Publisher's Letter April-May 2017

The debut issue of Indian Country magazine is the latest expansion and evolution of the Indian Country Media Network franchise.

Shekóli. If the drum is the heartbeat of mother earth, then it’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that this new magazine, Indian Country, will serve as the heartbeat of Indian Country Media Network. It’s a vital part of our mission, which is to celebrate and share the diverse cultural and historical achievements of the many Native nations on Turtle Island. To help us with this exciting proposition, we’ve sought out the most creative writers and visual artists in Indian country to bring their talent to a new and growing audience. The spirit and passion of the Native experience is reflected in their work on these pages, and it’s only a beginning. As one magazine or website can only hope to scratch the surface of what indigenous life is all about, so too this, the debut issue of a bi-monthly magazine, is just a taste of the good things we hope to circulate in the year ahead.
The Indian Country Today and Indian Country Traditions departments host pages that touch upon essential aspects of our world: new exposure for talented Native actors; stunning travel destinations; delicious dishes by indigenous culinary stars; time-honored uses of plants; traditional wisdom and a wealth of the finest arts and crafts. Given the magazine’s larger page count over past publications, there is also plenty of room in this issue for Indian Country’s 2017 Pow Wow listings, a comprehensive guide to more than 350 destinations from now until fall.
Equally important, the articles and features section provides ample opportunity for informative storytelling. An archeological whodunit anchors the feature section while a visionary account of three famous female trick riding sisters helps close it; a Lakota genesis story artfully retold for today offers its own visual echoes of Tlingit masks used to illustrate a memoir and appreciation of a powerful new play a few pages away.
The ideas and stories here are part of an ambitious new extension of our media company. For close to two decades, Indian Country Today and Indian Country Today Media Network and its parent, Oneida Nation Enterprises, have made extensive commitments to expanding the reach and breadth of Native media. From the online platform’s continuous coverage of the events at Standing Rock to the publication of a glossy magazine of note, ICTMN has reinvested the energy from increased attention into ways that more people can enjoy—and support—Native voices. We hope you enjoy what you see and hear. If done right, the voice and drum of the song we sing today will be remembered by generations to come.
NΛ Ki wa,
Ray Halbritter