South Dakota Hall of Famer Charles Trimble dies at 84

Charles “Chuck” Trimble, a 2013 South Dakota Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Tuesday at the age of 84.

Trimble was an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and spent a lot of his distinguished career advocating for American Indian rights.

After graduating high school from Holy Rosary Mission Indian School in Pine Ridge, Trimble, originally from Wanblee, South Dakota, started his college studies at Cameron College in Lawton, Oklahoma. After a few years, Trimble transferred to the University of South Dakota where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

He then entered the U.S. Army in 1957 and was honorably discharged in 1960.

After his time in the Army, Trimble began his work in media with specific goals on shedding lights on issues surrounding Indian Policy development and tribal affairs. In 1969, Trimble became the principal founder of the American Indian Press Association. Trimble also served as the organization’s Executive Director until 1972.

Trimble got involved in international affairs for the protection of indigenous rights and human rights. In 1975, he represented U.S. Indian tribes at the charter meeting of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1983, Trimble served as a U.S. delegate at the U.N. Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in Geneva, Switzerland. Two years later, Trimble was a U.S. delegate to the Human Rights Experts meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Ottawa, Canada.

Trimble was also heavily involved in obtaining education for Native American students. Aside from being apart of companies that gave leadership workshops in 1999 Trimble, the president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation at the time, established the Institute for Vision and Learning, which is a summer workshop in literature and writing for Native American high school students.

After receiving the Pioneer Award in 1998, Trimble went on to be honored by the University of South Dakota and Cameron University by receiving their Alumni Awards. Trimble also received an honorary Doctorate of Cultural Science degree from Creighton University along with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wayne State College and the University of South Dakota.

Trimble published two books with the first coming out in 2008 called “The American Indian Oral History Manual: Making Many Voices Heard”. In 2012, Trimble came out with “Iyeska” which was about American Indian Heritage and is a Dakotah word that translates into “they speak the white” meaning an Indian person who speaks English. It also means “half-breed” in Lakota.

Trimble leaves behind an adoring wife, fanbase, and family members that will always remember his knowledge, humor and love.



Categories: Local News, South Dakota News