Episode #1 The Politics of the NAGRPA in New England
J. Kehaulani Kauanui interviews Dr. Marge Bruchac (Abenaki), a scholar whose research focuses on the historical erasure and cultural recovery of indigenous peoples in the Connecticut River Valley, who discusses the “unintended consequences” of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the ways in which the language of erasure have been encoded into archaeological practices and state recognition, federal recognition, federal law, in ways that make northeastern Indians appear to have vanished, or to have been disconnected from their own ancestral past. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is a Federal law passed in 1990. Among indigenous peoples in the United States, the Act is considered landmark legislation that works to restore respect to ancestors whose remains have long been considered the property of non-Native others since the legislation was grounded in recognition that alienation of human remains and items of cultural patrimony violated Native religious traditions and common-law rights to protect the dead. However, her critical work in this area asks, How does this important legislation deal with the cultural differences and distinctive histories that mark the nation’s hundreds of Native societies? Given the varied survival strategies of Native people, does the law accommodate groups whose legal statuses may differ significantly? What kinds of evidence should be accepted in repatriation decisions?
Original air-date 1-29-08
Episode #2 Tribal and Non-Native Alliance-Building
J. Kehaulani Kauanui interviews Andy Mager, a staff person at the Syracuse Peace Council and one of the founders of Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, a grassroots organization of Central New Yorkers that recognizes and supports the sovereignty of the traditional government of the Onondaga Nation. The Onondaga Nation is an Indian Nation, and a member of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee. The Nation’s present territory is south of Syracuse, New York. According to their tribal website, the Onondaga Nation is taking action to assert its legal rights to its homelands in Central New York, with the principal goal of achieving legal recognition of title to its homelands, but without suing individual land owners. Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation supports the right of native peoples to reclaim land, and advocates for fair settlement of any claims which are filed. Learn more about this organization and how it is distinctly different from the numerous anti-Indian organizations that are flourishing in this country who oppose tribal land rights and self-determination, whose anti-indigenous racism is thinly veiled behind the purported quest for “equality.”
Original air-date: 2-05-08
Episode #3 Bio-Colonialism in Hawai`i
J. Kehaulani Kauanui addresses GMOS—genetically modified organisms–with a focus on the genetic modification of life forms in Hawai`i, and how this form of biocolonialism poses many threats far beyond the islands. Hear from two special guests–both of whom join the show by telephone from Hawai`i–Dr. Lorrin Pang, a Medical Doctor who has served as a Consultant to the World Health Organization since 1985, who has been at the forefront of challenging the GMO industry in Hawai`i, and Andre Perez, a Native Hawaiian activist who speaks to the links between the fight against GMOs in Hawai`i and the struggle for Hawaiian land, sovereignty and self- determination. The genetic modification of taro, known to Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) as kalo, forces an examination of cultural issues relating to this traditional Hawaiian food staple as it is subjected to a new form of biotechnology.
Original air-date: 2-11-08
Episode #4 Beyond Conquest: Rewriting Native Connecticut
J. Kehaulani Kauanui interviews Dr. Amy Den Ouden, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she teaches courses on cultural theory, colonialism, gender and power, critical approaches to history and historiography in Native New England, contemporary political issues in Native North America, and indigenous rights and the law in global perspective. She is the author of Beyond Conquest: Native Peoples and the Struggle for History in New England, a history of Native American peoples in southern New England from the seventeenth century to the present with a focus on the complex cultural and political facets of resistance to encroachment on reservation lands. Her important work also links how the current white American scrutiny and denial of local Indian identities is a practice with a long history in southern New England, one linked to colonial notions of cultural-and ultimately “racial”-illegitimacy that emerged in the context of eighteenth-century disputes regarding Native land rights.
Original air-date: 2-19-08
Episode #5 Engaging Indigenous Critiques of Native New England History
Join your host, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, for an episode featuring selections from a recent symposium held at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, “Engaging Indigenous Critiques: Reconsidering Race, Gender and Politics in Native New England History.” The event was sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Native American Student Society at UMass Boston, in conjunction with Harvard University’s Native American Program and Plimoth Plantation sponsored. This panel discussion focused on the impact of racial hierarchy and discourses of race on Native American communities. Participants include: Dr. Amy Den Ouden, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UMass, Boston; Dr. Lisa Brooks (Abenaki), an Assistant Professor of History and Literature and of Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University; Dr. Daniel Mandell, Truman State University; Dr. Marge Bruchac (Abenaki), Tufts University; David E. Wilkins (Lumbee), Professor of American Indian Studies and Political Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; and Maurice Fox (Mashpee Wampanoag), Chair of the Commission on Indian Affairs in Massachusetts.
Original air-date: 2-26-08
Episode #6 Why Indigenous Nations Studies?
This episode features a lecture by Dr. Michael Yellow Bird (Sahnish/Arikara and Hidatsa Nations), “Why Indigenous Nations Studies? Decolonizing Plasticities in Native American Studies.” His talk was the keynote delivered at Columbia University for a conference, “Transcending Cultures, Transcending Disciplines: Native American Studies Today,” on February 21- 22, 2008. Yellow Bird is the Founder and Director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Critical and Intuitive Thinking and Associate Professor of Indigenous Nations Studies at the University of Kansas.
Original air-date: 3-04-08
Episode #7 A Native American Affairs Commission in Connecticut?
J. Kehaulani Kauanui examines legislation currently before the Connecticut state Committee on Environment: HR 5141, an Act Concerning a Commission on Native American Indian Affairs. The state of Connecticut already has state commissions such as the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, and the African-American Affairs Commission. Dozens of states across the United States have Native American Affairs Commissions, and New England is no exception with the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission, the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, and the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs. Given that Connecticut is rapidly earning a reputation for its anti-Indian hostility, many people suggest that a Commission could help turn the tide of fear, racism, and ignorance regarding the state-recognized Native Nations and other Native American residents, including the increasingly diverse population of Native Americans from tribes across the country moving here for employment and educational opportunities. This episode will feature a range of perspectives on the politics of this proposal in interviews with L. Mixashawn Rozie (Mahicanu), Mikki Anganstata (Eastern Cherokee), Sherman Paul (Maliseet), Ruth Garby Torres (Schaghticoke Tribal Nation), Trudie Lamb Richmond (Schaghticoke Tribal Nation), and Cedric Woods (Lumbee).
Original air-date: 3-11-08
Episode #8 Native Humor and the Uses of Irony in Decolonization
J. Kehaulani Kauanui interviews installation and performance artist, James Luna (Luiseno, La Jolla band of Mission Indians). His work speaks to the fraught nature of indigenous cultural politics as his art engages histories of colonialism, representation, and decolonization through the use of irony and humor. Luna was selected by the National Museum of the American Indian for the 2005 Venice Biennale for his installation-exhibit, “Emendatio,” a project that collapses time between 1834 and 2005, and the space between Italy and California. With its homage to Pablo Tac (a Luiseno Indian) who came to Rome from the San Luis Rey mission to study for the priesthood in 1834, “Emendatio” claims Venice as part of American Indian history. “Emendatio” is currently on exhibit at the George Gustav-Heye Center in New York City, which is part of the National Museum of the American Indian through April 20, 2008. Listen in to this conversation about Luna’s artistic trajectory, his process, the interventions his work intends, and what we can anticipate in the future.
Original air-date: 3-18-08
Episode #9 The Christian Roots of the Doctrine of Discovery
J. Kehaulani Kauanui interviews with one of the top legal scholars on indigenous issues, Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape), who is the indigenous law research coordinator at the Sycuan education department of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego County, California. Newcomb is the author of a newly released book, Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, which provides a provocative challenge to U.S. federal Indian law and policy. His book draws upon major findings in the theory of the human mind (cognitive theory) as a framework for challenging the presumption that the United States has any legitimate claim to “plenary power” over originally free and independent Native nations. Newcomb argues that U.S. federal Indian law and policy are premised on Old Testament narratives of the chosen people and the Promised Land, as exemplified in the 1823 Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. McIntosh that the first “Christian people” to “discover” lands inhabited by “natives, who were heathens,” have an ultimate title to dominion over these lands and peoples. Newcomb is the co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, a fellow with the American Indian Policy and Media Initiative at Buffalo State College in New York, and a columnist with the newspaper Indian Country Today.
Original air date: 3-25-08
Episode #10 Tuscarora Song and the Politics of Decolonization
J. Kehaulani Kauanui interviews with Jennifer Kreisberg live in the studio. She is Hartford-based Tuscarora woman with roots in North Carolina who defines herself as a Mother, Singer, Composer, Producer, Teacher, and Activist. Kreisberg comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through the maternal line, and has been singing since she was young. For the past 18 Years she has toured with the world-renowned trio Ulali, which was formed in 1987. Blending their strong traditional roots with contemporary musical sensibilities, which included southeast choral singing (pre-blues and gospel) and pre-Colombian (before the borders) music, Ulali redefined Native American Music. Kreisberg is now a solo artist who has shared the stage with performers such as Buffy Saint-Marie, Bonnie Raitt, and Jackson Browne. In 2007, she was among a diverse group of independent musicians named as winners of the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards. Additionally, Kreisberg was awarded a Genie (Canadian Oscar), and a NAMMY (Native American Music Award).
Original air date: 4-1-08
Episode #11 Aboriginal Australia and Settler Colonialism
Join your host, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, for a live in-studio interview with Dr. Aileen Moreton-Robinson (Quandamooka), Professor of Indigenous Studies at Queensland University of Technology. She is a Geonpul woman from Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), Quandamooka First Nation (Moreton Bay) in Queensland, Australia. Moreton-Robinson has advocated for Indigenous rights at local, state, national and international levels and worked for a number of Indigenous organizations. Moreton-Robinson’s activist and scholarly work theorizes settler colonialism and white possession in Australia. She is author of Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism; Whitening Race: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism; as well as Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters. She will discuss contemporary indigenous politics in Australia, especially in light of the Prime Minister’s recent Apology to Aboriginal peoples, and the Australian government’s recent military invasion of the Northern Territory in the name of “protecting” Aboriginal children.
Original air date: 4-15-08
Episode #12 Chamorro Self-determination and the US Colony of Guam
J. Kehaulani Kauanui examines Chamorro self-determination in the US colony Guam and throughout the Chamorro diaspora. Guam is an island that is part of the chain of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific Ocean. It is an organized unincorporated territory of the United States-one of five US colonial territories with established civilian government. Guam is listed on the UN list of non-self-governing territories; the island and her people are still eligible to decolonize from the USA under international law. This episode will include interviews with three different Chamorro activists: Julian Aguon (Chamorro) is a writer, human rights activist and speaker throughout the Asia and the Pacific region. He is the author of Just Left of the Setting Sun (2005), The Fire This Time: Essays on Life Under US Occupation (2006), and the just-released What We Bury At Night: Disposable Humanity (2008). He is currently a law student at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and a fellow with the East West Center. Michael Lujan Bevacqua (Chamorro) is PhD student in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego, the editor of the Chamorro zine, Minaghet, and a co-founder of the Chamorro activist organization, Famoksaiyan. Sabina Flores Perez (Chamorro) is a cultural activist in Guam and in the Bay Area who has helped organize several the trips of several Chamorro delegations to testify before the United Nations in New York.
Original air date: 4-22-08
Episode #13 American Indians and US Federal Law
Join your host, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, for an interview with Professor Bruce Duthu (Houma), an internationally recognized scholar on Native American issues, including tribal sovereignty and federal recognition of Indian tribes. Duthu is an enrolled member of the Houma Tribe of Louisiana. We discuss his new book, American Indians and the Law (Viking Press 2008), which is part of The Penguin Library of American Indian History series. He teaches at Vermont Law School, where he been a faculty member since 1991, and will take up a professorial position at Dartmouth College in fall 2008.
Original airdate: 4-29-08
Episode #14: Exhibiting Race and Indigeneity
Explore the exhibit opening of “Race: Are We So Different?” at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. The exhibition is part of a larger public education project from the American Anthropological Association and is funded by the Ford Foundation and the National Science foundation. The exhibit, began its journey at the Science Museum of Minnesota, which helped to develop it, and also has appeared at the Charles H. right Museum of African American History in Detroit. Images and objects from the MPMRC’s collections have been incorporated into the visiting exhibit. Six text panels illustrated predominantly with images from the museums Popular Culture Collection for a section titled, “Race Matters in Indian New England,” and objects from the same collection are also displayed. Interviews with: Kimberly Hatcher-White (Mashantucket Pequot), Executive Director of the Museum; Dr. Kevin A. McBride, Director of Research; Trudie Lamb Richmond (Schaghticoke), Director of Public Programs; Project Director, Russell Handsman; Dr. Alyssa Mt, Pleasant (Tuscorora), Assistant Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University; and Dr. Sarah Croucher, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wesleyan University.
Episode #15: Winona LaDuke, Indigenous Thinking about a Post Carbon, Post Empire Economy”
This program features a talk by Winona LaDuke (Anishinabe), “Indigenous Thinking about a Post Carbon, Post Empire Economy” delivered for the 2008 student welcome at Wesleyan University to inaugurate the new academic year. Winona LaDuke is Anishinabe from the Makwa Dodaem (Bear Clan) of the Mississippi Band of the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. LaDuke is the author of the novel, Last Standing Woman (1997), the non-fiction book, All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999), and Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005), a book about traditional beliefs and practices. She is the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, an organization she co-founded with Indigo Girls in 1993. The Native-led organization’s mission is “to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and Indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard.”
Original air-date: 9-9-08. This is Part One of a two-part episode. See below for the interview with LaDuke.
Episode #16: Interview with Winona LaDuke
Join your host, Dr. J. Kehaulani Kauanui for an interview with Winona LaDuke (Anishinabe) – an internationally respected Native American and environmental activist who began speaking about these issues at an early age who continues to devote herself to Native and environmental concerns. LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg who lives and works on the White Earth Reservations, and is the mother of three children. As Program Director of the Honor the Earth Fund, she works on a national level to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups. She also works as Founding Director for White Earth Land Recovery Project. The mission of the White Earth Land Recovery Project is to facilitate recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation, while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land stewardship, language fluency, community development, and strengthening indigenous spiritual and cultural heritage. LaDuke also served as Ralph Nader’s vice-presidential running mate on the Green Party ticket in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections.
Original air-date: 9-23-08. This is Part Two of a two-part episode. Part-one featured a lecture by LaDuke delivered at Wesleyan University, “Indigenous Thinking about a Post Carbon, Post Empire Economy.” See above Show #2.
Episode #17: Revoke the 1493 papal bull “Inter Caetera”! Columbus Day, Burial Desecration, and Genocide
Join your host, J. Kehaulani Kauanui for an episode that will focus on the politics of Columbus Day and the Papal Bull, “Inter Caetera,” of 1493 . This decree was issued by Pope Alexander IV to Christopher Columbus by the Roman Catholic Church on his second voyage to the Americas along with the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, which sought to establish Christian dominion over the world and called for the subjugation of non-Christian peoples and seizure of their lands. The decree, which granted rights to land throughout North and South America to Spain, under girds much of international law today, as well as the Doctrine of Discovery that is enshrined in US federal Indian policy. This program includes interviews with Tony Castanha – a Jibaro activist with indigenous roots in Puerto Rico, who organized the event, and is project director of the indigenous peoples delegation that went to the Vatican in 2000 calling for the revocation of the 1493 papal bull “Inter Caetera.” As part of an anti-Columbus Day event honoring Indigenous Peoples resistance, Castanha organized an 11th annual Papal Bull burning in Hawai`i. This year’s event on October 12, 2008 took place in front of the Walmart in Honolulu to bring attention to the desecration of Native Hawaiian remains in a legal suit involving the construction of the store. Also hear from Paulette Ka`anohi Kaleikini who is a cultural descendant laying claim to these ancestral remains that are currently stored in boxes under the ramp of the store due to a lawsuit contesting their re-internment.
Original air-date: 10-14-08
Episode #18: Margo Taméz and the Lipan Apache Women Defense
Join your host, J. Kehaulani Kauanui for an interview with warrior woman Margo Taméz (Lipan Apache and Jumano-Apache) co-founder of the Lipan Apache Women Defense/Strength – an Indigenous People’s Organization of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that was formed to protect sacred sites, burial grounds, archaeological resources, ecological bio-diversity, and way of life of the indigenous people of the Lower Rio Grande, North America. Margo Taméz and her mother, Eloisa G. Taméz, founded the group in response to the US Department of Homeland Security’s attempt to force their surrender of hereditary lands in El Calaboz, Texas for the US/Mexico border wall. The US department of Homeland Security had voided over 35 federal laws, including environmental laws and laws protecting American Indian cultural and burial places. However, South Texas Apache women took the lead, in December 2007 in organizing the most persistent, and to date most successful, constitutional law case against the United States Army, US Customs Border Patrol and the US Department of Homeland Security. On October 22, 2008, Taméz delivered testimony in Washington, DC before the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter American Commission on Human Rights. The Commission examines and monitors compliance by member States of the OAS, including the US, with human rights obligations established in international law. Taméz will explain to us how this crisis came about and how she is working to protect the lands of her people from being divided in a way that result in relocation-a forced Indian removal that would constitute a 21st century genocide.
Original air-date: 10-28-08.
Episode #19: Rigoberta Menchú Tum
Tune in this week, Tuesday, November 11th from 4-5pm for an episode of Indigenous Politics that features a lecture recently delivered by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum (Quiche-Mayan) at Quinnipiac University. Menchú is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. She has dedicated her life to organizing resistance to oppression in Guatemala and advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples. Menchú was born to a Mayan peasant family and raised in the Quiche culture in Guatemala. Reform work by her and her family aroused opposition leading to the arrest, torture and death of her parents and brother. Menchú was prominent in a 1980 strike the Committee of the Peasant Union organized for better conditions for farm workers on the Pacific Coast. She later joined the radical 31st of January Popular Front to educate the Indian peasant population in resistance to massive military oppression. Menchú co-founded The Nobel Women’s Initiative in 2006 to support efforts for women’s rights. She formed the indigenous political party Encuentro por Guatemala in 2007 and ran for president of Guatemala that year. Menchú offers firsthand accounts about the war between the Guatemalan military and the Mayan population in the 1983 documentary “When the Mountains Tremble.” She has written two books about her life: I, Rigoberta Menchú in 1984, and Crossing Borders in 1998, both published by Verso Books.
Original air-date: 11-11-08
Episode #20: Wilma Mankiller on Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights
On Tuesday’s show, December 2nd, hear a talk recently delivered by Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee) at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Her presentation was part of a daylong conference, “The Declaration of Human Rights 60 Years Later: A Look at Indigenous and Gender Issues.” Mankiller served as the first woman principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, who served from 1985 to 1995. She has authored two books: Every Day is a Good Day, published by Fulcrum Publishing in 2004, and Mankiller: A Chief and Her People, published by St. Martin’s Press in 1993.
Original air-date: 12-2-08