Fort Peck editor receives Free Press Award

Missoula, Montana (AP) 4-08

Bonnie Red Elk, editor of the Fort Peck Journal, has received the 2008 Montana Free Press Award.

The longtime journalist received the award during a banquet at the University of Montana. The annual honor is bestowed by the university’s law and journalism schools.

Red Elk, a member of the Fort Peck Sioux tribe, received the award for her defense of free press principles.

She founded the Fort Peck Journal in 2006 after being fired from the Fort Peck tribal newspaper, the Wotanin Wowapi. Red Elk had worked for the weekly tribal newspaper for 30 years and was fired following a story about the tribal chairman’s out-of-state travel.

Last year, the Native American Journalists Association awarded Red Elk its highest honor, the Wassaja Award, in recognition of her dedication to a “free and uncensored press.”