Indigenous creativity spreads further than beads and ribbons.
Amid a renaissance of Indigenous people in creative and political positions across Turtle Island, many of them have took to picking up the microphone to broadcast their own stories in podcast form.
With the potential to reach large audiences, podcasts are an incredibly accessible 21st-century version of the oral storytelling that has been and continues to be the backbone of oral tradition the main component in preserving traditional beliefs and values.
Ahead are five of the top podcasts hosted by indigenous women that put their voices and minds to work.
5. All My Relations:
Photographer Matika Wilbur, Swinomish and Tulalip, and academic Adrienne Keene, Cherokee Nation, discuss what it means to be Indigenous in 2019, from the point of view of two Indigenous feminists. Recording from the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, they invite a roster of super-smart and relatable experts to join them on topics like native mascots, Indigenous food and feeding the spirit, sexuality, and whether DNA test results should be linked to identity. One of their highlights was a podcast episode that lined breast feeding to food sovereignty.
4. Missing and Murdered:
Investigative journalist Connie Walker recounts stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The podcast has picked up many awards, including the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism, a Canadian Screen Award, the inaugural award for best serialized story at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago, and was named one of the Best Podcasts of 2018 by Apple Canada.
3. This Land:
A 1999 murder case of a Muskogee Creek Nation man in Oklahoma is the entry point for an investigation into a Supreme Court battle over whether nearly half the land of Oklahoma is tribal territory. This podcast about tribal land, broken promises and murder, is on the Crooked Media platform—which also hosts political podcast Pod Save America, as well as pop culture-focused Keep It—and is hosted by Cherokee nation journalist Rebecca Nagle.
CBC Journalist Rosanna Deerchild journeys to Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, to get into the deeper stories, from cultural tours of Black and Indigenous communities on the East Coast, to attending the Indigenous Comic Con in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1. Secret Life of Canada:
Co-hosts Falen Johnson from Six Nations and Leah Simone Bowen bring their storytelling skills to aspects of Canadian history that definitely weren’t covered in old classroom textbooks. They present a wealth of research in an engaging manner — using music evoking the time period they’re in and dramatic readings of historical letters. They started to record in a blanket fort in Bowen’s living room until the CBC picked them up in August, and the duo are now in a proper studio.