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Tim Giago: Two friends make journey to spirit world
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"My world became a lot smaller this week.

Two of my dear friends made that trip the Lakota people call 'The Journey to the Spirit World.'

Several years ago a robust woman with a ready smile walked into my office, flopped her resume’ on my desk and sat down while I read it. I thought, as I looked it over, that she was really overqualified for the job she was seeking as a staff writer. She held a Master’s Degree in education and was a former teacher. But she had her heart set on writing for my then newspaper The Lakota Journal.

Her name was Dottie Potter and she was soon firmly ensconced in the newsroom and knocking out some of the best articles ever to appear in our newspaper. When I owned Indian Country Today newspaper, the paper carried a column called “The Grouchy Gourmet.” After I started The Lakota Journal I failed to revive that column.

Michael Haney was a large man. He always wore a decorated vest and his hair was always hanging in neat braids down to his chest. He was a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. He was only 57 when he passed away this week.

I first met Michael 12 years ago the day before we were scheduled to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show in Chicago. We were staying in the same hotel and we had dinner and breakfast at the hotel and had a chance to talk about the things we would discuss on Oprah’s show. The issue was about using Indians as mascots and Michael had read some of the columns I had written on the subject and he became a staunch opponent of using Indians as mascots."

Get the Story:
Saddened by the loss of two wonderful friends (The Native American Times 10/17)

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