Posts Tagged ‘Tim Giago’

11
Nov

Hattie Kauffman’s new book resonates

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Hattie Kauffman

Hattie Kauffman

A new book by Hattie Kauffman, the first Native American to do standup-reporting for a national television network, only briefly talks about how she rose through the ranks to beome on on-air correspondent for CBS and “Good Morning America.”

Instead, writes Tim Giago, publisher and editor emeritus of the Native Sun News in a book review also carried at indianz.com, in “Falling into Place” Kauffman discusses a childhood and first marriage marred by alcohol, and a divorce that turned Kauffman toward christianity.
 
… (M)ostly her book is about the trials and tribulations of her childhood as an Indian torn between the Nez Perce Indian Reservation and cities like Seattle … where her parents, dyed-in-the-wool alcoholics, ranged back and forth dragging her and her six siblings along behind them.

But the thing that tore her world apart and brought her to near madness was the request for a divorce by her husband of 17 years, a request that apparently came out of the blue for her.

Giago writes that, until the divorce, this highly successful Native journalist “thought she’d left the ghosts of childhood behind her.”
Hattie writes about her first marriage as a teenager to a boy who grows up to be a wife-beater and an alcoholic. She writes that it is strange that daughters of alcoholics often grow up to marry alcoholics. In their dual roles as alcoholics Hattie remembers getting beaten so severely that she had to be admitted to a hospital. At least through a haze of drunken deliriums, she barely remembers. She eventually realizes that alcohol is a destroyer of lives and stops drinking.
 
Giago admits some Native Americans, including himself, may not empathize with Kauffman’s religious views.
 
Many have turned their backs on Christianity and found their own solace and happiness in their traditional spirituality, a spirituality that was torn from them and their ancestors by the missionaries preaching the Doctrine of Christianity.
 
But he still believes the book will resonate, in part because he says Kauffman remains “an unassuming Native woman who never turned her nose up at anyone even though she rose to the pinnacle of media success.”
   – Vince Devlin

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Tim Giago


By Ernestine Chasing Hawk, Native Sun News managing editor

RAPID CITY — Tim Giago, Editor/Publisher of Native Sun News will put down his pen and retire from the newsroom April 1, three years to the day after he launched this “last and final newspaper.” He will remain on the newspapers masthead as Editor Emeritus, as he moves on to, “finish the book I have been writing all my life.”

“I always knew this day would come, but I never really prepared for it. I was always too busy making deadlines and anticipating the next breaking news story. I was that kind of editor who always tried to squeeze one last story into the paper before putting it to bed. I always jumped with joy whenever I beat my competitors with a great, breaking story and wrung my hands in anguish when they did the same to me,” Giago said in his weekly editorial.

The 76 year old Oglala Lakota’s career in journalism, which he once referred to as the “life of Kings” began as a result of an order when he was serving in the U.S. Navy.

“It happened by accident in the beginning. One day I was at my desk at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard typing a report when the commanding officer happened by. He watched me for a minute and then came up to me and said, ‘You type really well. You are now the editor of the base newspaper, the PacHunter,’” he said. “After I was given that order I had to learn to put out a monthly newsletter by the seat of my pants.”

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Some thoughts from Native Sun News publisher Tim Giago, as posted on Huggington Post, for this Thanksgiving Day:

By now I believe most Americans understand that the creative stories surrounding the first Thanksgiving are, for the most part, a myth.

There are few Native Americans who believe this day meant that peace and harmony had become a reality between the Indians and the Pilgrims. Most Natives know that this was just the beginning of an onslaught that would reduce the number of Indians from more than one million to about 200,000 by the beginning of the 20th century.

Over the years I have heard many stories about the psychological impact of Thanksgiving celebrations at schools where a few Native Americans attended classes with predominantly white students. Recalling her school days in Kansas, one Caddo Indian lady said, “All of the kids, except me and two other Native Americans, showed up in class wearing cardboard feathers with their faces painted in various colors. The white kids put their hands over their mouths and whooped and ran around the classroom making these awful sounds. We Indian kids were mortified and embarrassed by all of this.”

She continued, “What if on Black History Day or on Martin Luther King’s birthday all of the white kids came to school with their faces colored black? Wouldn’t that be an insult to the African American students?”

But the day known as Thanksgiving has been accepted as a legal holiday by most Native Americans because the idea of a day to give thanks is such a strong part of their traditions and culture.

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On Sundays, Buffalo Post features a column by Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, who is the editor and publisher of Native Sun News. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1990. His weekly column won the H. L. Mencken Award in 1985. His book Children Left Behind was awarded the Bronze Medal by Independent Book Publishers. He was the first Native American ever inducted into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2007. He can be reached at editor@nsweekly.com

Tim Giago

Tim Giago


By Tim Giago

The ads are becoming more frequent and more vicious.

Kristi Noem, the Republican candidate for the lone House of Representatives seat in South Dakota, is the recipient of out-of-state advertisements that are using a scorched earth policy of attacking the incumbent Congress woman, Democratic Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

The most effective way to combat horrible ads is for Herseth Sandlin to respond with ads that show her accomplishments, and she has many.

Her current ad showing how she has worked with military veterans in so many positive ways is a classic example. As the song goes, “You have to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.”

Herseth Sandlin is a Representative who has taken the time to learn about the Indian Nations in her state. She and current South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) are probably two of the most knowledgeable members of Congress when it comes to Native American concerns and issues.

I have sat in and listened as both of these members of Congress answered questions, some quite hostile, about Indian issues, and they not only answered the questions, but turned the questions into a time to educate the questioner.

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On Sundays, Buffalo Post features a column by Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, who is the editor and publisher of Native Sun News. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1990. His weekly column won the H. L. Mencken Award in 1985. His book Children Left Behind was awarded the Bronze Medal by Independent Book Publishers. He was the first Native American ever inducted into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2007. He can be reached at editor@nsweekly.com

Tim Giago

Tim Giago

There are disparities in the system of justice in South Dakota that can only be found in other states with large Native American populations.

The incarceration ratio for Native Americans in South Dakota is far out of proportion with the total state population. The main prisons in the state are top heavy with Native Americans. The prison in Sioux Falls reportedly houses a population that is 33 percent Native American. Since the total state population of Indians is about 10 percent, the number of Native Americans that are incarcerated should raise some concerns within the judiciary in this state. It does not.

Native Americans are faced with a system of justice that is usually not applicable to South Dakota’s white citizens. Crimes committed on the state’s nine Indian reservations are considered to be federal crimes and sentencing for the crimes is set by federal guidelines with little freedom allowed to the judges to make individual assessments.
But to South Dakota’s Native Americans it really doesn’t matter whether they are tried in city, county, state or federal court; it just seems that the sentences they receive are much more severe than those imposed on the white population.

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Starting this Sunday, Buffalo Post will feature Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the editor and publisher of Native Sun News. He was a Neiman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1990. His weekly column won the H. L. Mencken Award in 1985. His book, “Children Left Behind,” was awarded the Bronze Medal by Independent Book Publishers. He was the first Native American ever inducted into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2007. He can be reached at editor@nsweekly.com.

Tim Giago

Tim Giago

There are still active missile silos on Highway 71 South

Jackie and I set out from Rapid City to Albuquerque for two reasons.

The first was for Jackie to have her annual multiple sclerosis checkup at the University of New Mexico’s Pete Dominici Medical Building and the second was to have dinner with one set of friends and lunch with another.

It’s what happened on the journey that prompts this week’s column.

It was forecast as a beautiful day so we decided to pack a lunch, find a nice spot along the highway and enjoy our lunch.
We always take Highway 71 South taking us through Kimball, Nebraska and Limon, Colorado, coming out at Highway 25 at Trinidad, Colorado. It is a long and lonely route.

The first thing that makes this particular route interesting is the still active missile silos that dot the highway from Kimball to the Colorado border. It is eerie to see military vehicles and military personnel going to and from these scary silos in the middle of wheat country. One can visualize men in uniform going about their business far below the surface of the earth manning and maintaining the silos with their guided missiles armed with nuclear warheads smack in the middle of Colorado while cattle graze peacefully just outside of the wire fences enclosing the silos.

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We in the news business are being deluged these days by reports of the imminent death of “paper” newspapers and the concurrent rush go digital in every format possible.

In the midst of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth is the Native Sun News in Rapid City, S.D., which debuted a year and a half ago as a defiantly paper newspaper and has stayed that way ever since. As publisher Tim Giago wrote about that decision:

nativesun

    You won’t find us on the Internet. So many of my Indian readers do not have computers or do not even have access to them. Native Sun News will go back to the traditional way of providing news for Indian country. The paper will have serious news, but we will never abandon that Indian sense of humor that so many non-Indians accuse us of not having. You will be able to hold our newspaper in your hands, sip on a hot cup of coffee, and read the news you used to love to read in The Lakota Times and Indian Country Today.

The paper is especially tough on cases of alleged corruption.

Native Sun News is often the only news outlet to publicize cases like the one involving Donita King, whose story was featured in the July 21 issue. King, an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Sioux on the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana, says that she and her family have been fighting for years for the money due from her oil-rich allotments.

People are widely familiar with the issue of Native Americans being cheated out of royalties on their land allotments, thanks to the massive Cobell v. Salazar class-action suit against the Interior Department.

But as King tells Native Sun News managing editor Randall Howell, it’s not the U.S. government, but tribal officials, who have been cheating her family. King, who is legally blind, says the money due her family has instead been directed to fake accounts set up by powerful people in the tribe.

As Howell reports, “What started out as a ‘simple probate search’ more than two decades ago, after King’s father had died, has resulted in nearly 50 grand-jury indictments over allotment fraud.”

King, who is a descendant of Hunkpapa Sioux Chief Sitting Bull and who says the long fight has resulted in death threats to her and her family, calls the whole mess a “path of shame.”

And the only place you can read about it is the Native Sun News “The only Indian newspaper that cowboys can read, too!”). You can look at a reproduction of each week’s front page and read a column by Giago online every week at www.nsweekly.com/. And, even though reading the entire newspaper defiantly remains a tactile experience, you can follow Native Sun News, and discussions about its stories, on both Facebook and Twitter.

Gwen Florio

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Still catching up with stories we missed while on vacation. Here’s one we couldn’t pass by — Tim Giago’s column on great Native American reporters:

It doesn’t feel right to name just a few of the people whose work Giago extols. But please check out the entire column. As Giago writes:

    Tim Giago

    Tim Giago

    There are probably 300 Indian newspapers in America that are still publishing, papers that have to fight tribal politicians every day, papers that struggle to get funding every year, but papers that are so important to the people of the Indian reservations that they serve.

    With the advent of the Internet, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Tweet there is no chart to show where newspapers or news reporters are headed. Many of us Native journalists still feel that there is a place for our reporting and for our newspapers. Time will tell.

Gwen Florio

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Columnist Tim Giago specifically applies this lament about the Veterans Administration to Native American veterans in his column, here:

    For too many Indian veterans it strikes close to the bone. They are so entangled in bureaucratic red tape they are all but suffocating. Many have been reduced to living lives well below the poverty level set by the very government they fought for and nearly died defending.

Giago goes on to describe the cases of individual Native veterans living in Rapid cCity, S.D., who appear to have fallen between the cracks of VA care. One Oglala Lakota man, Andres Torres, got a call from South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds after Giago wrote about him earlier.

Torres tells him that “I am so proud to have served my country in the regular United States Army and in the South Dakota National Guard and no one can take that away from me, but sometimes I am so ashamed of the Veteran’s Administration for what they have done to me and to thousands of my fellow veterans.”

Gwen Florio

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It’s a literary sort of day at Buffalo Post, first with the review of “Seeing Red,” and now with this piece by Native Sun publisher Tim Giago on the 40th anniversary of Dee Brown’s classic “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the founder and first president of the Native American Journalists Association. He can be reached here. Here’s Giago’s piece in its entirety:

Wounded KneeBy Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)

When Dee Brown wrote his book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” he could not have known that it would become a classic.

This year an illustrated 40th anniversary edition was published in hardback. It is a beautiful book and the photos add so much to the stories that made the book great. There are photos of a young Black Elk, Sitting Bull, Hollow Horn Bear, Short Bull and Kicking Bear.

The 543 page book is truly a collector’s treasure.

The history of Wounded Knee is not such an ancient one to the Lakota people of 2009. Many Lakota living today had grandparents at Wounded Knee and some of them died there. My grandmother and grandfather lived at Kyle, S.D., just skip and a hop from the massacre site at Wounded Knee. My grandmother was just a teenager then, but she vividly remembered that day of December 29, 1890.

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