Native American journalist Tim Giago leaves behind a legacy for the next generation

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 5:35 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -His voice was to make sure the Native Americans had a voice,” stated Jackie Giago, wife of legendary Native American journalist Tim Giago who passed away Sunday at the age of 88.

Giago is known for working to ensure the voices of Native Americans are heard.

Among many accomplishments, he founded several Native American newspapers and the Native American Press Association.

However, that journey to success wasn’t without some challenges.”

“So, they’re obstacles. You just have to learn how to fight your battle and choose the battle that you want to win and that’s something that Tim has always done,” explained Jackie.

According to Jackie, before his battle to be a voice for Native American people in mainstream media, Giago was actually looking at a career in business.

After his time in the military, he used the GI Bill and went to Reno to see what a career in business entailed.

It was there he learned about a nightly curfew that only applied to Native Americans.

“So, that got his attention on trying to do the right thing and so he wanted to make a voice for the Native Americans to say that’s wrong and you need to know what the laws are and what to do,” said Jackie.

Giago’s interest in correcting this unfairness was the beginning of a life in the news.

By the end of his career, Giago had founded native papers such as Lakota Times and Native Sun News.

“This is one of many newspapers he’s started over the years and given a lot of native journalists the hand up to get out and promote their voice and a voice that’s not heard much,” said Jackie.

Jackie believes Tim’s legacy will live on through the people he trained, “he taught them well. Everybody here has a legacy of working here more than 20 years.”

Through the stories, he made stand out as his many years as an editor, “editing is a tool and it’s a good one and he was a very good editor. He made their stories pop.”

And through the inspiration, he has given the younger generation to question and stand up for what’s right.

“He did the education of what needs to be done and I think the young people have picked it up and they’re getting ready to go with it. We’ve already gotten emails from all over the United States stating their stories and how proud they are that he helped them with a hand up,” said Jackie.

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