Traditional Mohegan stories and William Shakespeare don’t automatically come to mind as complimentary influences. But Madeline Sayet (Mohegan) draws on these and other creative forces for her one-woman show “Where We Belong”. It premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London and is now headed to New York City’s Public Theater. Sayet is an accomplished writer, playwright, actress, and Monday on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce catches up with her current show and her creative spirit, as part of our ongoing series Native in the Spotlight.
Getting signed to a college sports team is a dream for many Native athletes. It appeals to the competitive spirit and can be a major higher education financial boost. But it comes with responsibilities, pressures, and the possibility for injury. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce explores what it takes to reach and sustain NCAA status with Bennae Calac (Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians), co-founder, president, and executive director of the 7G Foundation; Zach Blankenship (Cherokee and Navajo), freshman at Oklahoma State University; and Amil Mitchell (Nez Perce), shooting guard for LeMoyne-Owen College.
Tribal leaders make major decisions about finances, public safety, and societal well being. They need vision, dedication, and a thick skin. Wednesday on Native America Calling, in the latest conversation of our tribal leadership series, Shawn Spruce talks with tribal president Kevin Killer (Oglala Sioux), Chairman Jordan Dresser (Northern Arapaho), and Tribal Chief Mike Williams Sr. (Yupiit Nation) about what drives them to be in a position of authority and how they prepare for inevitable criticisms.
The family of private land-owners just donated a valuable piece of land in California to the state-recognized Gabrielino Tongva tribe. It will be a place of ceremonial gatherings and conservation. Another California tribe, the Esselen, also regained ownership of more than 1,000 acres of land for conservation. Land donations by both private individuals and government entities are putting pieces of ancestral land back into tribal hands. Thursday on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce talked more about the importance of donations toward restoring culturally-important land with Cris Stainbrook (Lakota), president of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation; Hillary Renick (enrolled member of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians and descendant of the Hopland Shanel, Noyo River, and Ft. McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone communities), co-founder of the California Indian Land Institute; and David Weeden (Wampanoag), tribal council member and tribal historic preservation officer for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, chairman of the Mashpee Board of Selectmen, and a Cape Cod Commission member.
Four Inuit teenage girls face off against murderous aliens that inhabit the bodies of people and animals in the film “Slash/Back”. The girls must save the world using mainly makeshift weapons, but first they will have to save their small Arctic community. The film is filled with First Nations talent both in front of and behind the camera. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce speaks with director and co-writer Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk) and lead actor Tasiana Shirley (Inuk) about the film coming to theaters, and on-demand and digital platforms.
Get Native America Calling program previews delivered to your inbox daily or weekly. Sign up for our newsletter today.