Episode #1: Indian and State Violence, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Real “Native New Yorkers”
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for a two-part episode. First, we will hear from Somnath Mukherji, a volunteer with Association for India’s Development, who will be briefing us on an urgent political crisis relating to the recent sentencing of Dr. Binayak Sen, a medical doctor who’s been described as India’s most famous political prisoner and “physician of the poor” who administered health care to oppressed indigenous people in the rural-tribal areas of Chattisgarh in central India. On December 24, 2010, he and two others were sentenced to life imprisonment under “anti-terrorism” laws after he reported on unlawful killings of indigenous people by the police and state-backed private militias. The allegations against him ranged from helping the Maoist insurgency, to waging war against the Indian state. In the second part of the show, we will hear about the Obama administration’s recent endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Right Wing pundits have raised concerns about this development, and, to criticize Obama’s position, they have suggested that the president plans to “give Manhattan back to Native Americans.” There is a lot of popular lore about the so-called “Purchase of Manhattan” – but what’s the real story? Evan Pritchard, author of Native New Yorkers, the Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York, will share this little known history with us. Following him, Philomena Kebec (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), staff attorney at the Indian Law Resource Center, will join the call. She will discuss the various ways that indigenous communities can mobilize around UN Declaration in support of their self-determination, and discuss the Center’s New Year’s overview of key issues and indigenous cases.
Original air-date: 1-4-11.
Episode #2: Cherokee Nation and the Freedman & the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for a two-part episode. First, we will hear from Marilyn Vann (enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation), President of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association, and elected Band Chief of the Freedmen Band of Cherokee Nation. She will discuss a Cherokee Nation District Court ruling from last week that granted tribal citizenship to approximately 2,800 Freedmen who had been denied citizenship in a 2007 amendment to the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation. She is lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the US government department of interior, Vann et al v. Norton, which deals with the enforcement of the 1866 treaty rights of the Cherokee Indian Freedmen in accordance with the Cherokee Nation constitution. In part two, I will be speaking with Sonia Smallacombe (Maramanindji from northern Australia), Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations. She will tell us about the work of the Permanent Forum, how it functions, and how indigenous communities around the world are utilizing this venue for the exercise of self-determination. Who is considered indigenous and what regions around the world are represented by officials? How does the work of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues use the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard for basic rights?
Original air-date: 1-18-11.
Episode #3: Sexual violence against indigenous women in Canada
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui and guest co-host Jessica Yee (Mohawk), founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, for an episode focusing on sexual violence against indigenous women in Canada – who is enacting it and how indigenous women and their communities are responding. We’ll hear from Gloria Lacroque (Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation) in Vancouver, British Columbia – an activist who played a big part in getting the Museum of Anthropology to pull its exhibition showing portraits of missing and murdered women. Then we will hear from Madeleine Redfern (Inuit), Mayor of Iqaluit, Nunavut. She recently worked as Executive Director with the Qikiqtani Truth Commission in Iqaluit. This episode also features the music of Stephanie Harpe (Dene) from the CD collection, “Colours of my Life,” produced by Lacroque through the Kookum Educating Traditional Acceptance Society (KETA) to promote the concept of love towards the missing and/or murdered Aboriginal women of Canada. The CD gained international attention when it became nominated for “Best Producer” and “Best Compilation” for the Native American Music Awards in 2010. KETA was founded to acknowledge and raise awareness of the issue of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women of Canada and to promote a variety of educational initiatives in order to instill stronger awareness that Aboriginal people have a strong, rich, diverse culture.
Original air-date: 2-1-11.
Episode #4: Protect Tongva Burials in Los Angeles!
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode on the case of a sacred burial site in Los Angeles that has been disrupted to make way for the “LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes at El Pueblo” Historic Monument – a multi-million dollar museum dedicated to showcasing and preserving the history of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles. The cemetery opened in 1822 and closed in 1844 when it was determined that the lot was too small. According to the Los Angeles Archdiocese and other documents, the remains were to have been removed and re-interred at Calvary Cemetery. But last October during construction for the new museum, dozens of indigenous human remains were unearthed. Three guests will join the program by telephone from Los Angeles – each of whom has been active in halting construction: Desireé Reneé Martinez (Gabrielino), Co-director of the Pimu Catalina Island Archaeological Field School; Wendy Giddens Teeter, Curator of Archaeology for the UCLA Fowler Museum; and Cindi Moar Alvitre (Tongva), a cultural/environmental educator.
Original air-date: 2-15-11.
Episode #5: A Traditional Chief in the 21st Century: Lynn Malerba and the Mohegan Tribe
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode with special guest, Lynn Malerba, the first female chief of Mohegan Tribe in almost 300 years. Learn about the role of a tribal chief in the 21st century and the legacy on which she builds. Malerba will discuss how her position interfaces with the Council of Elders and the Tribal Council of the Mohegan Tribe and the people’s challenges and aspirations. Chief Malerba has served as the Executive Director of the Tribe’s Health and Human Services department, as well as Member, Vice Chairwoman, and Chairwoman of the Tribal Council.
Original air-date: 3-1-11.
Episode #6: Stop Kawaiaha’o Church! Protect Hawaiian Burials!
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will focus on Kawaiaha’o Church in Honolulu, Hawai’i, and issues of burial desecration. Guests on the program will be Ka’anohi Kaleikini and Kamuela Kala’i—both of whom are involved in ongoing protests to stop the desecration. They were arrested on Sunday, March 13th, when they approached members attending services to remember and honor na ‘iwi kupuna (the human remains of Native Hawaiian ancestors). Officials at the church have already sanctioned the digging and removal of ‘iwi kupuna, which are currently stored in the church basement. Now their plan to remove more burials to expand the church has been sanctioned by a judge, as well as the state Department of Health. Listen in to learn about the case, the cultural principles that guide the women’s resistance, and the role the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has played as well as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Original air-date: 3-15-11.
Episode #7: Palestinian Struggle Part I
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will focus on the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous people’s struggle. How is indigeneity contested in the Israeli state project? How do the frameworks of settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide work in Zionist projects of occupation? What are the parallels between the colonization of Native North America and Palestine? What about Zionist Jewish bids for indigenous status? How might the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples be used to mobilize resistance? The show will feature community presentations made at a recent event in recognition of Israeli Apartheid Week, “Palestine and the Struggle of Indigenous Peoples” by Gale Courey Toensing (Palestinian American staff reporter for Indian Country Today Media Network) and Stanley Heller (Chairperson of the Middle East Crisis Committee).
Original air-date: 3-29-11.
Episode #8: Palestinian Struggle Part II
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for Part II of a two-part episode that focuses on the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous people’s struggle. The show will feature an interview with Mazin Qumsiyeh, an activist and Professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities in occupied Palestine who will address how indigeneity is contested in the Israeli state project, as well as how the frameworks of settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide work in the occupation. Qumsiyeh is also the author of a new book, Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment, which reviews resistance going back to the beginning of the Zionist project in the 19th century until today. This episode will also include a community presentation by Kauanui, “The Politics of Settler Colonialism,” delivered at a recent event in recognition of Israeli Apartheid Week, “Palestine and the Struggle of Indigenous Peoples.”
Original air-date: 4-5-11.
Episode #9: Hearing Radmilla Cody
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will feature interviews with Navajo vocalist, Radmilla Cody, and filmmaker Angela Webb, who produced and directed the documentary entitled “Hearing Radmilla.” The film follows Cody through her controversial reign, as the first biracial Miss Navajo, and explores her singing career and the realities that led to serious legal consequences. In addition to being an award winning musician, with four albums to her credit, Cody is now active spokesperson against domestic violence with the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence & the Navajo Nation. She created the ‘Strong Spirit’ Life is Beautiful Not Abusive’ campaign in efforts to raise awareness on and off the reservation. The show will include segments of a presentation by Cody made at the 5th annual UCLA Law Symposium on “Race and Sovereignty,” an interview with Cody, as well as an interview with Webb, the filmmaker who documented her story.
Original air-date: 5-3-11.
Episode #10: The Mana Party and Maori Electoral Politics
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will feature an interview with Maori attorney and activist, Annette Sykes (Te Arawa). Sykes has been involved in the Maori Tino Rangatiratanga movement, that is the sovereignty and self-determination movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand, for 30 years. She has been involved in a wide range of Treaty claims for Maori tribes and is currently representing some of the activists who facing trial after the so-called ‘Terrorist raids’ In Tuhoe and across the country. She will discuss the genesis of a new Maori political party, The Mana Party, co-founded and led by Hone Harawira, which formed last month.
Original air-date: 5-17-11.
Episode #11: Protect Glen Cove!
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will feature the commitment to protect Glen Cove, a sacred site in Vallejo, California slated for park development. Glen Cove – known by its indigenous Karkin Ohlone name as Sogorea Te – is a sacred burial and ceremonial ground. Tune-in for an interview with Corrina Gould (Karkin and Chochenyo Ohone), which was conducted in person at the site. Gould has been working with a wide network of people organizing to protect the site. Since 1988, the Greater Vallejo Recreation District and the City of Vajello have been pursuing the development of the site into a “fully featured” public park, which would entail “capping” known shellmound/burial areas on the site to make way for a restroom facility and parking lot.
Original air-date: 5-31-11.
Episode #12: Lumbee Indians and the Jim Crow South
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode featuring an interview with Malinda Maynor Lowry (Lumbee) about her new book, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). With more than 50,000 enrolled members, North Carolina’s Lumbee Indians are the largest Native American tribe east of the Mississippi River. Lowery documents and analyzes how, between Reconstruction and the 1950s, the Lumbee crafted and maintained a distinct identity in an era defined by racial segregation in the South and paternalistic policies for Indians throughout the nation. Lowry is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Native of Robeson County, North Carolina.
Original air-date: 6-21-11.
Episode #13: The Court of the Conqueror
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will feature author and attorney Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) who will discuss his new book, In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided. Echo-Hawk analyzes ten cases that embody or expose the roots of injustice and highlight the use of reprehensible legal doctrines, and in turn calls for a paradigm shift in American legal thinking. Each case study includes historical, contemporary, and political context from a Native American perspective, and the case’s legacy on Native America. Throughout his distinguished legal career, Echo-Hawk has worked to protect the legal, political, property, cultural, and human rights of Indian tribes and Native peoples. He serves as counsel to the Crowe & Dunlevy law firm of Oklahoma. As a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund for thirty-five years, he represented tribes and Native Americans on significant legal issues during the modern era of federal Indian law. In addition to litigation, he worked on major legislation, such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and federal religious freedom legislation. He is a prolific writer whose books include the award-winning Battlefields and Burial Grounds.
Original air-date: 7-5-11.
Episode #14: The Audacity of Hope: Ending the Blockade on Gaza
Join your host J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will feature Gale Courey Toensing who will discuss her recent experience aboard The Audacity of Hope—the U.S. Boat to Gaza that set sail from Greece to join the international Freedom Flotilla II. Toensing and the other courageous passengers joined people from over 20 countries to break the blockade of Gaza, but the Greek government intercepted the U.S. Boat and many others. Listen in to hear her account of what transpired when Greek commandos stopped the boat in progress. Toensing is a Palestinian American journalist who writes for Indian Country Today Media Network, covering the northeast woodlands tribes and national issues. Before joining ICTMN, she worked for a dozen years as a general assignment reporter for the Waterbury Republican American newspaper. She is a member of the National Arab American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association. Toensing also serves on the Middle East Crisis Committee, http://thestruggle.org, a nonprofit organization in Connecticut that sponsors lecturers in-state and sends interns to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Additionally, she edits www.thecornerreport.com, which is dedicated to posting news about the Middle East that doesn’t appear in the mainstream media.
Original air-date: 7-19-11.
Episode #15: Blackfire
Join your host J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode with two members of BLACKFIRE – Clayson Benally and Jeneda Benally (Navajo) – a Native American, Punk-Rock and “Alter-Native” music band comprised of three siblings: Jeneda, Clayson and Klee Benally—born on Black Mesa in the Navajo Nation. Blackfire’s music bears strong socio-political messages regarding government oppression, relocation of indigenous peoples, genocide, domestic violence, environmental destruction, and human rights. Blackfire is internationally acclaimed and has a strong grassroots following around the world owing to their frequent touring of Europe, the U.S. Canada and Mexico for over two decades. In 2007, Blackfire released their highly-anticipated double disk concept album entitled, “[Silence] is a Weapon” produced by Ed Stasium who also backed the Ramones, Living Color, and the Talking Heads. Disk one features 12 blasts of Blackfire’s unique brand of label defying high-energy, social-political music while Disk two comprises a special selection of 12 traditional Dine’ (Navajo) songs. The band was awarded “Record of the Year” & “Native Heart” at the 2008 Native American Music Awards. In the recent past, Blackfire has been awarded the Native American Music Awards “Group of the Year” for their “Woody Guthrie Singles” recording, and “Best Pop/Rock Album for their full length release, “One Nation Under.” Most recently, Blackfire’s music has recently been featured on “What’s new Scooby Doo: New Mexico, Old Monster”, a tribute album to The Ramones. Blackfire only plays all ages venues, whether concerts, festivals or clubs. Additionally, they conduct many workshops and lectures on youth empowerment, the protection of sacred sites, indigenous action, and media justice.
Original air-date: 8-2-11.
Episode #16: Protecting Palestinian Burials
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui On Tuesday’s show, August 16, 2011, I will be interviewing Maria LaHood, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies in the Department of History at Columbia University. They will be discussing an urgent case involving the construction of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance atop the oldest Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem and put in context vis-à-vis the indigenous Palestinian struggle under illegal occupation and settler colonialism. In late June of this year, Israeli bulldozers entered the part of the ancient Mamilla Cemetery that remained intact to destroy and dispose of nearly 100 grave markers, both ancient and renovated. The Center for Constitutional Rights and other groups have filed a petition on behalf of the Palestinian descendants of those buried in the cemetery. Khalidi is one of those descendants, as well as author of six books, including Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009); The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004); and Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1997; reissued 2010), and author of over a hundred articles on Middle Eastern history. The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Original air-date: 8-16-11.
Episode #17: Protect Mauna Kea!
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui On Tuesday’s show, August 30, 2011, tune-in for an interview with three activists struggling to protect Mauna Kea, the sacred summit atop the island of Hawai`i. My guests will discuss the current battle over telescope expansion through the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project being sponsored by the University of Hawai`i. The cultural and spiritual significance of the mountain is at the center of the debate, as is desecration. At this time, the Hawai`i Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) is evaluating the contested case hearing on the Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) to build the new telescope. I will be speaking with three of the six petitioners: Clarence Kukauakahi Ching, a retired attorney and former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee who is now a subsistence farmer; Kealoha Pisciotta, a native Hawaiian religious practitioner who is President of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou; and Marti Townsend, program director and staff attorney of Kahea: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance.
Original air-date: 8-30-11.
Episode #18: The Struggle Over Cherokee Identity in the 21st Century
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui On Tuesday’s show, September 20, 2011, tune-in for an interview with Circe Sturm (Mississippi Choctaw descendant) who will discuss her new book, Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the 21st Century (SAR Press, 2011). Sturm examines Cherokee identity politics and the phenomenon of racial shifting. She explores the social and cultural values that lie behind this phenomenon and delves into the motivations of these individuals who find deep personal and collective meaning in reclaiming (or simply claiming) Indianness. Sturm teaches at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and co-Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies program. Her first book, Blood Politics: Race, Culture and Identity in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (California, 2002), explores issues of race, culture, nation and citizenship in Cherokee Country, particularly as they are expressed through the idiom of “blood.” Recently, Sturm has turned her attention to related debates about indigenous reclamation, tribal recognition and sovereignty—all themes in her new book. Original air-date: 9-20-11.
Episode #19: Stop Keystone XL Pipeline!
Join your host, J Kēhaulani Kauanui for a focus on indigenous mobilization to stop the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would transport 700,000 barrels of synthetic crude oil each day from Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada to Texas oil refineries. Construction of the 1,661-mile pipeline would facilitate a massive expansion with increased pollution, stress on water resources, and greenhouse gas emissions. Indigenous communities downstream from Tar Sands are most threatened by the impacts of upstream water usage and pollution, and the impacts of climate change and global warming. Guests on the show: Deborah White Plume (Oglala Lakota), activist, author, and artist from Pine Ridge South Dakota, and Marty Cobenais (Red Lake Ojibwe), Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network who coordinates the campaign against the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Original air-date: 10-4-11.
Episode #20: What’s in a Name? Indigenous Peoples and “Occupy” Wall Street
Join your host J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that will focus on critical indigenous engagements and participation with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demonstrations. The program will include interviews with several guests: Joanne Barker (Lenape nation of eastern Oklahoma); Farrett (Cree) and Charles Whalen (Oglala Lakota); Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Cheyenne River Lakota); and Steven Newcomb (Lenape and Shawnee) who will speak to the indigenous history of Wall Street, which was built on Lenape tribal territory, and the terms of domination and potentials for decolonization. Native activists have questioned how successful OWS can be given the problematic language of “occupation” and absence of meaningful acknowledgement and redress of the issue of the continued occupation of native lands. As John Paul Montano (Nishnaabe) asserted in, “An Open Letter to the Occupy Wall Street Activists” from September 22, 2011, he read the OWS statement hoping and believing that “enlightened folks fighting for justice and equality and an end to imperialism…” would make mention of the fact that the very land upon which they are protesting does not belong to them—that they are guests upon that stolen indigenous land. And, as Jessica Yee (Mohawk) put it in her column, “OCCUPY WALL STREET: The Game of Colonialism and further nationalism to be decolonized from the ‘Left’” (published on racialicious.com), “Colonialism also leads to capitalism, globalization, and industrialization. How can we truly end capitalism without ending colonialism?” In response to these and other interventions, some activists holding their own OWS demonstrations in other cities such as Boston, Denver, and Austin have passed statements of recognition of and solidarity with indigenous peoples.
Original air-date: 10-18-11.
Episode #21: Independent Indigenous Media
Join your host J Kēhaulani Kauanui for a focus on Indigenous Media what the stakes of working in independent media (outside of governmental structures) are for Indigenous media. The show will feature recent presentations by Paul DeMain (Oneida) and Karla Palma (Mapuche) who participated in an Indigenous Media Roundtable event under an Initiative of the Center for Advanced Study on “Sovereignty and Autonomy in the Western Hemisphere” at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign on November 2, 2011. The event was organized by Robert Warrior and Fred Hoxie, and sponsored by American Indian Studies and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Paul DeMain (Oneida) is the founder and CEO of Indian Country Communications, a reservation-based media company that produces Indian Country TV and News from Indian Country. DeMain is a former president of the Native American Journalists Association. In 2002, NAHA awarded DeMain its Wassaja Award, the association’s highest honor, for his reporting on the imprisonment of Leonard Peltier and the murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Karla Palma (Mapuche) is a journalist who has worked in Chilean nongovernmental organizations in the development of participatory media content. She helped develop the Human Rights Reports in Chile, a documentary highlighting grassroots citizens’ participation in state administration. She is currently a graduate student in the Institute for Communications Research at the University of Illinois and is also a radio host at Radio Triple R (Independent Radio Center, Urbana-Champaign).
Original air-date: 11-15-11.
Episode #22: Wampanoag Identity
Join your host J Kēhaulani Kauanui for an episode that focuses on Wampanoag Tribal Identity. The show includes a presentation made by Eva Blake (Assonet Wampanoag), a member of the Assonet Wampanoag tribe who discusses contemporary tribal identity issues. She has served as past secretary of the The Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) Language Reclamation Project (co-founded by Jessie Little Doe) and has served the program in other ways for a decade. She also works for the Massachusetts Native American Speakers Bureau.
Original air-date: 11-29-11
Episode #23: Stop the Desecration! The Ongoing Struggles over Rattle Snake Island and the Burials at Kawaiaha`o Church
Join your host J Kēhaulani Kauanui for a two part episode that will focus on protests relating to two desecration cases. Part I will feature an interview with James BrownEagle, traditional leader of the Elem Pomo Tribe, to address the current struggle to protect Rattle Snake Island, which is located in Lake County, California. On December 17, 2011 over 100 community members marched from the Oakland Public Library’s lakeside branch to the Piedmont mansion of John Nady, the owner of Nady Systems Inc., to protest the his plans to build vacation homes at the spiritual center, burial and cremation ground of the Elem Pomo community. BrownEagle will speak to how this contemporary case relates to the history of California genocidal policy of tribal nations in the region and how the land title Nady claims is clouded by state-backed land theft and fraudulent transfer. Part II will include an interview with Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) cultural worker, Kamuela Kala‘i, who focuses on the latest news from Kawaiaha‘o Church in Honolulu, Hawai`i. This portion of the show serves as a follow-up to the issue, which was covered on the program in March. Since then, officials at the church have authorized the continuous unearthing of a Native Hawaiian burial site and removal of ‘iwi kupuna (human remains), to expand the church which is happening at the present time. Tune-in to get an update on both of these urgent cases!
Original air-date: 12-20-11.