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Giago calls education summit a 'step forward'
29 May 2012

BISMARCK (UTN) - Tim Giago, a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe and founder of the Native American Journalists Association, believes North Dakota educators are on the right track when they reach out and include tribal people in their professional work.

Giago was the keynote speaker April 20 for the seventh North Dakota General Education Council Summit, held at United Tribes Technical College. His name is synonymous with Native American journalism and publishing.

Tim Giago
DENNIS J. NEUMANN<>United Tribes News

Giago founded his first newspaper, the weekly Lakota Times, in 1981. 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 it. He started the Lakota Journal in 2000 and Native Sun News in 2009. He retired from news writing in 2011 but continues to write a syndicated column for the Huffington Post and other online and print publications.

"Once I wrote a column about Native American Colleges, and titled it: 'Best Kept Secret in America,'" he said. "One of the responses was, 'Is he kidding, what are Indians doing with colleges.' So, the most important thing is, there's so much educating that needs to be done between Indians and non-Indians."

Giago and his wife Jackie were honored with a Pendleton from UTTC VP Dr. Phil Baird.
DENNIS J. NEUMANN<>United Tribes News

Giago’s most recent work involves racial unification in South Dakota through events that bring Indians and whites together.

The general education summit brought college educators to UTTC from the North Dakota University System, tribal colleges and private institutions. It was the first time the group had met at a tribal college.

Giago called that a "big step forward." It is almost always the Indians who are the ones reaching out to make the connections for education or inviting non-Indians to join in on a project, he said.

"To see this meeting here, with everyone coming together with a common cause, it shows we’ve come a long way," said Giago.

Giago studied business and journalism at the University of Nevada-Reno and was awarded the prestigious Nieman Fellowship in Journalism to Harvard University in 1990-1991. He has lectured on Indian issues and journalism at many colleges and universities around the country.

Dr. Phil Baird, UTTC VP Academic, Career and Technical Education, honored Giago for his talk and his service to journalism and education by presenting he and his wife Jackie with a Pendleton from United Tribes.

Giago was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1994 and is the first Native American ever to be inducted into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame.

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