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O’odham Action News spelling change

By Dodie Manuel
O’odham Action News

The Au-Authm Action News newspaper has been around for a long time, close to half a century, in fact. During that time, the process for writing, printing and distributing the newspaper has undergone many changes.

January 2018, the newspaper has changed the way it is spelled to O’odham Action News.

On June 7, during the regular Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council meeting, the Community Resources Department presented a resolution to Council to officially adopt two official orthographies (spellings), one for O’odham and one for Piipaash. Council voted unanimously to move forward and adopt the two orthographies to ensure consistent spelling by the tribal government and schools when information is distributed on and off the Community in O’odham and Piipaash.

The newspaper originally began as Aw-Awthum Action News, with the name spelled phonetically. The late David Easchief was responsible for obtaining a Community Action grant in the early 1970s to publish a Community newsletter, and that was how “Action” became part of the title. Aw-Awthum Action News began as a six- to 12-page newsletter that was copied on a mimeograph machine. The chemical smell would permeate the building, and getting the newsletter written, printed and distributed was a time-consuming task.

As technology changed, so did the newspaper including the spelling. Sometime in the 1970s, the name changed to its recent spelling, Au-Authm Action News.

In another five to 10 years, who knows what the process will be? The only thing for certain is that the newspaper will continue to change and adapt as necessary, and it will continue featuring news stories about the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.