By Rebekka Schlichting
In the early summer of 2013, Kevin Abourezk, Rose Bud Sioux, allowed me to record his everyday activities at the newspaper. He led me up to the news area, took his seat, and began working on a story about the tribal council’s decision to let their members vote on whether to allow alcohol onto the Pine Ridge Reservation.
While normally covering the higher education beat for the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska, Kevin has more time to write Native American issue stories during the summer. He has also written stories for Reznetnews.org, Indian Country Today, and Lakota Country Times.
“I think it’s important for Native people to have their own scribes who can give them a voice that is credible and well-versed in their issues, both social and cultural,” Kevin said. “If I don’t write about Native issues, few people here at the Journal Star would, I fear. Having reporters from diverse backgrounds lends a diverse set of voices to a newspaper.”
Kevin sets a good example of the modern-day Indian— dark-skinned, ponytail placed in the middle of his back, and commonly dressed in a button down.
He also lives the life of a modern-day Indian. While living in Lincoln, Kevin has limited access to ceremonial events. However, he does bring his children to powwows, and he often attends a sweat lodge. Kevin is familiar with the importance of passing on Native traditions, so he teaches his children the Lakota language and heritage.
Kevin is the father of four children, ages 2, 5, 7, and 10. He and his wife, Taryn, have been married for 13 years. They started dating during Kevin’s sophomore year at the University of South Dakota.