Native America Calling

Native America Calling

Interactive, daily program featuring Native and Indigenous voices, insights, and stories from across the U.S. and around the world.

Episodes

June 24, 2022 56 min

Host: Shawn Spruce

From the rich colors used in Navajo weaving to all the colors of the rainbow beaded into medallions and regalia, Indigenous hues carry meaning, stories, and emotion. Some colors specific to tribes represent the available animals, plants, and minerals used to make them. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce talks with Native artists about traditional and contemporary meanings, sources, and uses of color: A...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

When the cost of living goes up, your choices boil down to increasing your own income or cutting costs. Inflation is taking a bite out of our personal budgets. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce explores just how much inflation is costing you, how long it’s expected to stick around, what causes it, and which approaches can help you be less strapped for cash with Sunny Guillory (Sioux), Northwest Indian...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

Tax breaks and other incentives are driving wealthy, outside investors to buy up property in Puerto Rico. That’s pushing housing prices up, exacerbating the island’s debt crisis, and threatening the country’s long-held tradition of public access to beaches. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce speaks with Roberto Borrero (Taino), president of United Confederation of Taino People; Gualterio Alomar (Taino)...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska Tribal Council reversed course on recognizing marriage equality after their citizens and others spoke up. Today on Native America Calling, in celebration of Pride month, Shawn Spruce takes a look at the varying actions across Native nations to acknowledge same-sex unions in light of the growing trend among states to do so with Curtis Alexander Jr. (Omaha-He/She/Bitch), president an...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation estimates as many as 25 million Americans are experiencing long COVID. So little is known about the condition that the number could be much higher or significantly lower. But medical experts suggest a large percentage of the population could suffer serious symptoms from the virus for a long time. Those symptoms might be as mild as a loss of smell, or as...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s experience is a cautionary tale for tribes working with outsiders to help preserve their language. Tribal members worked with the Lakota Language Consortium for years, recording elders, developing workshops, and translating books. When the tribe wanted to utilize the materials they’d worked on, they discovered they were copyrighted and controlled by a non-Native entrepreneur and tr...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

An all-Native send-up of the Tony Award-winning musical-turned-hit-movie “Grease” is connecting with audiences in Canada and playing in selected theaters in the U.S. “Bear Grease” is the brainchild of Crystle Lightning (Cree) and MC RedCloud (Huichol), a husband and wife hip-hop duo who go by the name Lightning Cloud. It’s a follow-up to their “hip-hopera” “Dr. Sioux’s The Neech Who Stole Christmas.” With songs l...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

Wilma Mankiller’s image on the U.S. quarter coin is the latest recognition for the pioneering Cherokee leader. Among her other honors was the Presidential Medal of Freedom. During the event celebrating her likeness on the quarter, current Principle Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. (Cherokee) said, years after her death, Chief Mankiller “keeps changing the world for the better”. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruc...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

Diné composer Raven Chacon originally bristled at the invitation to create a work for the annual Thanksgiving concert at a Milwaukee Catholic Church. But he was drawn to the opportunity to write music features the magnificent organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. That work, Voiceless Mass, led to Chacon being the first Native composer to win a Pulitzer Prize in Music. Chacon returns to the Native Ame...

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Host: Shawn Spruce

The Metropolitan State University of Denver will provide Native students waivers for both tuition and fees. The move follows action by the Colorado Legislature last fall to offer in-state tuition to any student enrolled in a federally recognized tribe with historical ties to Colorado. The state of Oregon and the University of California system also have tuition waivers for Native students. Today on Native America...

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AMC’s new television series "Dark Winds" is a thriller set in the 1970s on the Navajo Nation and the production is filled with Native talent. Showrunner Graham Roland (Chickasaw) and veteran director Chris Eyre (Cheyenne and Arapaho) are getting big name production credentials from Robert Redford and George R.R. Martin. They’re also navigating some touchy source material from non-Native author Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn and ...
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This month marks the 60th anniversary of Samoa’s independence from colonial rule. Self rule came to the Pacific island nation in 1962, after decades of frustration with occupation by New Zealand, and Germany before that. During those times, Samoans had little say in the administration of their own people, and their culture and language were systematically diminished. Now, Samoa thrives and works to revitalize the core elements of t...
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Chances are you won’t be limited to a single career your whole life. But there are ways to build skills and knowledge that will help you throughout your lifetime regardless where your vocation takes you. Once you leave school or enter a trade, there are some things to know about what to expect and what’s expected of you no matter what you do. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce learns what to know as you start the journey...
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More than six decades after it errantly took land away from the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the federal government is returning nearly 12,000 acres. The transaction resolves a dispute over the Minnesota tribe’s land that began when federal officials improperly interpreted a U.S. Department of Interior order and started selling off what was clearly Leech Lake land. Reversing the process was no easy feat and required a unique collabor...
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In response to meat shortages spurred by the pandemic and a consolidated meat industry, the Biden-Harris Administration is dedicating $1 billion to smaller, independent meat processing endeavors. That’s a promising boost for a handful of local, tribally operated meat processing facilities that service tribal ranchers and consumers. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce talks with agriculture advocates about efforts to lever...
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Greg Sarris’ memoir gives voice to all Indigenous people’s connection to land and culture as he recounts his own personal journey. Sarris is chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and a prolific novelist. In his new memoir, “Becoming Story: A Journey Among Seasons, Places, Trees, and Ancestors,” he gathers a series of essays about his life and his encounters with the land, the people and the important places and even...
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Wayne Newton’s legacy as a stage and screen performer is well established over his six decades in show business. He’s also a strong advocate for Native people, working for years to help his tribe gain recognition and on behalf of Native veterans. Host Alyssa London interviewed Newton in front of a live audience at the NCAIED RES conference in his hometown, Las Vegas, NV. We bring you their entire conversation and might have time fo...
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The mass shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX are a shock to our collective sense of security. In addition to those two high-profile incidents, the Gun Violence Archive lists at least 14 shootings with four or more victims in the U.S. just over the Memorial Day weekend. Solutions for such violence seem beyond the reach of law enforcement officials and elected leaders. Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce asks Native exp...
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This year’s National Senior Games just wrapped up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The games have a sizeable turnout of Native elders that compete in over 20 different events ranging from shuffleboard to track and field. For nearly 35 years the games aim at promoting athletics as well as health and wellness for elders. We talk with some of those that were involved in the games and get a glimpse of what it was like on the scene.
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Storytelling is a powerful tradition in Native communities. Now, that tradition has become a strategic tool for Native businesses and nations to navigate politics and protect their interests. Shaping your own narrative is a matter of strategy, consistency, preparation, and partnerships. We'll hear why this is important during our live broadcast from the Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Las Vegas.
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