indian country

News From Indian Country

News From Indian Country is a nationwide newspaper published twice a month, offering, according to its web site, "national, cultural, and regional sections plus special interest articles, features, entertainment, letters, nationwide obituaries and births, and the most up-to-date pow-wow directory in the United States and Canada." The newspaper is offered both in print and electronic form and has subscribers through-out the United States, Canada and 17 foreign countries.

The newspaper has been published since 1986 by Indian Country Communications,Inc, (ICC) a state of Wisconsin registered stock corporation. As of 2007, seven Native Americans are registered as stock holders of the privately owned company. The offices of ICC are located on Highway K, near the tribe's business district, on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Reservation near Hayward. Managing Editor and Indian Country Communications Chief Executive Officer Paul DeMain (Ojibwe/Oneida) started the newspaper after returning to the Lac Courte Oreille area from Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked as Indian Affairs Advisor for Wisconsin governor Tony Earl. DeMain had previously worked for the tribe in the capacity of a public information officer from 1978-1982 and published the tribe's publication, The LCO Journal American.

Nationwide attention to jurisdictional conflicts over tribal treaty rights in Wisconsin and Minnesota helped the new publication spread its reach, while a rapidly spreading Indian gaming industry provided a source of advertising revenue in its earlier years. Emerging desk-top publishing- and information-management technology has allowed the paper to keep up with an expanding market. For 20 years Pat Calliotte, one of the founding members, was the Associate Editor up until her passing on November 17, 2006. Another dedicated employee since 1991 includes Kimberlie R. Acosta. Kimberlie is the advertising director, but is best known for her photography of Native musicians throughout Indian Country over the past decade.

More recently, News From Indian Country has broken stories related to the investigation of murders during the 1970s at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, including those of American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Aquash, whose maiden and legal name at the time of her death was Annie Mae Pictou, FBI Special Agents Ronald A. Williams and Jack Coler, and Black civil rights worker Perry Ray Robinson. In 2002, The Native American Journalists Association Board of Directors recognized DeMain for reporting on imprisoned activist Leonard Peltier and the murder of Pictou-Aquash. DeMain was awarded the Wassaja Award, which salutes courage shown by journalists covering Indian country.

DeMain was also honored with the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism by the University of Oregon, for News From Indian Country Editorials indicating a withdraw of his previous support of clemency for Leonard Peltier, soon after a former AIM member, Ka-Mook Nichols admitted to DeMain that she had witnessed Peltier bragging about shooting the FBI agents. DeMain and News From Indian Country were sued by Peltier in an attempt to expose Nichols (Used in 2002 as one of three confidential sources of information to NFIC) prior to her public testimony during the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud in 2004. The lawsuit against News From Indian Country was dropped shortly after Looking Cloud's trial.

News From Indian Country is the oldest nationally distributed Native publication not owned by a tribal government. Columnists for NFIC range from Mohawk author Doug George-Kanentiio from Akwesasne, New York to the award winning Canadian writer, Richard Wagamese, Ojibwe now residing in Kamloops, British Columbia.

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