The Two Row Times news publication is the product of years and even generations of hard work and entrepreneurial Native spirit.
Owner and publisher, Jonathan Garlow, inherited this spirit from his father, Andrew Garlow of Garlow Printing and Copy located on Mohawk Road at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. “I’ve been in the printing business for half a century now, I guess,” says the senior Garlow. “I started in the printing business at age 22. I guess I kind of fell into it.”
He recalls becoming friends with a man he worked with in Toronto who showed him the basics of how to run an offset press. And he liked it. “I kept moving to different places,” he remembers. “I was just trying to get a little money and gain some experience.”
His life journey then took him to Brantford where he began work at Ricter Web Printing, some 30 years ago. That is where he and Two Row Time’s Graphic Designer, David LaForce, first met and worked together as the only two Natives in the shop.
David’s connection to Six Nations comes through his maternal grandmother, a Mohawk of the Wolf Clan. His father is from the Mississaugas of the New Credit and his grandfather was from Wahta Mohawks. His grandfather attended residential school but his grandmother’s family would not allow her to go.
Two years later, Garlow jumped at the chance to work at Hurley Printing, a union shop in Brantford, and he and LaForce went their separate ways. Now, decades later, their paths meet again.
In 1994, Garlow gathered up a few dollars, his accumulative knowledge and experience, and opened his own print shop back home at Six Nations, which has been serving the needs of Six Nations and New Credit ever since.
Now, almost 20 years later, he is helping his son Jonathan make his own move into the news publication business.
Jonathan is a man of many talents. He has an accomplished musical career which saw him found Tru Rez Crew, an award winning hip hop group and groundbreaking force in Native hip hop. Tru Rez Crew won the 2003 Canadian Aboriginal Awards for best Rap Album and best song single. Jonathan continues to play Gospel music in his community and is a producer who collaborates with many local native artists. In 2008 he produced Karha:kon – “In the Bush” a reality TV hunting show which aired on First Nations Cable. Among other efforts directed and produced the feature length documentary film Day Zero.
Andrew is proud of what Jonathan is now pursuing, and supports him in every way he can. He is also pleased with the team Jonathan has assembled around himself — a team which includes Andrew’s old co-worker and friend Graphic Designer David LaForce.
“When you start a new thing you have to be around people who believe in what they are doing and put into it whatever it will take to succeed,” says the senior Garlow. “When I started my business, failure was not an option and I’d put in as many hours as it took, many times 16 hour days.”
“It’s a great team Jon has put together,” he says. “I have every confidence in them all.”
“I’m really excited about the Two Row Times,” says Nahnda. “Our family has gone through a lot the last while with the death of Jon’s brother Jeremy and his mother (Eleanor). I have also recovered from having had breast cancer, and it all kind of happened in a short period of time, so it’s really good to see something new on the horizon — to be walking forward into a new part of this journey.”Although a little nervous, as anyone would be going into such an ambitious endeavor, Jon’s wife Nahnda, an Onondaga of the Beaver Clan, is also excited about her husband’s new adventure.
She loves to see Jon and his dad working together with a group of people of the same good mind.
She and Jon are a part of a new generation of young Native entrepreneurs, who bring a whole new approach to the age old business of information sharing.
Nahnda admits to getting the majority of her news and information on-line, and this is the element of the Tow Row Times that most excites her.
“Having a strong social media element has got to be an integral part of the Two Row Times,” she says. “To be honest I might look at the front page news and a couple of pages in, but then I go right to the births deaths and classifieds. But I’m on facebook four, five or six times a day.”
She isn’t alone. In fact, within her age group and younger, this is the new normal according to all statistics, which also reveals more than 50% of Native populations are under the age of 30.
Like most Onkwehon:we readers, she has become jaded by the misrepresentation and misinformation being put out as fact in the mainstream media. This is another reason she believes in her husband’s vision for the Two Row Times.
According to her, it was all the misrepresentation and spin the mainstream media put on the coverage of the reclamation of Kanonhstaton (Caledonia) that turned her off to the corporate media.
“Things were way blown out of proportion and a lot of things were left out,” she recalls.
This being said, there will always be a need for the printed page as well as the electronic media and the Two Row Times hopes to excel in both forms.
Together and with their extended family and staff the Garlows hope to make a difference and help get the “real” news reported for and about Onkwehon:we people everywhere with the Two Row Times.