephoto300.jpgThe emergency-room doctor was furious at what he had seen, recalled Audre'y Eby, who is Rosebud Sioux and the mother of disabled 16-year-old twins. One of her sons, who is blind and autistic, squirmed on the examination-room table, screaming, "Ow, ow, it...

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Native American Vote-Suppression Scandal Escalates

(3) Comments | Posted August 5, 2013 | 8:18 AM

South Dakota has devised an ingenious new way to curb minority voting. For decades, suppressing the Native American vote here has involved activities that might not surprise those who follow enfranchisement issues: last-minute changes to Indian-reservation polling places, asking Native voters for ID that isn't required, confronting them in precinct...

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Indian Child Welfare Scandal Unfolds in South Dakota

(18) Comments | Posted January 2, 2013 | 7:48 AM

In a basement interrogation room in South Dakota, agents of the state's Department of Criminal Investigation were on the firing line. A group of Native American children were claiming sexual and physical abuse by their white adoptive parents, whose home they first entered...
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Huntington Botanical Gardens Warns of Super-Pest: Is Anybody Listening?

(6) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 3:52 PM

2012-09-26-EuwallaceafornicatusCityofIndustrycopy.jpgA little-understood but devastating beetle is infesting trees in commercial avocado groves, botanical gardens and backyards in Southern California. The bug, shown right, is smaller than a sesame seed but can drill through a tree's outer layers. It leaves holes in the bark,...

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Not Your Mother's Ballet Company: Choreographer Marilyn Klaus at NYC's XL Nightclub

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 7:00 PM

2012-06-26-Norm3.jpgWe have seen the future of dance, and it is fun! For two nights in June at XL Nightclub, in New York City, choreographer Marilyn Klaus's company, Ballets with a Twist, took viewers for a spin with its 21st-century take on an American...

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Nephi Craig, Apache Chef, Plans Native-Foods Conference

(2) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 9:19 PM

2012-06-18-SunriseTeam3002.jpgNephi Craig, executive chef of the fine-dining restaurant at the White Mountain Apache Tribe's Sunrise Park Resort, has put out a call for proposals for an early-November indigenous food-and-culture conference at the resort. The setting is the glorious high-desert mountains of...

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Photography Book to Offer Innovative Look at Indian Reservation

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 10:15 PM

2012-02-01-lake2.jpg"The forthcoming book about the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation dovetails beautifully with our interests," says Julie Garreau, executive director of Cheyenne River Youth Project, in the reservation's capital, Eagle Butte, South Dakota. The fine-art volume by writer Heather Steinberger, landscape photographer Richard Steinberger...

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Cultivating Happy, Healthy Kids: A Visit to the Cheyenne River Youth Project

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 9:39 AM

As the sun blazed crimson and gold on the western horizon and shadows lengthened, the orange tractor plied back and forth along rows of pale cornstalks. Days were getting shorter on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's South Dakota reservation, but master farmer Romey Garreau was still at work. That evening,...

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Buffalo Gardeners: Standing Rock Sioux Harvest Bison, Garden to Restore Health

(3) Comments | Posted December 7, 2011 | 9:06 AM

2011-12-06-heart1300.jpg"They like to be on high ground, so they can keep an eye on us," said Mike Faith, vice-chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We'd driven close to a small herd of buffalo cantering around the top of a rise north of...

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Filmmaker Chronicles Emergence from The Thick Dark Fog

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 11:12 PM

2011-08-12-mail1.jpegRandy Vasquez has just finished shooting his second feature-length documentary, The Thick Dark Fog. Seven years in the making, with a projected release date of spring 2012, the film examines Wounded Knee resident Walter Littlemoon's fight to escape the debilitating effects of the...

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Presumed Guilty: Group Seeks to Exonerate Four Yankton Sioux Men

(1) Comments | Posted June 28, 2011 | 9:00 AM

The National Center for Reason and Justice, which has mounted successful campaigns to exonerate those falsely accused of sex crimes against children, has taken on the cases of four Yankton Sioux men. Brothers Jesse and Desmond Rouse and their cousins Garfield Feather and Russell Hubbeling were convicted in federal court...

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Native American Sex-Abuse Lawsuits Head for a Higher Court

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2011 | 10:30 AM

The South Dakota Supreme Court will hear childhood-sexual-abuse lawsuits brought by 18 former students of St. Paul's Indian Mission, on the Yankton Sioux Reservation, in Marty, South Dakota. St. Paul's (in photos on this page) was one of a half-dozen Catholic boarding schools statewide for Native children, and the alleged...

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'From Day One It Was a Holocaust': South Dakota Church-Abuse Memories

(2) Comments | Posted May 23, 2011 | 12:02 PM

From the late 1800s until well into the 20th century, the federal government compelled Native parents nationwide to send their children to boarding schools designed to assimilate them. Many of the institutions were run by the Catholic Church, which the government paid to "kill the Indian, save the man," in...

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'I Want Everyone To Know What Happened To Us': South Dakota Church-Abuse Survivor Speaks Out

(4) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 10:42 AM

From the late 1800s until well into the 20th century, the federal government compelled Native parents nationwide to send their children to boarding schools designed to assimilate them. Many of the institutions were run by the Catholic Church, which the government paid to "kill the Indian, save the man," in...

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South Dakota Sex Abuse Scandal: A Peek Inside the Church's Drawers

(24) Comments | Posted April 19, 2011 | 5:28 PM

2011-04-17-chapmanpages300.jpgThe letters are casual, even chatty, from officials of St. Francis Mission, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota, to Catholic Church superiors. The mission ran one of many boarding schools to which Native American parents were required to send their children...

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Pine Ridge Rising: Community-Based Development Project Gets Underway

(1) Comments | Posted January 31, 2011 | 8:03 PM

2011-01-31-2Nick_2300.jpgOglala Lakota community leader, Nick Tilsen, envisions a vibrant future for his people. He sees elements of that transformation already in place on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. However, they need stitching together, like a quilt whose diverse and colorful...

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Pregnant Sioux Women Face "Hell Rides" to the Hospital, Induced Labors -- and the ACLU Wants to Know Why

(14) Comments | Posted January 13, 2011 | 1:05 PM

"When I read my baby books, they said I should discuss my birth plan with my doctor and get a tour of the hospital," said a new mother from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, in South Dakota. "But there was nothing for me. Not even a few Lamaze classes. Just...

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Liquor and Ethnic Cleansing: Whiteclay, Nebraska

(4) Comments | Posted December 31, 2010 | 10:29 AM

For those of you who emailed about my recent post of social-justice advocate Frank LaMere's Christmas meditation on Whiteclay, asking how this situation could have arisen and how it is allowed to continue, I'd like to pass along historical context provided by LaMere, who is executive director of...

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