Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Indigenerd Wire, wherein we shine a spotlight on the indigenous people in pop culture. This column will feature the people, shows, movies, art and books that celebrate the progress of indigenous perspectives in mainstream pop culture.
“There’s an overall lack of Native representation in all forms — newspapers, movies. Whether or not we choose to acknowledge that, media matters and representation matters. If we never see ourselves on screen or hear ourselves on the radio or see our voices in print, we just assume our voices are not important.” – Gyasi Ross, The Stranger
Podcasts are a big thing right now. From True crime, to food, to politics, it seems like everyone has something to say. Indigenous people are no different, but there is difference in the perspective. With hundreds of indigenous cultures not one native podcast is like the other. Podcasts take a lot of time and money as well. With the many Indigenous podcasts out there, there are just a handful that are producing shows regularly.
Indigenous podcasts are a great way to connect with the Indigenous perspective. A lot of these shows provide interviews with scholars, experts, and your average Joes who have opinions, research, or reviews on everything from politics, movies, books, sex, and food…just to name a few. The Indigenerd Wire gets geeky about almost everything. A lot of Indigenous podcasts deal with some heavy content and political issues. But let’s face it…to be Indigenous is to be political. This week’s GGA Indigenerd Wire focuses on five Indigenous podcasts currently in production that cover a lot of interests.
All My Relations
Welcome! All My Relations is a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore our relationships— relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another. Each episode invites guests to delve into a different topic facing Native American peoples today. We keep it real, play some games, laugh a lot, and even cry sometimes. We invite you to join us!
All My Relations is fairly new. This podcasts focuses on the relationships among a wide spectrum of topics…because it’s all related. From food to religion to fashion, Dr. Adrienne Keene and Matika Wilbur give a perspective from two different Indigenous cultures and upbringings. Matika grew up in her tribal community. Adrienne grew up in the city. Both have learned as much as they can about their families and tribal traditions and have unique and sometimes differing views about the world.
Though they’ve only recorded a few episodes, the talk is very in depth and engaging. And it is presented in such a way that any non-Indigenous listener would be able to follow. You can find All My Relations at Instagram, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.
Native America Calling
A live call-in program, engaging noted guests and listeners in a thought-provoking national conversation from a Native perspective. Hosted by Tara Gatewood (Isleta).
Native America Calling also covers a wide spectrum of topics, but mostly the current issues that Indigenous people face. From Standing Rock, to emerging authors and education, the program features great interviews, Indigenous news, and captivating topics.
If you want to know what’s going on in Indian Country, this is a great place to start. I enjoy the stories of everyday people and the interviews with Indian Country celebrities who are working to change the image of Indigenous people. This program is recorded weekly and makes Indigenous issues the focal point of conversation. The show is live so listeners can call in and ask questions during the interview portion.
I like this podcast because it includes the all of the voices and issues of Indigenous peoples. It gives the best modern representation of who Indigenous people are today. You can find Native American Calling with Tara Gatewood at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher.
Breakdances with Wolves, Indigenous Pirate Radio
Breakdances With Wolves is Gyasi Ross, Wesley Roach and Minty LongEarth, a few Natives with opinions and a platform.
Hosted by Gyasi Ross (Blackfeet and Suquamish Nations), Wesley Roach (Lakota) and Minty LongEarth (Santee, Creek and Choctaw), the show is based out of Seattle. This is different because it is from an Urban Native perspective. Despite the differences in locale, all hosts know the struggle of being invisible in the mainstream culture.
This podcast does have a different tone. I can hear the urban-ness in the voices of the hosts, the language or slang they use to discuss their topics and the intro and background music. Being somewhat of an Urban Native myself, this podcast is comfortable. They are able to blend tradition with contemporary very well. I like this podcast because even though they are Urban, they know what’s happening in all of Indian Country. And they reflect on how world issues also affect Indian Country. Plus there’s a lot of humor incorporated in the show. You can find Breakdances with Wolves, Indigenous Pirate Radio at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
Toasted Sister Podcast
Toasted Sister is radio about Native American food because it came a long way. Traditional indigenous foodways were lost, found, redefined and modernized in the last few hundred years. And here it is today, in the hands of Native chefs and foodies who work to keep their traditional flavors and ingredients alive. I’m Andi Murphy and I’m talking to as many Indigenous foodies as I can.
If you know any Natives, you know we are big fans of food. Prior to colonization, tribes had different diets based on their region. A movement has begun to revitalize pre-colonization food practices. Indigenous chefs are looking to more natural ways of cooking and bringing back recipes of their ancestors. Some of the chefs have written books, incorporating traditional meals. Others have opened restaurants featuring both traditional and contemporary food of their tribes.
This podcast is a great listen because of how these chefs and foodies have found their way back to a traditional way of eating. I like hearing how they discovered these foods from their families and are passing on the knowledge. As delicious as it is, frybread is not a traditional Indigenous food. Basically anything made with flour and sugar isn’t traditional. I like this podcast because I get to learn how colonization affected the health of Indigenous people and how Natives are reclaiming our foods! And it makes me hungry.
Toasted Sister is hosted by Andi Murphy, Navajo from Albuquerque and producer of the Native America Calling podcast. You can find Toasted Sister at Facebook, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.
Geek Savz Podcast
Geek Savz- The Native Nerds Podcast. Where Natives Nerd out on Geek Culture. We rant about Comic Book Movies, Sci Fi, Horror, Super Heroes anything cool! We also react to Native Americans in pop culture with a little indigenous perspective while speaking to your inner geek.
I was searching for pop culture podcasts for this GGA Indigenerd Wire article. Though most of these podcasts feature some pop culture references, this was the only podcast I found that was solely dedicated to pop culture. It should be no surprise that Indigenous people are nerdy and geeky about pop culture. Indige-nerds, Indige-geeks, or whatever you want to call us get just as passionate about the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate. So I was excited to find this podcast because they are talking about the shows, movies, games, etc. that I watch and write about!
The podcast is hosted by E-Dub, Izzy and Fat T, all Dakota, the guys self identify as “Urban Indian Nerds” from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Like other pop culture podcasts I’ve heard, they give their opinions about television shows, movies, and games that are popular among the mainstream entertainment. They also incorporate references to Native American characters and actors who show up from time to time in these stories. Though we aren’t widely represented in mainstream pop culture we do have our heroes. You can find Geek Savz Podcast at Facebook, Spotify, and Stitcher.
It’s rare for our voices to be heard on platforms that can be heard around the world. The most charismatic of us have taken up the mantle to give an Indigenous perspective to just about everything. In many ways, we are all the same and have the same “human” response to the issues that affect our world. In other ways, the Indigenous people have insight that has been passed along from generation to generation that just might bring the world a little peace of mind. These podcasts are just a small, and highly effective way we can finally have our say. Hmmmm…maybe GGA Indigenerd Wire should be a podcast…
I might be a little biased about Indigenous podcasts. I have been lucky enough to find a platform to bring these shows and other topics to an audience that might not otherwise have known about them. And I hope you give these shows a chance and listen. There are more Indigenous podcasts that cover a multitude of topics. You can find some of those on Native Voice One and other podcast platforms. Philámayayapi (‘I thank you all’ in Lakota) for reading.
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