They say that time really flies when you’re having fun, or when you’re busy.
When it comes to the first year of operation for the Two Row Times, it has been a lot of both. It seems like only yesterday we were scrambling to put out our first issue. Our paper has grown from modest roots, but we have grown to becoming the largest FREE Native News Weekly in all of North America.
Our writers have connected with people from across the United States, Canada and abroad – bringing relevant issues that matter to Onkwehon:we and non-Onkwehon:we people. We have done so from a standpoint grounded in Haudenosaunee knowledge and practice. At the same time that we strive to uphold and practice the principles embodied in the Two Row Wampum, the Kaianere’kó:wa, and the dish with one spoon, we also believe that these teachings apply to “the peoples of all nations.” For that reason, we distribute our paper to a wide range of communities throughout the Great Lakes region.
Our reach on the internet is also international. We have connected daily with over 14,000 friends from all nations via our Social Media sites on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. Our website has been visited by over half a million unique visitors and stirred thousands of responses on indigenous issues – all in just one year. Week after week we have delivered news to people free of charge – bringing indigenous issues hassle-free to the desktops and mobile phones of people throughout the world.
However the most important thing we have been able to do as a news media organization is to begin to connect Onkwehon:we communities together and to help establish a forum where our opinions, our daily lives, and our stories are brought into focus. Onkwehon:we identity is not restricted to the borders of our territories. We are bigger than our reservations, but sometimes being so focused on what goes on inside each community can trick us into the divided thinking that colonization sought to establish in our minds.
Yet this is not the standard. It is not the historical position, nor is it the destiny of our collective futures. We understand that we have a responsibility to the community and that we must strive to be much more than a paper.
Indigenous media must work in favour of the interests of Indigenous peoples, and we have worked to fulfill this obligation every week. Indigenous communication is a right, through our media we can not only tell our stories but also defend our rights and the Indigenous way of life; but like so many other rights, actually claiming it requires commitment and work.
Most importantly it requires broad support, the kind of support that has been so generously given to us over the past year. It is no exaggeration to say that this is what keeps us going. On this first anniversary of publishing the Two Row Times we would again like to extend our thanks to our staff and to all our readers and supporters for helping this year to be one of success and achievement.