One over par

A few weeks ago the Two Row Times participated in the 18th Annual Grand River Employment and Training Golf Tournament and it was a blast. Our team finished one over par after 18 holes of best ball play at the beautiful Greens at Renton.

Teeing up at the first hole I tried to kill the ball and accidentally injured my left elbow. The team ended up carrying me that day and it was symbolic of the cooperative relationship we have here at the Two Row Times. Two Onkwehonweh people and two white people struggling on the golf course of life towards a common goal.

After the game we shared a roast beef dinner with another company from Six Nations and during conversation I was asked if I actually edited anything at the paper. Off-put by the question I answered yes. Because of my background in graphic design I even lay out the final version of the paper each and every week and I place each story and headline personally, often editing as I do layout.

This experience brought to my attention that people in the community are talking about my paper and are interested in the details of what goes on behind the scenes. We have been so busy finding stories and reporting news that it wasn’t apparent that we have become news in and of ourselves.

Truthfully, the last year has been like a never ending weekly hamster wheel of deadlines and production leaving us all with little time to breathe. Producing what has become the largest free native weekly in North America is no easy task, and our team breathes a collective sigh of relief when we get out an issue out to the public – only to begin again the next day on a new issue.

As an Onkwehonweh man, what saddened me about the question was the tones of doubt I heard in my dinner guest’s voice. Do you really produce this paper? Are you able to edit the Two Row Times? The answer is simple, of course I can because I’ve done it before. Producing is in my blood.

In the early 2000’s I was one of the driving forces and the producer for a national rap group called Tru Rez Crew. I admit we were not the greatest performers, in fact we may have been terrible but we put in huge amounts of effort and eventually won two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards for best Rap group of 2003 and Best Song/Single for “I’m A Lucky One” It now has almost half a million views on YouTube and is a source of inspiration for young rappers and artists throughout Turtle Island.

For those on First Nations Cable you may have seen a TV hunting show I started with Stan Farmer Jr. called Karha:kon – In the Bush, I really loved producing that project as well.

To start this new endeavor I took personal loans from friends and family, opened a bank account for Garlow Media of which I am the sole-proprietor, installed Adobe InDesign on a brand new computer and put together a newspaper with the help of three partners (two of them Mohawk and one a non-native friend) and a talented and diverse staff that represents our motto: the spirit of all nations.

Our head office is at Garlow Print & Copy, 657 Mohawk Road from where I am writing this editorial. We also have two satellite offices to accommodate our staff and serve the public. As soon as we can, we plan to renovate and expand our head office to be able to house our contributors under one roof.

Our staff at TRT is multi-cultural and I am proud of that fact. Some of us come from the ship and some of come from the canoe and we take very seriously our attempts to implement the Two Row Wampum in our daily operations. Everyone at the Two Row Times is treated with respect and honor, and all have input into our decision making process. I don’t think of my staff as employees but as partners. With our paper that goes out to over 50 different communities we are trying to build something that should have been done on a national level centuries ago.

We are imperfect individuals who are trying to achieve a monumental task. We make mistakes. Miscommunication happens and misunderstandings can result from that. But we have a responsibility to those who believe in us, to those who have supported our efforts. We also have a responsibility to the entire community and the faces yet to come to make this project work and to do it honestly and with integrity. If anything that we print is not factual or erroneous I am willing to apologize, retract or correct it. If we are off base or one-sided call us out. If our attitude isn’t appropriate set us straight. I am accountable to my elders and was taught to respect the teachings of my people. I look forward to hearing from you in good times and bad.

Jonathan Garlow

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