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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


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. GUESTS Solomon Awa (Inuk), Mayor of Iqaluit and elder Jesse Jackson (Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians), Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians education programs officer Brenner Billy (Choctaw), public programs manager at the Choctaw Cultural Center


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.


Wednesday, November 8, 2023 – Native Playlist: Clark Tenakhongva “Hon Muru”

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. Wednesday on Native America Calling in our regular feature "Native Playlist", Shawn Spruce talks with Tenakhongva about creating the album and catch up on his recent work on environmental conservation.


Tuesday, November 7, 2023 – Buffy Sainte-Marie: the weight of the truth

After a stellar, groundbreaking career as a musician and advocate for Indigenous people and causes, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s stated connections to any tribe in Canada or the U.S. appear to be completely made up. The revelations in an investigation by the CBC’s The Fifth Estate are a heartbreaking disappointment to her fans who saw her as a trailblazer in an industry with so little positive Native representation. At least one Indigenous group is calling for a recent Juno Award for best album to be rescinded. Others like the Piapot First Nation, the Cree tribe Sainte-Marie identified with for more than a half century, stand behind her. Does she deserve complete outrage? Or can we, as Cree author Michelle Good asks, “remember the power that was there regardless of her deception?”


Monday, November 6, 2023 – Tribes resolve land dispute 150 years in the making

Four northern tribes won a historic $59 million settlement with the federal government after a legal battle dating back three decades. The substance of the Pembina Tribes’ lawsuit is rooted in a treaty in the mid-19th Century. We’ll talk about what it takes to hold the United States accountable for dishonorable actions and the slow, difficult process to finally prevail against the odds.


Friday, November 3, 2023 – The next generation of Indigenous fire practitioners

The increase in unprecedented damage from wildfires knows no boundaries and International Indigenous fire management experts see global participation as a solution. At the heart of their work is recognition that climate change is a major contributing factor. They’re bringing traditional fire knowledge to a new generation who are inheriting some of the worst conditions for destructive wildfires in history. We’ll talk with some of those gathered for this year’s Indigenous Peoples Burning Workshop.


Thursday, November 2, 2023 – Alaska at a subsistence fishing crossroads

Since time immemorial, the Kuskokwim River in Southwest Alaska has fed Native families. Now, after years of failed salmon runs, Native families are confronting the potential loss of this vital resource. At the same time they are caught in the middle of a legal battle between the federal government and the state over how best to manage fishing in rivers that flow through both jurisdictions. The Alaska Federation of Natives just joined several tribal groups, taking he federal government’s side in the fight. We’ll look at what’s at stake for Alaska Native residents in this latest chapter in the evolving fight over subsistence fishing.


Wednesday, November 1, 2023 – The challenges of enforcing ICWA

A non-Native woman in Alaska refuses to abide by a tribal court order to turn an Alaska Native foster child over to the girl’s family members. It’s a blatant disregard of tribal sovereignty even after a notable re-affirmation of the Indian Child Welfare Act by the U.S. Supreme Court. The woman took custody of the child, named Chanel, at the request of the girl’s father, right before he was convicted of murdering Chanel’s mother during a domestic dispute. We’ll look at that case, as well as efforts to bolster ICWA compliance elsewhere.