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Tim Giago
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Tim Giago is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. He was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota on July 12, 1934.

Giago attended elementary and high school at the Holy Rosary Indian Mission. He enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict in 1951 and was honorably discharged in 1958.

He attended college at San Jose Junior College in San Jose, California in 1960 under the G.I. Bill and transferred to the University of Nevada at Reno. He majored in business with a minor in journalism. He was awarded the prestigious Nieman Fellowship in Journalism to Harvard University for the years 1990-1991.

Giago was the founder of the Lakota Times in 1981. The newspaper withstood firebombs, had its windows shot out with shotguns on three separate occasions and Giago received many death threats including one attempt on his life while building the newspaper successfully on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The paper was re-named Indian Country Today in 1992. He served as editor and publisher for 18 years building it into the largest independent Indian newspaper in America before selling the paper in 1998. He started the Lakota Journal in 2000 and served as its editor and publisher until his retirement in July of 2004. Indian Country Today, The Lakota Journal and the Dakota Journal are still viable weekly newspapers that were all founded by Mr. Giago. The Lakota Country Times at Kyle, SD and the Teton Times in McLaughlin, SD, are both weekly newspapers started by former editors Amanda War Bonnet and Avis Little Eagle, who were both trained by Giago at his newspapers. A former Lakota Times employee, Kevin Peniska, started Wellness Magazine.

He was the founder and first president of the Native American Journalists Association in 1984. In 1983 he sent letters to every Indian newspaper he could find asking them if they would be interested in forming a Native American Press Association. He then worked with Journalism Professor Bill Dulaney of Penn State to raise the money to hold the first meeting of Indian journalists at Penn State. He was elected as the first President of the association when it was formally assembled on the Choctaw Nation the next year. He was the recipient of the H.L. Mencken Award for Editorial Writing from the Baltimore Sun in 1985. He holds Honorary Doctoral Degrees from Bacone College in Oklahoma and from the Nebraska Indian Community College at Winnebago, NE.

Giago was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1994.

Giago has received many professional awards including the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1991, The South Dakota Education Association/National Education Human and Civil Rights Award in 1988, the Golden Quill Award for Outstanding Editorial Writing by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors in 1997, and Best Local Column by the South Dakota Newspaper Association for the years 1985 and 2003 and the Great Spirits Award from the Navajo Institute of Social Justice in September of 2004. The Harvard Foundation honored him in 1991 for his contributions to the growth of American Indian newspapers and Indian journalism.

In 1976 his weekly television show, The First Americans, made its debut on KEVN in Rapid City, SD. It became the first weekly television show hosted and produced by an American Indian on a commercial television station.

His books include The Aboriginal Sin and Notes from Indian Country Volumes I and II. Giago also edited and helped write The American Indian and the Media. His new book, Children Left Behind was published in August of 2006 by Clear Light Book Publishing, Inc., Santa Fe, NM.

He has served on many boards including three years on the Freedom Forum Board of Advisors with Allen Neuharth, founder of USA Today, and on the Running Strong for America Board with Billy Mills, the winner of the 10,000 meter Gold Medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

A column by Giago challenging Republican Governor George Mickelson of South Dakota to proclaim 1990 a Year of Reconciliation to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Massacre at Wounded Knee was accepted by the Governor and 1990 was proclaimed The Year of Reconciliation between Indians and whites.

That same year an editorial by Giago was read on the floor of the Sate Legislature by Lynn Hart, a half Lakota, half African American. The editorial called for the state to change Columbus Day to Native American Day. The legislators voted in favor of it and South Dakota became the only state in the union to celebrate Native American Day as a state holiday.

He has appeared on national television on shows such as Nightline and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has also been featured in many magazines such as Newsweek and People Magazines. His weekly column, Notes from Indian Country, appears nationally and also appears in many South Dakota newspapers as well as in many Indian newspapers and on the websites of indianz.com, nativetimes.com and huffingtonpost.com.

Giago has lectured on Indian issues at many colleges and universities including Harvard, MIT, UCLA, University of Illinois, Boise State, Chadron State, Bacone College, Nebraska Indian Community College, Florida A&M, University of Colorado, Navajo Community College at Shiprock, NM, and Miami of Ohio University to name a few.

His weekly column is distributed by McClatchey News Service (formerly Knight Ridder) in Washington, DC.

He can be reached at 605-430-8217, najournalists@rushmore.com, or by writing him at Tim Giago, P.O. Box 9244, Rapid City, SD 57709.

Entries by Tim Giago

Wounded Knee Was Destroyed; Not Liberated

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2016 | 1:12 PM

Soon there will be posters floating about and advertisements asking residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation to celebrate the "Liberation" of Wounded Knee in February of 1973.

This action causes many of us old timers to scratch our heads in wonderment and ask ourselves how did the takeover of a...

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Lakota Man Signs Rights to Buy Wounded Knee Land

(2) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 12:57 PM

By Ernestine Chasing Hawk

The historic site of Wounded Knee is cold and quiet on this day that marks the 125th Anniversary of the massacre that happened on December 29, 1890.

Fresh fallen snow covers the grounds of the burial site and the cold cement of the floor that once...

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Wounded Knee and the Moon of the Popping Trees

(0) Comments | Posted December 27, 2015 | 1:53 PM

It was after a night so cold that the Lakota called it "The Moon of the Popping Trees" because as the winter winds whistled through the hills and gullies at Wounded Knee Creek on that morning of December 29, 1890, one could hear the twigs snapping in the frigid air....

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The Editor Who Called for the Extermination of the Sioux

(1) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 5:48 PM

By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
2015 Native Sun News

When the movie The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, it was indeed a wonder. It was an exciting children's fantasy movie with vivid colors, great songs, and it was a movie with a message, but should this...

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Remembering Old Lakota Friends at Christmas

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 4:45 PM

By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)

December 16, 2015

As Christmas Day draws near, I think of my friends who have journeyed to the spirit world.

I am reminded of one of my dearest friends. His name was Enos Poor Bear. A veteran of World War II, Enos always carried...

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A Word About Thanksgiving

(8) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 5:41 PM

There is a plaque on Cole Hill in Plymouth, Mass., that reads:

Since 1970, Native American have gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of Pilgrims and other European...
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The Irony of the Annual Buffalo Roundup

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 1:50 PM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© 2015 Native Sun News


There is a historic marker west of Custer, S. D. that reads in part: " Historic Sites, Buffalo Rock - Site where the last buffalo was killed in the Black Hills in...

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Celebrating Native American Day's 25th Anniversary

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 1:27 PM

Notes from Indian Country

By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)

When Columbus Day comes around each year there is consternation in the Native American community across America. Columbus Day parades, particularly the one held in Denver, are disrupted by militant American Indians. On some Indian reservations black armbands are worn...

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Citizenship Would Have Prevented Slaughter at Wounded Knee

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2015 | 1:37 PM

What would have happened to Native Americans if they had been declared U. S. citizens by the 14 Amendment to the U. S. Constitution?

Dissenters or questioners of my last article on Indians being left out of the 14th Amendment brushed it aside by saying that Indians never wanted to...

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The 14th Amendment Did Not Include American Indians

(26) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 5:27 PM

By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)

The Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States brought it up first.

Donald Trump suggested that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States be changed. That amendment automatically guarantees the right of citizenship to anyone born on American soil, even...

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There's A Long, Long Trail A-Winding

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2015 | 3:46 PM

There's a long, long trail a-winding
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© Native Sun News
February 23, 2015

When a ship is about to leave port the boatswain's mate and the deck crew hoist the anchor and this is where the phrase "anchors aweigh," originates. The anchor...

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A Racial Incident at a Hockey Game

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 2:43 PM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© Native Sun News

The ironies of the racial incident at the Rush hockey game at the Rapid City Civic Center are numerous.

First of all it was a case of "drunken white men" shouting racial slurs and...

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It is High Time for America to Grow Up

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 5:42 PM

If Michael Haney and Vernon Bellecourt were alive today they would be dancing on the table tops because Florida State University got their butts kicked all the way up to their ears on New Year's Day by a flock of Ducks from Oregon.

The Ducks didn't just kick their "blooming...

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Remembering the Massacre at Wounded Knee

(5) Comments | Posted December 20, 2014 | 11:54 AM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji - Stands Up For Them)
© 2014 Native Sun News
Remembering the massacre at Wounded Knee

December 20, 2014

Fifty-one years before the Japanese carrier strike force dropped their deadly bombs on Pearl Harbor, another "Day of Infamy"...

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The Olympics of Indian Basketball

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 12:10 PM

It started in 1977 as a tournament to bring American Indian teams together and prepare them for the long season ahead. It has gone where no one alive today ever thought it would go.

When the Lakota people hear the acronym "LNI" they know exactly what it means. It means...

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Kill the Indian; Save the Child

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 1:35 PM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© 2014 Native Sun News

December 1, 2014

In the old days the education of American children was paramount to the Democratic system of government. The adage of the 3 R's, "Reading, Riting, and Rithmatic" was always followed by...

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Cornflakes Every Sunday at the Indian Mission Boarding School

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© Native Sun News 2014


There is a poem in my book "Children Left Behind" called "Six days a week and twice on Sunday" that describes the lives of the Indian students at Holy Rosary Indian Mission...

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The Final Indian War in America About to Begin

(13) Comments | Posted November 16, 2014 | 2:37 PM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© Native Sun News


(Note: This column will appear before the Senate votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The House has already approved the construction of the Pipeline)

South Dakota's Republican leadership of John Thune and...

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Remembering Ben Bradlee in Indian Country

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2014 | 2:50 PM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© Native Sun News

November 10, 2014

There are faculty luncheons and dinners at Harvard throughout the year. It was at one of these functions in 1990 that I first met Ben Bradlee, the esteemed editor of the...

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SuAnne Big Crow Died, But Her Dreams Live On

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 1:45 PM

Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© 2014 Native Sun News

November 3, 2014

SuAnne Big Crow was furious after she watched an NBC broadcast about the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1981. "They came here and showed all of the terrible things and did...

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