JUNE 5, 2000 Non-Indian newspapers are finally realizing that Native opinions matter and are important for many to read. Although some mainstream media have featured Indian columnists in the past, like The Albuquerque Tribune, which featured Jemez Pueblo historian Joe Sando and Cochiti Pueblo storyteller Rachele Agoyo several years ago, a new generation of writers are stepping up to the plate. We're taking a look at three from the Northern Plains. JODI RAVE LEE
A reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star, Jodi Rave Lee has the distinction of reigning over the special "Native News" section of the Nebraska paper, one of the few mainstream papers in the nation to have such a special focus. But she's also recently begun publishing more opinion columns. As a journalist, she brings her professional experience and knowledge of current issues to her pieces. Her most recent, Politicians slow to recognize issue of tribal sovereignty focuses on the upcoming presidential race. A past column provided a balanced and historically relevant view of racial tensions at White Clay. You can find Jodi Rave Lee's columns and other reporting at www.journalstar.com/native. The online archive only contains stories from the year 2000. JOHN POTTER
John Potter might be the most funny Indian columnist out there today. His "Well, Whatever" musings in The Billings Gazette always present various topics with an humorous edge that make his columns a refreshing change of pace. He's recently covered stereotypes, the entertainment industry, and mothers. Potter's also an artist and his hand drawn self-portrait graced his column until the newspaper placed a more traditional photograph recently. But you can still catch his talent through his weekly in the Montana newspaper. Read Potter's columns every Saturday in the Opinion section of The Billings Gazette. DORREEN YELLOW BIRD
Dorreen Yellow Bird is both a reporter and occasional columnist for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Her columns differ from Rave and Potter in style; Yellow Bird typically weaves a story in and out and her pieces feel more personal as a result. But like Rave and Potter, Yellow Bird takes on a wide range of topics. Her recent columns include a look at changes in language, boarding schools, and internet relationships. You can find Yellow Bird's columns and reporting at The Grand Forks Herald. YOU
What about me, you say? If you're an opinionated person who loves to write and tell people what you think, you might be the next undiscovered star in Indian Country. If you're interested in testing out the tortuous waters of online publishing, send us an email today! Is there an Indian columnist you like? Tell us about him or her!
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