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Native America Calling

Public Radio

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


Anchorage, AK


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




4401 Lomas Blvd NE Suite C Albuquerque, NM 87110 5059992444


Wednesday, December 6, 2023 – New comedians on the block

Mainstream audiences are starting to get a taste of Native humor on television shows like Rutherford Falls and Reservation Dogs. Native stand-up comics are also receiving more recognition like Brian Bahe (Tohono O'odham, Hopi, and Navajo), who was named by the news site Vulture as a new comedian to watch out for in 2023. We’ll hear from some Native comedians about breaking into the industry and making people laugh. GUESTS Brian Bahe (Tohono O’odham, Hopi, and Navajo), comedian and writer Janelle Niles (Mi’kmaq), stand-up comedian and a creator and producer of Got Land? Joey Clift (enrolled Cowlitz Indian Tribal member), comedian and Emmy-nominated producer and television writer


Tuesday, December 5, 2023 – Making holiday food gatherings safe

It’s that time of year when we gather around the table to share a holiday dinner with family and friends for harvest feasts and winter community meals. To keep everyone safe from foodborne illnesses like Salmonella and E. Coli, home cooks must remember some simple, but important, food safety rules. Viruses and bacteria spread by contaminated food not only cause unpleasant gastrointestinal issues, foodborne illnesses can be life-threatening for elders and those with weak immune systems. We’ll talk with food safety and medical experts about safe food handling.


Monday, December 4, 2023 – The Native role in America’s War of Independence

The American Revolution is mostly portrayed as an epic struggle between the colonies and the British. But Native tribes and individuals played a significant role in the historic War of Independence. It was a difficult choice for tribes, who were neither British subjects nor supporters of the encroaching colonies. We’ll get the Native perspective on America’s first war.


Friday, December 1, 2023 — The Menu: a food memoir and buffalo management

Survival Food: North Woods Stories by a Menominee Cook, the posthumous memoir of the late educator, writer, and artist Thomas Pecore Weso, was just released. It gives readers a snapshot of his years growing up on his Wisconsin reservation in the 1960s and 1970s. He threads his memories in with the food that comes from hunted, fished, and gathered sources. Also, Congress has a chance to provide a consistent source of funding for tribes and tribal organizations for managing bison herds. Those are among the topics on The Menu, our regular feature on Indigenous food and food sovereignty hosted by Andi Murphy.


Thursday, November 30, 2023 — Tribal museums make a difference

Tribal museums are on the forefront of representing Native culture and information accurately and effectively. They also advocate for best practices when it comes to repatriation and proper display of artifacts. As Tribal Museums Day approaches, we’ll get a rundown of some museums that are making a difference in their communities.


Wednesday, November 29, 2023 – Extraordinary: 2023 Indigenous MacArthur Fellows

This year’s class of MacArthur Fellows includes three creative leaders from Native America. Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) draws community and family together through contemporary and abstract multidisciplinary art. The Haskell Indian Nations University alumni has showed her work at myriad galleries including The Whitney Biennial in New York City. Patrick Makuakāne (Kanaka Maoli) is the founder and director of Nā Lei Hulu i ka Wēkiu, a hula company and cultural organization. Makuakāne is a kumu hula, a master teacher of hula, who’s work connects and promotes contemporary Hawaiian hula, music, and culture while challenging stereotypes and taking back Hawaiian narratives. And Raven Chacon (Diné), Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, who, as an artist, explores the relationships between people, space, and sound by examining the history and theft of land. We’ll visit with a couple of this year’s MacArthur Fellows and learn more about their work.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023 – Igloos and traditional winter homes

In the cold expanse of the Arctic, igloos, those dome-shaped structures made of blocks of snow, offer a cozy shelter in the wintertime. It’s one of many types of traditional winter homes tribes from the north down to the Southwest rely on. We’ll talk with traditional builders who carry on igloo and winter house building.


Monday, November 27, 2023 – Native in the Spotlight: Tescha Hawley

Tescha Hawley’s (Aaniiih) breast cancer diagnosis started both a harrowing personal journey to fight the disease and the inspiring effort to help others facing similar health obstacles. Hawley organized funds and other resources for people on Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana who faced long drives, overnight hotel stays, and other expenses to access life-saving care. Her work grew into the Day Eagle Hope Project.


Friday, November 24, 2023 – Native bookshelf: Colonization and the Wampanoag Story by Linda Coombs

The full picture of how the earliest colonists interacted with the Native Americans they encountered is clouded by the myths constructed by those writing history. Linda Coombs (Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah) offers the perspective from the tribe that greeted the Pilgrims in Race to the Truth: Colonization and the Wampanoag Story for both young readers and adults. She is an author with extensive experience as a tribal historian. Her book offers insights about, among other things, the first Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 23, 2023 – Native Playlist: Clark Tenakhongva “Hon Muru” (Encore)

Hopi musician and community leader Clark Tenakhongva pays tribute to Bears Ears Monument on his newly released album, “Hon Muru (Bear’s Ears).” The album features flutes, gentle percussion, and vocals in Hopi that make for a contemplative listen. Thursday on Native America Calling in an encore presentation of our regular feature "Native Playlist", Shawn Spruce talks with Tenakhongva about creating the album and catches up on his recent work on environmental conservation.


Wednesday, November 22, 2023 – The disparities facing South Dakota’s Native foster children

Nearly three quarters of the children in South Dakota’s foster care system are Native American. That’s in a state with an overall Native population of 13%. And despite the requirements of federal law, a large portion of those children are placed in non-Native households, potentially severing their connections to family and culture. The lack of Native foster parents is one factor. But so is the lack of staff in tribal foster care programs. A comprehensive report by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and South Dakota Searchlight offers an in-depth look at the causes and consequences of South Dakota’s foster system disparities.


Tuesday, November 21, 2023 – The trouble finding safe drinking water

There is no more basic need than clean drinking water. That’s a need that the Santee Sioux Reservation in Nebraska has been lacking since the Environmental Protection Agency issued a no drink order in 2019. Wells on the reservation are showing levels the mineral manganese as much as 50 times higher than the agency considers safe. A long-term solution could cost upwards of $40 million. There’s no identifiable source of any funding for even a fraction of that amount.


Monday, November 20, 2023 – Building competition robots also builds STEM skills

Teams of Native junior and high school students are competing to build the best robots. They have to build their machines from scratch to accomplish tasks competition organizers set each season. Those tasks might be as simple as moving an object to a specific space, but they also might have to get around their opponents who are trying to stop them. Just like in sports, there are competitions on the regional, state, and national levels. We’ll hear from some Native robotics competitors and their coaches who are fired up about robots.


Friday, November 17, 2023 – NMAI’s Native Cinema Showcase online

This year the collection of Native films by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian includes 35 films from six different countries. A selected list of films in the Native Cinema Showcase is going online free of charge. The films include a documentary about a young Navajo woman exploring the source of environmental threats on the Navajo Nation and a dramatic account of a woman’s interaction with a Maori stranger. We’ll hear about the films and filmmakers in this new curated selection of Native-produced and Native-themed film.


Thursday, November 16, 2023 – Tribes join the fight against fatal deer disease

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disorder that affects deer, elk, and other big game animals. It has growing implications for wildlife and the people across the country who manage them. In Minnesota, tribes are teaming up with wildlife officials and researchers in a unique collaboration aimed at reducing the spread of the disease on and near tribal lands.


Wednesday, November 15, 2023 – The fight for pre-K education programs

As Head Start approaches its 60 year, federal funding for the pre-kindergarten program remains well short of what it would take to cover the number of children eligible. Now, it is among the proposed budget cuts on the table as Congress works to avoid a shutdown. There’s evidence Head Start provides a life-long boost for Native children, but its future is in doubt in Alaska and some other places where the potential need is greatest.


Tuesday, November 14, 2023 – When to know it’s time to re-brand

After reaching out to tribal leaders and citizens, the museum on the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina re-launched with a new name and purpose. It’s a major makeover that officials with the Museum of the Cherokee People say now pulls together aspects of all three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. It’s one of several Native organizations and businesses that recently saw a need to refresh their image to better reflect their changing goals and purpose. We’ll talk with museum officials as well as branding experts about taking on a change in direction.


Monday, November 13, 2023 – State recognition roadblocks for tribes

The state of Louisiana tried to update their state recognition process, but the task force appointed to do that adjourned without any decisions. At least two tribes vying for state recognition are left hanging. It's just one instance of the questions facing tribes that don't yet meet the requirements for federal recognition and are seeking official status from their state.


Friday, November 10, 2023 – Celebrating Native veterans

Parades and powwows are gearing up to honor Native American veterans around the country. Native military service dates to well before Native Americans were considered citizens of the United States. In addition to financial and educational benefits, Native people look to the military as a source of honor in line with tribal traditions. We’ll celebrate Native military service and assess how Native veterans are included when it comes to understanding cultural traditions, Friday on Native America Calling with Shawn Spruce.


Thursday, November 9, 2023 – The Native perspectives of the Israel-Hamas war

Native American activists are speaking out in solidarity with Palestine as the U.S. continues its official stance supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas. Many Native observers have long connected tribal history in this country and Palestine’s resistance against Israel’s aggressive colonial actions. Some others see parallels between tribes and Israel’s defense of sovereignty and homeland.