|With a $4,000 loan and a need to be the voice for Native Americans, Tim Giago started Lakota Times, in 1981, a small reservation newspaper on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Today the newspaper, now called Indian Country Today, is a national Indian newspaper with subscribers in every state and 16 foreign countries.
Giago, known for his sometimes-controversial opinion columns, has won numerous journalism awards and his syndicated columns have been featured in USA Today, Newsweek Magazine, the New York Times and other publications.
Founder of the Native American Press Association, now the Native American Journalists Association, Giago was instrumental in getting 1990 declared “The Year of Reconciliation.” In 1991, he received a Medal of Honor for Distinguished Journalism from the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. In 1989, he was the recipient of the National Education Association’s Leo Reano Memorial Award for Civil and Human Rights Award for providing leadership in education to resolve social problems affecting Native Americans and the Harvard University Award for Contributions to American Journalism. Giago studied at Harvard University, where he was a Nieman Fellow, an award he won for outstanding journalism.
Giago is the 1988 recipient of the South Dakota Education Association’s first Civil and Human Rights Award and the 1985 recipient of the H.L. Mencken Writing Award presented by the Baltimore Sun and the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Best Column by a Local Writer Award. In 1982, Giago was the recipient of the Print Media Person of the Year at the National Media Convention at Albequerque, NM.
Giago is a former reporter for the Rapid City Journal. From 1988 to 1991, the Lakota Times was continuously named the best weekly newspaper in the state of South Dakota by the State Press Association.
In December of 1998, Tim Giago sold the 25,000 circulation Indian Country Today newspaper to Oneida Nation, a tribe in central New York. In 1999 he opened Lakota Times Publishing, with the goal of catering to American Indian authors. He offers editing and other book-related services.