Lakota Country Times: Charles Trimble recognized for writings

Charles “Chuck” Trimble. Courtesy photo

Charles Trimble recognized for work as writer
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times

PINE RIDGE— Charles “Chuck” Trimble has spent a lifetime commenting on and spreading a message about Lakota people to mainstream society for decades. Now, at 80 years old, Trimble is receiving long due recognition for his writing accomplishments.

The Oglala Lakota writer who grew up in the village of Wanbli, South Dakota, has been chosen by the John G. Neihardt Foundation as this year’s recipient of the Word Sender Award.

Each year the award is given to someone who embodies the spirit of Neihardt and who is also dedicated to the arts or writing. Trimble, has been a contributor to the Native media for decades having founded the Native American Press Association and as a regular columnist who wrote on issues impacting Indian Country for a number of Native news publications including Lakota Country Times.

“It means a lot. I always admired John Neidhart and I had met him not long before he died and I was heading up the organization when we created this award. We had it set up for different  kinds of people and now that I’ve been in journalism or some sort of writing for some time, I found myself eligible and I was very surprised that I got it,” said Trimble.

Charles “Chuck” Trimble throughout the years. Courtesy photos

Despite having been involved in the Native media for decades he also spent time lobbying on behalf of Native people across the U.S. as head of the National Congress of American Indians and as a business owner.

With a mind still as sharp as they come Trimble still pays close attention to the current work being done in the Native media and says that the next generation of writers are capable of carrying the torch forward.

“The Native American media today has impressed me. One thing is just the massive improvement in quality of editorial and in technical quality of work out there. A lot of that is due to computer but, also to the tremendous educated base of human resources we have know,” said Trimble. “Also, I kind of think there is a growing independence on part of the press and a willingness and ability to hold up (it’s) side of the story.” 

Along the way Trimble earned a degree from the University of South Dakota and spent three years in the United States Army.

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Trimble self published his first book titled “Iyeska” in 2012 but wants his new book to be about people he knew. Trimble has always valued family and will provide context on many of the people he has encountered throughout his life in a new memoir that he is currently working on.

“I am trying to put together more of a memoir. The book I put out before was actually a series of columns that I had done in the past that had expressed my concerns and my beliefs and I wanted to go on the record to express my thoughts,” he said.

Trimble said the book will touch on his time growing up in Wanbli and on the six years he spent heading up NCAI. He also said that he will comment on the 1970’s and the ramifications that have arisen from the conflicts of that era.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at

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