Open main menu

Indian Country Today

Indian Country Today (ICT, formerly known as ICTMN,[1]) is a daily digital news platform that covers the Indigenous world, including American Indians, Alaska Natives and First Nations.

Indian Country Today
TypeDaily digital news platform
Owner(s)National Congress of American Indians
Founder(s)Tim Giago
EditorMark Trahant
Associate editorVincent Schilling
Founded1981 (print newspaper "The Lakota Times")
Relaunched2018 (daily digital news platform)
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
CityWashington, D.C.
Free online archivesYes

It was founded in 1981 as a weekly print newspaper, The Lakota Times and changed the publication's name in 1992 to Indian Country Today. It was acquired in 1998 by Four Directions Media, an enterprise of the Oneida Nation of New York. In January 2011, ICT became Indian Country Today Media Network, an online multimedia news platform. In June 2014, ICTMN had 1,009,761 unique monthly visitors, according to Google Analytics;[2] and Indian Country Today's Facebook page received more than 500,000 "likes". In addition to the online news site, ICTMN published a weekly news magazine and special sections available online and in print.

On Labor Day 2017, management announced it was suspending publication of new content to explore alternative business models. Content on the website was to remain accessible through January 2018.[3]

In October 2017, the Oneida Nation of New York donated ICT to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).[4] Vincent Schilling, ICT's former arts and entertainment editor and a longtime correspondent, maintained the site and published articles on a nearly daily basis until Indian Country Today came back into renewed existence under NCAI's ownership.

On Feb. 28, 2018, Indian Country Today resumed regular publication with Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, as editor; and Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, as associate editor.


ICT carries original news reporting on issues of interest to Native Americans and other readers interested in Indian Country.

Indian Country Today was founded in 1981 as The Lakota Times by journalist Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota; Giago changed the publication's name in 1992 to Indian Country Today (motto: "The Nations' Leading American Indian News Source"). ICT was based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation but operated independently of Tribal government.

In 1998, Giago sold Indian Country Today to Four Directions Media, Inc., an enterprise of the Oneida Nation of New York and the newspaper's headquarters moved to Canastota, New York. In 2011, operations moved to New York City [5] and Indian Country Today became Indian Country Today Media Network (motto: "Serving the Nations | Celebrating the People").[6] In 2013, the printed newspaper ceased publication, replaced by digital-first online reporting and a weekly news magazine available online and in print.[7]

On Feb. 28, 2018, after a hiatus and transfer of ownership to the National Congress of American Indians, Indian Country Today announced its return. Its motto: "Digital. Indigenous. News." [8]. "Indian Country Today is a daily digital news platform that covers the Indigenous world, including American Indians and Alaska Natives. Indian Country Today is the largest news site that covers Tribes and Native people throughout the Americas. Our primary focus is delivering news to a national audience via a mobile phone or the web."

On July 24, Trahant and Indian Country Today headquarters moved to the campus of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Trahant wrote on social media that he would be hiring a team to build a television show and improve ICT's national report. Associate Editor Schilling remained in the D.C. bureau.

Notable storiesEdit

• In 2005, an Indian Country Today editorial, "Hurricane Katrina Uncovers a Tale of Two Americas," was quoted by South African President Thabo Mbeki in a letter to the ANC Today, published by the African National Congress.[9]

Indian Country Today extensively covered the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl case, also known as the 2013 Supreme Court of the United States "Baby Veronica" case, in which an Oklahoma father, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, sought custody of his daughter Veronica, who was being adopted by a non-Native couple. The coverage included a guest editorial by the president of the Charleston, South Carolina, branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.[10]

• On June 5, 2014, President Barack Obama wrote a column for Indian Country Today titled, "On My Upcoming Trip to Indian Country," describing how he and his wife Michelle planned to visit the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota that month.[11]

• In December 2014, Indian Country Today published a series of articles on the controversial 2015 National Defense Authorization Act "land swap" provision that would give land sacred to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona to Resolution Copper Mine [RCM], a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. More than 104,000 people had signed a petition to President Obama, "We the People|Stop Apache Land Grab" to which the White House gave an official response.[12]

Indian Country Today has extensively covered the Native American mascot controversy and the use of Native American images in names and sports. The publication has featured numerous stories and editorials on the Washington Redskins name controversy and Washington NFL team owner Dan Snyder.

• Since before 2016, ICT reported on issues related to the Dakota Access pipeline project, which proposed to put an oil pipeline extending through four states below the Missouri River. The Standing Rock Sioux objected to the Army Corps of Engineers' acceptance of less than a full Environmental Impact Statement, saying the project threatened their water quality and would destroy ancient artifacts and burial grounds. Standing Rock Sioux sought an injunction to halt construction of the pipeline. The case attracted national and international attention and coverage.

After a federal court refused the injunction, the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Interior and Army Corps of Engineers entered the case at the national level, halting construction temporarily. Standing Rock Sioux protesters at the site were joined by activists from hundreds of other Tribes and supporters, including indigenous peoples from South America. ICT published its first "single-subject, event-driven edition in [its] history" in October 2016, based on the reporting done and exploring the many complex issues related to the project and protests.[13]

• On Nov. 5, 2018, Indian Country Today teamed with FNX | First Nations Experience and Native Voice One in broadcasting and streaming the first national news report focused on Native American candidates from coast to coast. A team of 18 correspondents reported from sites across the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The election desk was anchored by Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today.


Indian Country Today has won numerous awards at the Native American Journalists Association. In 2014, ICT earned 17 awards, including Best Digital Publication for its 12-page digital newsletter and first place for General Excellence.[14] In 2013, ICTMN won 11 awards at the conference.

Writers, editors, contributorsEdit

Current and former Indian Country Today staff writers and contributors include:

  • Suzette Brewer, Cherokee Nation, former public affairs officer for the National Museum of the American Indian. She received recognition for her in-depth coverage of the "Baby Veronica" case and other stories related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
  • Rob Capriccioso, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa. He served as ICT's Washington, D.C. bureau chief.
  • Mark Fogarty.
  • Terri Crawford Hansen, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, a science and environment journalist who has reported on the effects of climate breakdown and adaptation planning in Indian country for Indian Country Today since 2007.
  • Steven Newcomb, Shawnee/Lenape, co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute in California.
  • Steve Russell, Cherokee Nation, associate professor emeritus of criminal justice at Indiana University Bloomington
  • Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk.
  • Simon Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota, former ICT culture editor. On Oct. 15, 2018, CNN published Moya-Smith's opinion piece in response to Senator Elizabeth Warren's press release asserting that less than 1 percent of Native American DNA verified her claims of such ancestry. Moya-Smith noted that he personally agreed with Warren's political stance more often than not, but also criticized her for what he characterizes as her silence on social problems plaguing Native communities and the timing of her DNA announcement: "For years, when I was the culture editor at Indian Country Today Media Network, we requested interviews with Warren, but not once did she accept our numerous invitations for comment or explanation regarding her alleged ancestry. She simply ignored us."[15]
  • Larry Spotted Crow Mann, Nipmuc.
  • Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock. He is ICT's editor and is former Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of North Dakota, former president of the Native American Journalists Association, and former executive news editor of The Salt Lake Tribune. He writes a regular column on national and regional politics, noting issues that affect Indian Country.
  • Marty Two Bulls, Oglala Lakota, cartoonist and satirist. In 2013, he was profiled by the Associated Press.[16]


  1. ^ ICMN Staff (30 July 2008). "ICT Insider". Indian Country Media Network. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  2. ^ Indian Country Today, July 9, 2014
  3. ^ Halbritter, Ray (September 4, 2017). "Indian Country Today Media Network To Cease Active Operations". Indian Country Media Network. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Oneida Nation to Donate Indian Country Today Media Network Assets to NCAI". Indian Country Media Network. 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  5. ^ "About". Indian Country Today Media Network.
  6. ^ "Indian Country Today Media Network to Launch January 14, 2011". RNewswire. January 6, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
  7. ^ Eaton, Kristi. "National Native American Magazine Going Digital". The Big Story. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  8. ^ Official - Indian Country Today Back
  9. ^ "The Shared Pain of New Orleans", ANC Today, (September 9–15, 2005)
  10. ^ Scott, Dot (October 13, 2013). "Baby Veronica & Baby Deseray: Don't Let Them Sell Our Babies!". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  11. ^ Obama, President Barack (June 5, 2014). "On My Upcoming Trip to Indian Country". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  12. ^ ICTMN Staff (January 13, 2015). "White House Responds to 'Stop Apache Land Grab' Petition". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  13. ^ Water Is Life: The NoDAPL Movement, Indian Country Today, October 2016; accessed 24 October 2016
  14. ^ "NAJA Announces 2014 Awards; ICTMN Earns 17". June 28, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Simon Moya-Smith, I am a Native American. I have some questions for Elizabeth Warren,, October 15, 2018
  16. ^ Indian Country Today, June 13, 2013

External linksEdit