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Hmong Pages

First issue of Hmong Pages

The cover of the first issue of Hmong Pages, published on July 1, 2010. Photograph by Cheu Lee; used with the permission of Cheu Lee.

Hmong Pages is a St. Paul-based newspaper created by, for, and about Hmong people. To reach a wide audience of individuals, it features articles written in both English and Hmong. The monthly publication seeks to raise awareness about Hmong people throughout the Twin Cities and is distributed across the metro area.

St. Paul resident and Hmong refugee Cheu Lee began taking pictures of Hmong neighbors in his community in 1982 and developed a passion for documenting their experiences through his lens. His photography work led him to become interested in photo journalism and in journalism more broadly.

In 1998, Lee began collaborating with his former math professor, Richard Wetzler, whom he had met at Lakewood Community College (renamed Century College in 1996). Together, he and Wetzler created Hmong Times, an independent newspaper company.

After the success of Hmong Times, Lee left the paper in 2000 to begin a new publication, Hmong Pages. He aimed to translate the photography skills he had developed in the 1980s to the front covers of Hmong Pages while also serving as its editor-in-chief. His primary goal was to feature articles written in the Hmong language as well as English so that both younger and older generations of Hmong could read the newspaper. Hmong Times articles, by contrast, had been written only in English.

Lee published the first edition of Hmong Pages on July 1, 2010, and established a process of working with a team of writers and graphic designers to prepare the product before it went to press each month. Through his editorial work, he met political figures like Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, Minnesota Senator Mee Moua, and General Vang Pao, the exiled commander of the CIA-backed Secret Army that had fought in the Civil War in Laos. Lee found unique stories of the Hmong diaspora through the people he encountered, which in turn informed his journalism. He met Julienne Xiaaj, a dancer and Hmong Minnesotan, on a plane ride to California when Xiaaj was traveling to perform in a dance competition.

To operate, Hmong Pages relies on income generated from the sale of advertisements sold to local companies. With the help of the restaurants, grocery stores, and community spaces that display it, the newspaper has become widely read. Once a month, when a new issue is printed, a distribution company transports bundles of papers to locations across the Twin Cities.

In the 2010s, Hmong Pages continues to represent the everyday lives and concerns of Hmong people, both in Minnesota communities and across the United States. It covers broad topics, from celebrated war veterans and human rights advocates to drug scandals and murders. Reporting on a variety of stories helps Lee keep readers up to date with the latest news stories that matter to Hmong people today.

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  • Bibliography
  • Related Resources

Aanews. “May Song Vang Dies From Cancer.” Asian American Press, August 11, 2013.

Burke, Garance. “Mourners Salute Hmong Leader Vang Pao; Army Denies Arlington Burial.” Minnesota Public Radio, February 4, 2011.

Lee, Cheu. Interview with the author. September 24, 2018.

Thao, Dai. “Monthly Mag Chronicles Hmong Gender Politics in St. Paul’s Ward 1 Council Race.”, September 26, 2013.

Related Images

First issue of Hmong Pages
First issue of Hmong Pages
Hmong Pages cover featuring an article on the funeral of General Vang Pao
Hmong Pages cover featuring an article on the funeral of General Vang Pao
Hmong Pages cover featuring an article on the funeral of May Song Vang
Hmong Pages cover featuring an article on the funeral of May Song Vang
Cheu Lee
Cheu Lee
Cheu Lee in his office
Cheu Lee in his office
Hmong Pages office
Hmong Pages office

Turning Point

On July 1, 2010, founder and editor-in-chief Cheu Lee publishes the first edition of Hmong Pages. The front cover features an article on interracial marriage within the Hmong community.



Cheu Lee and Richard Wetzler create the newspaper Hmong Times in St. Paul.


Lee gives his rights to Hmong Times to Wetzler and begins to plan a paper of his own.


Lee publishes the first issue of Hmong Pages on July 1.


The March edition of Hmong Pages documents the funeral of General Vang Pao, a commander of Hmong troops during the Secret War in Laos and a leading figure of the Hmong diaspora in the United States.


The September edition of Hmong Pages documents the funeral of May Song Vang, one of General Vang Pao’s wives.