Native Podcasts are a great way to connect with Native voices that don’t normally make it into the mainstream media. Natives have been a presence on the radio since around the time of Will Rogers in the 1930s, but podcasts bring a whole new level to the Native voices arena.
Today’s Native podcasts topics range from comic books to current events and a spectrum of conservative and progressive politics from an Indigenous perspective.
Many Native podcasts can be found on audio streaming and podcasts sites such as iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and BlogTalkRadio. The following list is just a sampling of what is buzzing around the pod-sphere. After you listen and pick out your favorites, grab your elders’ phones (unless they are still on the flip phone) and show them how to download and listen! In March major public radio podcasters were trying to get the word out about podcasts with #TryPod, let’s make April the month of Native podcasts with #TryNDNpod.
Tohono O’odham Young Voices
Tucson resident, Tina Andrew (Tohono O’odham) hosts and produces this hour-long podcast that airs at various times. She says, “I was inspired to create this podcast where I could have discussions with local Natives active in their communities and share O’odham topics and music.”
You don’t have to be Tohono O’odham to enjoy this show, topics range from activism to a two-part series on Waila (Chicken Scratch music).
Breakdances with Wolves: Indigenous Pirate Radio
Thing About Skins contributor Gyasi Ross (Blackfeet/Suquamish) hosts this podcast along with Wesley Roach (Cheyenne River Sioux) and Minty LongEarth (Santee/Creek/Choctaw). They discuss politics, pop culture and Indigenous issues through a critical consciousness lens. The show fluctuates between sobering moments about the current political climate to typical Ross hilariousness (he calls President Trump “President Dumpster Fire.”) Most episodes contain explicit language, and some content listeners may find offensive. You can find this podcast every Monday on SoundCloud and iTunes.
Native Trailblazers – Friday’s 8pm est
Native Trailblazers Online radio Show / Podcast
This podcast is probably the most prolific of the Native podcasts listed here, with almost 400 shows over the course of the past nearly seven years.The show is hosted by ICMN Arts and Entertainment editor Vincent Schilling and his wife Delores Schilling. The show highlights the lives and work of many notable and fascinating Natives and have included interviews with Buffy St Marie, Chris Eyre, Wayne Newton and much more.
The Schillings keep the two-hour conversation going with lively banter, rants and social media interaction. They also aren’t afraid to tackle tough topics, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act or comic Ralphie May’s offensive comments. Catch it live on Fridays at 8 pm Eastern and watch for an occasional specially scheduled show. It begins as a live show on BlogTalkRadio but can also be accessed in archives anytime afterward and on iTunes for free.
At her day job, Andi Murphy (Navajo) is an associate producer for the radio show Native America Calling. Toasted Sister was born from a passion for food and conversations about Natives and food. On her first episode, she shares how much food influences her work at Native America Calling. She said, “Every Monday we have our editorial meeting where we pitch ideas about future shows, and I usually come with two or three ideas for food-related shows, so much so that the executive producer put a limit on how many food shows I can produce, so here is this podcast.” She speaks with Native chefs, foodies, and folks passionate about food sovereignty. The podcast recently started and publishes bi-monthly on Thursdays.
ICMN Journalist Jenni Monet (Laguna Pueblo) hosts and produces this tightly crafted storytelling hour. She promises to bring a world of Indigenous voices from Alaska to Zambia. Her first episode shares perspectives from water protectors, tribal leaders and even the Governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum and adapted from this ICTMN article. If future episodes are anything like the first, this is one of many Native podcasts to hit the subscribe button for sure.
Michael Kickingbear (Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation) and David GreyOwl (Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama) hash out Indigenous issues, from treaty rights to disenrollment, in this podcast. Often, the co-hosts will share current news stories and debate or discuss the key points in a respectful “I hear you but I disagree” tone. They stream the episodes live, and include audience interaction. This podcast is good for a road trip as most episodes are over two hours.Catch this podcast on Fridays at 9pm Eastern.
The Cuts: With Sterlin Harjo
Filmmaker and 1491s’ member Sterlin Harjo (Seminole Nation/Muscogee) interviews notable artists and writers, including: Taika Waititi, Samantha Crain and Louise Erdrich. His interview style is conversational and includes personal stories that make for an engaging and funny hour. His first episode was with his then 13-year-old daughter because, he said, “the person that interests me most of all should be on my first episode.”
A Tribe Called Geek
Tribe Called Geek
Johnnie Jae Morris (Otoe Missouria/Choctaw) and Jack Malstrom (Akimel O’odham/Yaqui) begin their podcast with hands down the best theme song for any podcast. They’ve interviewed all of the usual suspects in the Indige-nerd geek sphere from Theo Tso, Elizabeth LaPensée and Jay Odjick. They also take on irritating stereotypes that show up in movies and TV, like the “Indian Burial Ground” trope in the Darkness. Though they don’t have a fixed schedule, they are in their second season.
Native Talk Radio Program
Native Talk Radio Program
Puyallup tribal members Cliff and Brandon Horrell co-host this podcast. The podcast leans to the conservative side and discusses the usual topics, such as sovereignty and politics, but also brings in conversations about far-out topics such as hoarding and tree frogs. They often include sound clips and occasionally sound effects, which creates a fun atmosphere. Cliff says, “We invite folks to write in, express their opinions – especially ones that disagree with us. We believe strongly in dissenting opinions because it encourages healthy discourse.” They also have a catchphrase at the beginning of each show: “grab your nets and let’s go fishing!” The show started about a year ago, and comes out weekly at various times.
Media Indigena: Weekly Indigenous current affairs program
Rick Harp (Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation) adds another weekly Native current affairs podcast to the lineup. Most of the conversations center around Aboriginal issues in Canada and are presented round table style with thoughtful commentators. For folks who aren’t from Canada, listening to the show is a great opportunity to get an education on Indigenous issues of our neighbors to the north.
He says he got into it for both professional and personal reasons: “Personally, podcasting appealed for its low barriers to entry: you don’t need a lot of fancy, expensive equipment to get started and get heard. There aren’t a ton of independent, Indigenous-owned podcasts specializing in covering and unpacking what’s current that week.” This podcast comes out on Saturday.
Native Comic Book Society Podcast
There are two podcasts devoted entirely to Natives and comic books. Native Comic Book Society’s origin story begins at the Native American Community Academy, with an after-school club that morphed into an active Facebook group and eventually a podcast.
The show is segregated into two parts, with family friendly (no explicit language) and the ‘initiated which includes swearing, and full blown about comics, characters, movies, Native actors and spoilers. It also includes fake The Onion-style underwriting like “this episode was brought to you by sovereignty, the word that no one can spell or explain.” The show is co-hosted by James Simermeyer (Coharie), Nez Evans (Navajo/Yuchee/Chippewa), Adamm Martinez, Rodrigo Rodriguez, Lee Francis IV (Laguna) and Paul Richard Rodriguez. The show released six episodes last November.
Geek Savz is released nearly every week with commentary on new movies, comics, science fiction, video games and when the occasional Native shows up on the silver screen. If you’re up for listening in on a hilarious conversation between friends on a whole host of topics, this is one of the great Native podcasts for you. They follow the proper etiquette with appropriate spoiler warnings. It’s hosted by Eli Funaro (Dakota). Isaiah Mahto (Dakota), Travis Bush (Dakota/ Kahnawake Mohawk) and Anthony Columbus (Dakota). This podcast is not for kids… unless you are planning on raising kids who swear a lot. Catch this podcast weekly on Thursdays or Fridays.