Lise King at Barack Obama rally, Crow Nation, Montana, 2008

Lise Balk King at Barack Obama rally, Crow Nation, Montana, 2008

Welcome to the archive site for my writing and interviews for The Native Voice, the independent national Native American newspaper that I created with my former partner in 2001.

I contributed writing, interviews and photography to almost all of the over 150 editions published. This blog is a work in progress, and will include work from 2002 – 2008.

The Native Voice was created as a source of empowerment and inspiration. We founded the publication with the idea of reinventing the format of the traditional newspaper. I wanted to create a more soulful, artistic and inspirational resource, one that was responsive to the needs of the community, one that was accessible and not patronizing. We deconstructed the idea of “newspaper,” and re-built it with our readership in mind. What would a publication created specifically for Indian people look like? How would it read? Where would it need to go?

Our first edition rolled off the web press of The Rapid City Journal in March, 2002. We launched The Native Voice with a distribution of 10,000 broadsheet copies to 14 states. Our distribution quickly grew to include every federally recognized tribal government in the United States. The intention of The Native Voice has always been to provide news and inspiration to Indian people living on reservations and in cities near tribal lands with active Indian communities. However, it quickly became clear that the newspaper needed to have a presence and distribution at the most important political, economic and cultural gatherings occurring around the country that directly involved or impacted Native America.

The Native Voice was created as a partnership effort, a vision. We both wanted to make life better for Indian people – our family, our community, the collective of thousands of people who have been uniquely shaped by history and relationship with the land, with each other, with the United States Government. I hope that these years of work have been a small addition to the sum of progress for the tribes and the individuals looking to make a better life.

I was inspired by The Village Voice, by Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, by The New York Times, and by my previous work in television and film. Frank was motivated by his traditional culture, by the importance of telling the story, the responsibility of keeping the fire of memory. Together, we worked countless hours to give this newspaper life and fill it with meaningful content.

From 2002-2006, we had an office in Rapid City with eight full-time employees. In July of 2006, we moved to Colorado in order to facilitate travel and distribution from the hub of Denver.  2006-2008 brought significant changes to our vision. Like all print newspapers, we were hit by increased costs and decreased advertising sales. We changed our business model and launched a virtual edition. At the end of 2008, we ended our partnership, and we put the newspaper on hiatus. It may be re-born as a printed newspaper, and it may come back as solely an on-line publication. There are no current plans for a re-launch date.


After four years of study and research at Harvard University, Lise King has recently re-entered the workforce with her new multi-media production and consulting company, A Measure of Light. She received her Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2011, where she focused on leadership development and social entrepreneurship, and then spent three years as a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Her post-graduate studies included a year of documentary film (sensory ethnography) at Harvard Visual and Environmental Studies.

Lise has over twenty years’ experience in media and communications, specializing in their applications as tools for political advocacy, education and social change. Her work has spanned the roles of producer, publisher, advocate, consultant, event organizer, writer, editor, filmmaker and photographer.

Ms. King’s work first focused on using major media and corporate engagement for mainstream advocacy and education, focusing on environmental issues and social justice. After completing work on MTV’s first major documentary project, DECADE, which won an Emmy and a Peabody Award, she initiated and co-produced a short series of environmental action pieces for MTV News.

Other clients included IBM, the Sociodade Culturale Arte Brasil for NHK Japan, Warner Brothers/ABC TV, ECO (the Earth Communications Office), Friends of Animals International (with NBC), and Body Glove surf gear for a national theatrically-released Earth Day campaign.

Lise relocated to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1992, where her focus shifted to indigenous human and civil rights, political and social advocacy, community education and economic development. She transitioned into independent media and grass roots education. She co-founded Native Voice Media, The Native Voice, an independent national Native American newspaper, and The Native Voice Film Festival.The Native Voice is best known nationally for its Get Out The Native Vote work, and was credited by Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) as being instrumental in his successful re-election campaign in 2002. In 2004, The Native Voice created the first national GOTV product specifically created for Native American voters. The Native Voice worked to engage Native voters in policy debates, helped recruit Indians to run for public office, and developed special editions for mass distribution at the 2004 and 2008 elections. Ms. King also served intermittently as traveling press on the Obama presidential campaign.

Ms. King has two children, ages 14 and 22, who are enrolled members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. As a non-native with decades of experience living and working in Indian Country, Ms. King has become known as a “bridge-builder,” providing leadership in cross-cultural communication and advocacy.

Ms. King has worked on projects for a number of non-profit organizations, tribes, governments and businesses, including the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, South Dakota Alliance for the Mentally Ill’s Native American Advocacy Project, Houghton Mifflin Publishing, the Grameen Foundation, the National Indian Gaming Association, the Bureau of Indian Education, the South Dakota Governor’s Office, SD Public Television, and the National Congress of American Indians.

One comment

  1. Just thought I’d drop you a line. Lost your card, what a bummer right. Well it was good to meet you, and hope to stay in touch. Saw the pic of me on the Obama visits the Crow Nation album. Good pic of me and Chairman Venne and the other Legislative Senators. Give me a price on that pic. Well hope to hear from you soon. Thank you! Oh, so when are we going to see some pics from the Crow nations reception and the Inaugaral?Talk to you later.


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