By Ray CookCelebrations of dominion—Canada Day on Saturday and July 4th today—are opportunities to reflect for Natives whose nations straddle the invisible border.
ICMN’s Opinions Page Editor Ray Cook works with the finest writers and thinkers in Indian country to offer news, views and commentary on the most pressing issues faced by Natives and Tribal Sovereign Nations. He regularly publishes the works of such notable authors as Suzan Shown Harjo, Mark Trahant, Alex Jacobs, Chuck Trimble, Steven Newcomb and Steve Russell. Under his direction, the Opinions pages of IndianCountryMediaNetwork.com have been established as the platform for tribal leaders and United States Senators, Representatives and Cabinet members to present their perspectives to a wide readership. In 2015, Cook oversaw the publication of an exclusive opinion piece from President Barack Obama that memorialized the life and contributions of Elouise Cobell, titled: President Barack Obama Remembers Elouise Cobell.
Ray Cook began his 34-year media career in 1979 in the production room of the acclaimed international Indigenous journal of record – Akwesasne Notes. He was a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association; co-founder and executive director of Associated Indigenous Communications, and helped launch the computer-distributed Indigenous Press Network, Daybreak Magazine (with financial backing of Worrell Communications), the Indian Country Today national weekly newspaper, Northeast Indian Quarterly and the current Indian Country Media Network, to name only a few. Cook was integral in the development of the current Indian Country Media Network platform and evolution of the weekly newspaper into a full-service website and magazine publisher.
Cook has won numerous awards over his years in media. Of those awards are NAJA Best Column honors for A Short History Lesson for Matt Lauer and His Audience (second place); Best Editorial Memorial Day, the Veterans Celebration of the Day of the Dead (second place); Best Editorial Redskins Trademark Decision Means Phips Bounty Hunt Is Almost Over (second place).
Cook attended the Communication Arts program at Cornell University and transferred to Ithaca College for Television and Radio Production.
He currently resides on the Akwesasne Territory.
Cook’s most noted work on ICMN is as follows: