The Biden Administration says it wants to work with tribes to co-manage federal land that is also sacred or culturally important. Tribal leaders are talking with officials in the Interior and Agriculture departments about what that might look like. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce speaks with Dr. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee), advisor for the “Sacred Places Project” from the Native American Rights Fund, founding trustee of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, president of the Morningstar Institute, and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom; Oglala Lakota Tribe President Kevin Killer (Oglala Lakota); and head councilman Joe Garcia (Ohkay Owingeh), advisor for the Sacred Places Project from the Native American Rights Fund.
Post-pandemic burn out, persistently low pay, and a disparaging political climate are helping fuel a high number of teacher vacancies. Some school districts have an easier time recruiting teachers from other countries than finding candidates from within their own borders. Tuesday on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce looks at how rising class sizes, decreased attention on cultural connections, and the shifting political pressures mean Native students are at an increasing disadvantage with Jerad Koepp (Wukchumni), a Native Student Program Specialist and 2022 Washington state Teacher of the Year; Joe Carrier (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), American Indian education program coordinator for Detroit Lakes Public Schools; and Dr. Casie Wise, senior program director for the National Indian Education Association.
Some tribes are already finding economic opportunities with clean energy. Now the Biden Administration is appealing directly to tribes to add wind, solar, and other clean alternatives to help boost their budgets. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce finds out why more tribes are willing to take a chance on these burgeoning technologies with Daniel Wiggins Jr. (Bad River Band citizen), Air Quality Technician with the Bad River Band Natural Resources Department; Liliana Napoleon (Native Hawaiian and a Cherokee descendant), program director for Ho’ahu Energy Cooperative; Robert Blake (tribal citizen of the Red Lake Nation), owner of Solar Bear, executive director for Native Sun Community Power Development, and chief executive officer for Indigenized Energy Initiative; Tanksi Clairmont (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota tribal member and Sicangu Lakota). managing director of the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund; and Dr. Suzanne Singer (Diné), co-founder of Native Renewables.
Native athletes helped kick off football’s popularity in the early days and there are a number of talented Native NFL players. The sport attracts a large Native following despite problematic mascots, tomahawk chops, and headdresses. The season is still young, rivalries are heating up, and fans have their sights set for a post-season appearance. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce huddles with Marlin Fryberg (member of the Tulalip Tribes), 7G Foundation northwestern states region board member; Levi Horn (Northern Cheyenne), former Chicago Bear and current drug and alcohol counselor; Eric Brock, athletic director for Santa Fe Indian School; and Joseph Claunch (Puyallup), dean of students and head football coach at Hózhó Academy.
The new Hulu show “Chefs vs. Wild” dropped this week and it pits a handful of chefs, some of whom are Indigenous, against each other in cooking challenges in the wilderness. On Canadian TV, Mohawk chef Tawnya Brant will compete on “Next Level Chef Canada.” And a new Spokane restaurant called Indigenous Eats serves up customers’ choices of ingredients on top of a large fluffy frybread. Today on Native America Calling, our resident foodie Andi Murphy cooks up another helping of the Native culinary world on our regular feature “The Menu” with Jenny Slagle (Yakama and Northern Arapaho), owner of Indigenous Eats, and Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot), co-host and judge for “Chefs vs. Wild” and co-founder of Tahoma Peak Solutions.
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