Shawn Hamilton is a teacher and reporter in California. He began his teaching career in Taiwan in 1989 when large rallies were supporting the protestors at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. He returned to the relative calm of the United States and took up a teaching position in Compton, a city near Los Angeles, in time for the rioting that occurred there, sparked by an unpopular court decision.
Hamilton moved to Sacramento where he taught classes part-time and covered the capitol as a reporter for Pacifica Radio’s KPFA in Berkeley, near San Francisco. He received a Project Censored award in 2011 and writes unconventional poetry for fun.
As a teenager, Hamilton was introduced to Oswald “White Bear” Fredericks by his high school anthropology teacher, and he became intrigued by native cultures. The experience led to his traveling to a Nevada Indian camp called Meta Tantay, home of Shoshone healer John “Rolling Thunder” Pope. While attending Humboldt State University in the California redwoods a few years later, Hamilton took classes in Native American Studies and began participating in ritual sweat lodge ceremonies on the Eel River. He says the experiences changed his life.