Steve Russell is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, although born and raised in the Muscogee Creek Nation. He dropped out of Bristow, Oklahoma High School after the ninth grade. He is currently Associate Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice, Indiana University at Bloomington.
Russell came to university teaching after retiring from 17 years as a trial court judge in Texas, where he is still eligible to hear cases by assignment.
His academic research focused on the necessity to redefine national sovereignty to settle disputes arising from globalization and the need for American Indians to redefine tribal sovereignty and Indian identity in response to national and international change. Articles from this research have appeared in Crime, Law & Social Change, Chicago Policy Review, Georgetown Public Policy Review, Wicazo Sa Review, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, and American Indian Quarterly.
Russell’s weekly column for Indian Country Media Network, “How Did I Miss That?” is based on reading and commenting on the news like his favorite Cherokee, Will Rogers, used to do daily.
Russell’s poetry book, Wicked Dew (Dog Iron Press 2012), won the First Book Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas in 2008. Native American Journalists Association recognized him for best op-ed column in 2013 (Full-Blooded Indians—Face the Most Anti-Indian Racism) and 2014 (Blacks and Indians Should Stand Together Against a Common Oppressor).
His op-eds explore the ideas expressed here were explored in his first book, Sequoyah Rising: Problems in Post-Colonial Tribal Governance (Carolina Academic Press 2010) and his political manifesto, American Indians Dream: A Movement of Our Own (Dog Iron Press 2014).
His usual news beats are criminal justice and civil rights issues.