Charles Michael Ray

Charles Michael Ray grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota on the banks of Boxelder Creek downstream from the town of Nemo.

He began working for SDPB Radio as a reporter in 1992 at the age of 19. He worked his way through college at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and received a degree in Geology in 1997.  He then worked as a freelance journalist in the Czech capital of Prague, covering major stories in Central Europe. After a year overseas he returned home to continue his work at SDPB-Radio and to get back to the Black Hills. 

Over the years his work has been recognized with numerous awards and fellowships.  He's won two national Edward R. Murrow awards and a National Scripps Howard News Service award. In 2006 Ray was a finalist in the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. In 2009 he was selected as a Logan Science Journalist Polar Fellow, he spent three weeks above the Arctic Circle at a scientific research station reporting on the impacts of climate change.  He has won 20 regional Murrow Awards since 2004 and over 40 awards from the Associated Press since 1993. 

Ray and his wife Andrea live in Rapid City. He still enjoys spending time at the family home in the Black Hills.  He's an avid whitewater kayaker and also enjoys ice hockey, mountain unicycling, backpacking, and several other outdoor activities.   

In the late 1960s, Native Americans fed up with what they saw as years of mistreatment by the federal government formed an organization known as the American Indian Movement.

Founded in Minnesota, the group followed in the footsteps of the civil rights movement and took up protests across the country. One of those protests took place in 1973, when some AIM members occupied the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.