Alaska’s snow crab season is cancelled for the first time ever after a mass die-off all but wiped out the crustaceans in the Bering Sea. Officials estimate the snow crab population plummeted by at least 11 billion in a relatively short time. Many experts theorize warming waters are the main culprit. The harvest is crucial for local economies. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce hears about the immediate implications and concerns about the future of crab harvests with Mike Litzow, marine biologist and director of the Kodiak Lab for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Fisheries; Phillip Zavadil, city manager of St. Paul Island, AK; and Dennis Robinson (Qawalangin Tribe), president of the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska.
There is no break in election campaigns anymore. Party operatives work long hours year round to find ways to bring voters to their side—or at least away from their opponents’ side. Even so, as the Midterm Election nears, information is moving at light speed and so much of it is exaggerated, misleading, and even false. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce provides tools the average citizen can use to make informed election decisions with Jason Begay (Navajo), associate professor at The University of Montana School of Journalism; Angela Willeford (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member), intergovernmental relations project manager at Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Adrian Jawort (Northern Cheyenne), transgender two-spirit journalist, fiction writer, fact checker, and research and Political Director Indigenous Transilience in Montana; and Dr. Torivio A Fodder (Taos Pueblo), manager of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Arizona.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act dictates remains from federal lands or in institutions receiving federal funds be returned to their tribal descendants. But what of remains from private lands or in museums that don’t take government funds? It was once common practice for archaeologists—both professional and amateur—to plunder burial sites. Some unscrupulous outlets still have ancestors’ remains on public display. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce gets a rundown of places that enjoy NAGPRA’s loopholes with Shannon O’Loughlin (Choctaw), attorney and the executive director of the Association on American Indian Affairs; Kenny Bowekaty (Zuni), tour guide and archaeologist for the Pueblo of Zuni; and Bryon Schroeder, director of the Center for Big Bend Studies at Sul Ross State University.
Tribal courts are asserting their ability to mete out justice and work toward healing. Many tribal courts are being recognized for restorative justice and for providing a means to address wrongs that go unresolved in other courts. Thursday on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce spoke with Matthew Fletcher (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), law professor at the University of Michigan Law School and author of the “Turtle Talk” blog, and Matt Johnson (enrolled in the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla; the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation), court director of the Umatilla Tribal Court.
Trick-or-treating and costume parties are back on this year after pandemic fits and starts. That means lots of candy and chocolate. Friday on Native America Calling, in our regular feature The Menu, our resident foodie Andi Murphy took a look at the Indigenous origins of chocolate with Julio Saqui (Mayan), founder and owner of Che’il Mayan Chocolate; checks out Itality, a new plant-based Native restaurant in Albuquerque, NM with founder and owner Tina Archuleta (Jemez Pueblo); and chats with Monie Horsechief (Pawnee and Cherokee), owner of Horsechief Catering and this year’s National Indian Taco champion.