Published on January 20, 2013 by Amy
Mark Trahant is an independent print and broadcast journalist. He writes a weekly column and posts often on Twitter (including daily news poems). Trahant was a reporter on the PBS series, Frontline, with a story called “The Silence,” about sexual abuse by clergy in Alaska. Trahant was recently a Kaiser Media Fellow. At the 2004 UNITY conference in Washington, D.C., he asked George W. Bush what the meaning of tribal sovereignty was in the 21st century; Bush replied, “Tribal sovereignty means that. It’s sovereign. You’re a … you’re a … you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity.”
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Trahant is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and a former president of the Native American Journalists Association. He authored The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars in 2010. Trahant is the former editor of the editorial page for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer where he chaired the daily editorial board, directed a staff of writers, editors and a cartoonist. He has been chairman and chief executive officer at the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. The Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit is the country’s premier institute for providing advanced training and services nationally to help news media reflect diversity in content, staffing and business operations. Trahant is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and former president of the Native American Journalists Association. He is a former columnist at The Seattle Times and has been publisher of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News in Moscow, Idaho; executive news editor of The Salt Lake Tribune; a reporter at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix; and has worked at several tribal newspapers.
Trahant has won numerous journalism awards and was a finalist for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in national reporting as co-author of a series on federal-Indian policy. In 1995 Trahant was a visiting professional scholar at The Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of “Pictures of Our Nobler Selves,” a history of American Indian contributions to journalism published by The Freedom Forum. He is also the author of a commissioned work, “The Whole Salmon,” published by Idaho’s Sun Valley Center for the Arts. His most recent book is “Lewis & Clark Through Indian Eyes,” an anthology edited by the late Alvin Josephy Jr. He also serves as a Trustee of the Diversity Institute, an affiliate of the Freedom Forum, based in Washington, DC. Trahant was a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and 2005.He recently was editor in residence at the University of Idaho. He lives in Fort Hall, Idaho.