Corruption, exploitation of the land, and an attack on a Native cultural way of life are the things that Nataanii Means is challenging in his new album “Balance.” This Oglala Lakota, Navajo and Omaha recording artist has used his lyrics to bring awareness of what Native people face for years. Join us as we hear his words and music on our February Music Maker.
Kirby Cleveland, a Navajo man, faces a possible death sentence if convicted on charges he killed a Navajo Nation police officer last year. If Cleveland is sentenced to death, he would join 26 other Native Americans on death row in U.S prisons, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The Navajo Nation outlawed the death penalty, as have many other tribes. But does that have any sway over how federal prosecutors approach justice for tribal members who commit capital crimes?
Kevin Washburn (citizen of the Chickasaw Nation) – professor of law at the University of New Mexico and former assistant secretary for the Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of Interior
Melissa Tatum – law professor at the University of Arizona
Break Music: Dance of the Coyote (song) Tony Duncan (artist) Earth Warrior (album)
In Oregon, the graduation rates for Native students remain well below all other groups. A new report from the state’s Department of Education shows graduation is up by six percent overall from four years ago. But Native students are at the bottom. But there is some hope in Warm Springs centered around a curriculum that includes Native history and culture. The creators of the curriculum have confidence that students exposed to their culture are more likely to stay in school and achieve future success.
Jaylyn Suppah (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) – member of the Warm Springs Education Committee
Carina Miller (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) – agency district Tribal Council representative for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Hunter Onstad (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) – co-chair of the Warm Springs Youth Council
Break Music: Intertribal (song) Sweetgrass (artist) Follow The Trial (album)
Six Virginia tribes join the list of those recognized by the federal government. President Trump signed legislation granting federal recognition to the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan and Nansemond tribes. The move is the result of a two-decade fight in Congress to correct what one senator says is an “injustice”. We’ll talk with tribal leaders about what recognition means for the tribes. We’ll also explore the disturbing history of the white supremacist, Walter Plecker, who laid the groundwork to make recognition in Virginia more difficult.
Stephen Adkins (Chickahominy) – chief of the Chickahominy Tribe
Frank Adams (Upper Mattaponi) – chief of the Upper Mattaponi
Dr. Jim Adams – senior historian for the National Museum of the American Indian, managing editor of American Indian Today
Rob Wittman – U.S. Congressman for Virginia’s 1st District
Break Music: “Sovereign Land” – Summit Dub Squad (song) The Native Movement Native Music Compilation (artist) Written In Blood (album)
The Cleveland Major League Baseball team is removing the disturbing “Chief Wahoo” logo from team uniforms and ballpark banners starting next year. The recent action is part of the team’s announced plan to distance itself from the offensive mascot. Native organizations and mascot activists cheered the move that comes after decades of criticism, protests and even lawsuits. It’s a win for Native Americans. But the team didn’t quite hit a home run. Fans will still be able to buy hats and other gear with the image that’s been the official team logo for 70 years.
Sundance (Muskogee) – executive director of the Cleveland American Indian Movement
Charlene Teters (Spokane) – academic dean at Institute of American Indian Arts
Ray Cook (Mohawk) – producer of soon-to-be-launched blog called Indigenous People’s Perspective and Native American Commentary and former editor for Indian Country Media Network
Break Music: Rebel Music (song) Quese Imc (artist) Bluelight (album)
So many Native gatherings center around food, including feast days, feeds, potlatches and even informal events. But despite traditional connections, some people suffer from an unhealthy relationship to food. Millions of people develop disorders like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, and the National Institute of Mental Health says researchers are still working to find out why. One 2012 study of 500 Native men and women finds eating disorders affect Native people the same rate as other racial groups. In this program, we’ll talk about what eating disorders are, how they affect Native people and what treatment looks like.
Dr. Heather Gallivan – clinical director at Melrose Center
Dr. Joel Beckstead – national alcohol and substance abuse lead for the Indian Health Service
Heather (Mohawk) – recovering from an eating disorder
Break Music: Wild Herb (song) Southern Scratch (artist) How Sweet The Sound (album)
A U.S. Department of the Interior workplace environment survey found that more than a third of Bureau of Indian Affairs employees experienced some form of harassment, including sexual harassment, while on the job. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke fired four senior staff members and promised a new ‘zero tolerance’ stance against any harassment. As conversations continue about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and in politics, we’re taking a look at the issue in Native America. Some tribes have their own laws that aim to address sexual harassment in the workplace.
Amber Crotty (Diné) – council delegate for the Navajo Nation
Anthony Tillman (Mohawk, Otoe Missouri and Creek) – human resources employee relations specialist for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and vice president of the National Native American Human Resources Association
Deleana Otherbull (Crow and Northern Cheyenne) – executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
Princella Parker Redcorn (enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska) – communications officer for the National Indian Women’s Resource Center
Break Music: Iskwewuk (feat. Lena Recollet) (song) Rosary Spence (artist) Maskawisiwin (album)
People use different methods to get a message across or bring critical thinking to the fore. What about a game that combats stereotypes and colonization and the ills connected to them with the flip of a card? In our spotlight this month it’s all about an emerging game that uses humor to literally get difficult issues on the table. “Cards Against Colonialism” by the Native American Teaching Aids is the product of tribal members, elders and educators. They aim to confront some of the toughest disputes over a good old card game. What do you think about this approach to stomping out stereotypes? Is humor your tool to heal from colonization?
Avery Old Coyote (Apsaalooke/Salish) – Native scholar and Cards Against Colonialism writer
Rebecca Goff – Co-founder and Executive director of Native Teaching Aids
Break Music: Joy (song) RiverFlowz (artist) RiverFlowz Rural Recordings Atauciq (album)
It could start with a sore throat or maybe an aching feeling all over your body. The first thought is, “I hope I’m not getting sick!” Many health officials are calling this flu season the worst in decades, both in numbers and severity. The Indian Health Service recommends flu shots to help prevent infection. But that’s only one tool to help avoid what is a discomfort for most people and a real threat to others. We’ll talk with experts about preventing and treating the flu and learn why this year’s flu season is different.
Dr. Heather Pratt-Chavez – associate professor of pediatrics and a pediatrician at UNM Hospital
Dr. Thomas Weiser – family physician and medical epidemiologist with the Portland Area Indian Health Service
Break Music: The Beautiful Dance (song) Black Eagle (artist) Flying Free (album)
The Trump administration is asking a federal court overseeing a lawsuit by tribes and environmental organizations fighting shrinking of Bears Ears National Monument to move the case to Utah district court. The move may put the defendants in a more favorable position, as a recent poll found almost half of Utah residents support shrinking the monument. The Antiquities Act, which is at the heart of the legal cases against the reduction, does not specifically authorize presidents to reduce National Monument boundaries. But Congress can. To cover that base, Utah Congressman John Curtis is proposing legislation that removes the name Bears Ears and creates two separate monuments called Shash Jáa and Indian Creek. We’ll revisit what these moves mean for both sides of the ongoing Bears Ears National Monument debate.
Davis Filfred (Navajo) – member of the Navajo Nation 23rd council
Leland Grass (Diné) – founder of Diné for Wild Horses
Break Music: Intertribal (song) High Noon (artist) Generations (album)