Halloween cries out like a banshee for scary stories and there are many traditional and modern Native narratives that fit the bill. Monday on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce heard some favorite stories for the season and checked in on folks whose experiences gave us goosebumps with storyteller Leeora White (Seneca); Lopaka Kapanui (Kanaka Maoli), storyteller, author, and founder of the ghost tour “Mysteries of Hawaii“; Nancy Fields (Lumbee), director and curator at The Museum of the Southeast American Indian; and Ishmael Hope (Tlingit and Inupiaq), poet, storyteller, and Indigenous scholar.
Indigenous people in Mexico are much more likely to face poverty, human rights abuses, and discrimination than the rest of the country’s population. The UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Rights has repeatedly called out Mexico’s government for a “serious pattern” of abuses against Indigenous people that includes the murder or disappearance of Indigenous environmental or human rights activists. Unlike in the United States, Mexico’s government does not official recognize or support the country’s Indigenous populations. Tuesday on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce met those fighting for Indigenous rights in Mexico with Odilia Romero (Zapotec), co-founder and executive director of Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO); Alan Dillingham (Choctaw), assistant professor of history at Arizona State University and author of Oaxaca Resurgent; Arcenio Lopez (Ñuu Savi), executive director of the Mixteco Indígena Community Organizing Project; and Dr. Shannon Speed (Chickasaw), director of the American Indian Studies Center (AISC) and professor of gender Studies and anthropology at UCLA.
Citizenship is one of the keystones of sovereignty for every tribe. And it’s absolute: you’re either a tribal citizen through lineal descendancy, blood quantum, or another agreed-up measurement, or you’re not. But Native identity sometimes extends beyond citizenship and there’s little agreement about those boundaries. Wednesday on Native America Calling, at a time of increasing scrutiny of those who claim—and build careers on—Native identity, Shawn Spruce gets the perspectives from tribal leaders on what makes identity and why it’s so important to get it right with Cathy Chavers, chairwoman of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians and the president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe; Dr. Aaron Payment, former chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Nathan McCowan (Tlingit and Haida), president and CEO of St. George Tanaq Corporation; Patt Iron Cloud AKA “GrandmaPatt”, councilwoman for the Fort Peck Tribes; and Harold “Buster” Hatcher, chief of the Waccamaw Indian People.
Tribes in Oklahoma are actively working to unseat the incumbent governor—who is a Cherokee citizen—because they say he is the most anti-Native American state leader in recent memory. A judge recently dissolved the Osage Nation reservation, saying Congress probably would have gotten around to disestablishment at some point anyway. And tribes are fighting the state’s new anti-Critical Race Theory law, saying it hampers students learning about the state’s long history of Native American oppression. Thursday on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce checks in on the unique relationship tribes have with the state of Oklahoma.
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