Welcome! All My Relations is a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore our relationships— relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another. Each episode invites guests to delve into a different topic facing Native American peoples today. We keep it real, play some games, laugh a lot, and even cry sometimes. We invite you to join us!
Here's the Latest Episode from All My Relations Podcast:
Hundreds of years ago when colonizers instituted the idea of “blood quantum” as a means of reducing the Native population, our Native ancestors probably did not envision a modern Indigenous world of Tinder, multi-billion dollar tribal enterprises and per cap payments, or a world where who we love might determine if our children are considered Indigenous at all. Last episode we talked about Blood Quantum through history, law, science, and policy. In this episode, we’ll approach the topic on a more personal level--how does it affect our love lives? Join Matika and Adrienne as they talk with our production team members Brooke and Nita about how we’ve navigated finding partners, racist federal/tribal policy, and how we’ve had no choice but to consider how blood quantum affects our children, our families, and our nations.
This is an emotional episode, we talk about a lot of really hard and personal things things--from enrollment and belonging, to cancer and to sexual assault. So we want to give you a heads up that this might be an episode you need to be emotionally ready for, and might want to give yourself the space to smudge or decompress after. But it’s also us--so we promise to maintain the chuckle.
We’re also at the end of Season One! We’d especially like to thank Brooke and Nita for weighing in on this episode, and for all of their hard work on Season One. This couldn’t and wouldn’t be possible without the help of our good friend Teo Shantz, who does all the production, engineering, and editing for this project. Also Ciara Sana, who creates the most beautiful episode art for us. We also want to thank the amazing Katherine Paul aka Black Belt Eagle Scout for the music on this episode, and we especially want to thank you. Thank you for listening. We love you! We’ll be back soon.
The foundational narrative we teach our children about Columbus is rooted in myth and falsity. Instead of teaching our real Native American history, or our real humanity, we’ve settled for American mythology. When we celebrate Columbus, we are blindly supporting indigenous erasure and perpetuating the romantic, dire, insatiable story of extinction. It’s the story that dilutes Native American genocide, and celebrates notions of pioneering, settlement, and manifest destiny. These myths reject indigenous intelligence, indigenous land, indigenous humanity, and dare we say, indigenous futures. So instead, today is a day to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples, and it is an important part of our movement— it centers our stories and therefore our resiliency:
“Every Native American is a survivor, an anomaly, a surprise on earth. We were all slated for extinction before the march of progress. But surprise, we are progress. “ — Louise Erdrich, from First Person, First Peoples
In the spirit of celebration, we invite you to listen to Adrienne and Matika discuss the complexity of this issue on our podcast All My Relations; and we encourage you to share it with your friends. If you live in one of 7 states or 130+ cities that has worked to #AbolishColumbusDay, then we applaud you. If you are still in the struggle to rewrite the narrative, we stand with you.
Special thanks to Teo Shantz for editing and production. Shoutout to Ciara Sana for this beautiful artwork.
Blood quantum. The percentage of Native “blood” one possesses, the fraction listed on Certificates of Degree of Indian Blood, and a fraught concept that has its defenders and dissenters in our communities. Despite its colonial origins, many tribes still use blood quantum as a requirement for tribal enrollment, and these fictional fractions carry huge weight in the lives of Indigenous Peoples. In this episode we hope to parse out some of these complications around the topic of blood quantum—legally and interpersonally, as well as the ways these metaphors of blood have moved into genetic science. Many of our Native nations are at a crisis point when it comes to thinking about enrollment, and notions of blood and belonging are at the center of that. Knowing all of this, where do we go from here?
Join Matika and Adrienne as they discuss blood, enrollment, law, genetics and belonging with Charlotte Logan (Akwesasne Mohawk) a genetic researcher debunking blood quantum theory, Gabe Galanda (Round Valley Indian Tribes of California, descending from the Nomlaki and Concow Tribes), a prolific Seattle attorney fighting disenrollment cases, Tommy Miller (Colville), attorney and author of law review article “Beyond Blood Quantum: The legal and political implications of expanding tribal enrollment”, and Professor David Wilkins (Lumbee), legal scholar and co-author of “Dismembered: Native Disenrollement and the Battle for Human Rights”.
Charlotte Logan is Akwesasne Mohawk and a molecular biologist working in upstate new york. Charlotte has a Masters in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Brandeis University and has spent a decade specializing in the field of small RNA and mRNA Processing. She recently made a life altering choice by stepping away from her career and enrolling in the Onondaga Language Program, where she spent two years studying the Onandoga language. Then returned to biochemistry and molecular biology as a senior research support specialist, and now is a graduate student in linguistics.
Gabe Galanda belongs to the Round Valley Indian Tribes of California, descending from the Nomlaki and Concow Tribes. As a partner at Galanda Broadman, Gabe is an attorney whose legal practice represents tribal governments, businesses and citizens often working on complex, multi-party litigation and crisis management. Gabe is a prolific writer on tribal litigation and sovereignty and Indian civil rights issues, having been published over 100 times in national periodicals like The National Law Journal, and Business Law Today.
Tommy Miller is a Citizen of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and his Seattle law practice focuses on litigation, Indian Law, government contracts and procurement, which touch on a wide variety of issues including treaty rights. He received his JD and bachelor’s degrees from Harvard University. In 2014, he published in the American Indian Law Journal: “Beyond Blood Quantum: The Legal and Political Implications of Expanding Tribal Enrollment.”
David E. Wilkins is a citizen of the Lumbee Nation of North Carolina and a Professor at the University of Richmond. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Professor Wilkins research and teaching interests include Indigenous politics and governance, federal Indian policy and law, comparative politics, and diplomacy and constitutional development. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including "Dismembered: Native Disenrollment and the Battle for Basic Human Rights.”
Special thanks for the incredible episode art by Ciara Sana (instagram.com/artbyciara) and editing and sound production by Teo Shantz
On this episode we tackle a huge topic: the importance and power of our Indigenous languages, and the work that's being done to revitalize and promote Native languages. It was too much to fit in with just one guest, so we collected stories from throughout Indian Country, talking to Thelma Whiskers from Southern Ute, Harry Oosahwee from Cherokee Nation, Henrietta Mann from Cheyenne Nation, Amber Heywood and Archie Cantrell from Puyallup, and Tia Averett Pocknett and Sola Santos from Mashpee Wampanoag. Every one of our nations and communities has suffered language loss due to colonial policies, but despite the statistics and very real threats to our languages, there are also so many incredible stories of hope and resurgence. We hope you'll feel inspired to use your language today and every day, even in small ways. Your ancestors will hear you.
UN Declaration of 2019 as "International Year of Indigenous Languages": https://en.iyil2019.org/
Thank you to Siobhan (Vonnie) Brown, Sola Santos, Adeline & Wesley Greendeer, Eliana Ruzzo, and Jenn Weston from Mukayuhsak Weekuw and all of the other incredible folks we talked to whose voices didn't make it into the episode, you're amazing.
This episode we’re super thrilled to have music by Sicangu Lakota rapper and composer Frank Waln!
We’re also as always grateful for all of the team that worked on this episode, editor Teo Shantz, PA Juanita Christine, Production by Brooke Swaney, and episode art by Ciara Sana.
We’re also in the process of trying to find funding for season two. If you have any resources, grants, or funding that you think we should look into, please let us know!
Remember to like, comment, share, and subscribe on iTunes! We’re on instagram @amrpodcast, and our website is allmyrelationspodcast.com. GvGeyu! Love you!
All My Relations talks story with two of our favorite fashionable friends: artist extraordinaire Jamie Okuma (Lisueño and Shoshone Bannock) and scholar/fashion entrepreneur Dr. Jessica Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa). Listen in as we venture into their journeys through the Native fashion world and what it means to them to represent for their communities through fashion and design. Jessica often says, “Our ancestors were stylish,” so what are the ways we can represent our identities through what we choose to wear?
Beyond Buckskin Boutique: shop.beyondbuckskin.com
Jamie Okuma: Jokuma.com
Bonus Episode: Sacred is Sacred!
In light of recent tragedy at Notre Dame, Adrienne and Matika discuss the indigenous response from our communities from a social justice perspective, while also considering our humanity.
This is our first “bonus episode”! We thought that it might be powerful to interject indigenous perspective into the national dialogue. What do you think?
In this episode, All My Relations explores the topic of cultural appropriation—it’s become such a buzzword, but what is it, really? Adrienne and Matika care deeply about Native representation, and talk constantly about this subject. Here, you'll have the opportunity to listen into that conversation, as we reveal our feelings about the infamous white savior photographer Edward S. Curtis, Halloween, answer listener questions, and more. Appropriators beware.
Adrienne’s blog: Nativeappropriations.com (300+ posts to help with the appropriation convos)
“Why Tonto Matters”: https://nativeappropriations.com/2012/03/why-tonto-matters.html
Matika’s Edward Curtis post: https://lrinspire.com/2018/05/08/edward-s-curtis-again-by-matika-wilbur/
Send us a voicemail of how you say “All My Relations” in your language! https://www.allmyrelationspodcast.com/contact
We join forces with two amazing Indigenous writers and scholars who are making waves in the literary scene with their poetry, prose, and fiction. They weave words and worlds to help us see and understand queer indigenous identities and bodies, the ways that settler colonialism has disrupted and distorted our relationships, and the power of asserting voice in spaces not meant for us. We discuss their writing practice, academia, living in racialized bodies. We close with Joshua and Billy reciting some of their work for us. Enjoy!
If you love this, please subscribe, share, and consider our Patreon.
Joshua Whitehead is Ojibwe & Cree from the Peguis First Nation, located in Treaty 1 territory, and is Two Spirit IndigiQueer. You can find him at the University of Calgary in Treaty 7 territory, obtaining his PhD in English. Joshua is a poet and a writer, but most importantly, Joshua is a storyteller. The power of his storytelling launched him into the forefront of the literary scene. His poetry collection, “Full Metal Indigequeer” is indeed, as he says, “a viral song, is a round dance, is a jingle dress, is medicine.” His debut novel, Johnny Appleseed, braids together human experience into a tight understanding of Indigeneity and queerness.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation and is a PhD student in the Department of English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta. As a Rhodes Scholar, Billy-Ray went to the Colonizers land to obtain his Master’s in Women’s Studies which highlighted “the role of Indigenous Women in Social Resistance Movements .” His work has been widely published and acclaimed in magazines across Canada. His debut poetry book, This Wound is A World, splits the self wide open and merges into space and place and Indian Time. His forthcoming work, NDN Coping Mechanisms, Notes from the field, is synesthesia made into polyphonic poetry, prose and digital art.
Join us for a second discussion with Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Dr. Kim Tallbear on All My Relations. We'll explore Kim's “life project” of critical polyamory, her journey through feminism, her processes of writing in, with, and for community, and Kim treats us with some of her poetry, the “Critical polyamorist 100s”.
AMR so far has explored our relationships between community, land, food, and kin. Now we have a chance to dive into what it means to be in good relation with other humans (on a sexual and non sexual level), while maintaining and balancing our responsibilities to our other relations, and questioning a hierarchy that places human relations first. Kim is never “single,” she is always in committed relationships with human and non-human relations.
Matika's Twitter and Instagram.
Adrienne's Twitter and Instagram.
If you'd like to send us a voicemail visit www.allmyrelationspodcast.com to be featured on our upcoming episodes!
Can a DNA test make me Native American? As direct-to-consumer ancestry DNA tests gain popularity and narratives of “discovering” or “proving” Native American ancestry through DNA swirl through the media—what does that mean for Indigenous nations?
On this episode we talk with the amazing, badass, super cool Dr. Kim Tallbear (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), who literally wrote the book on Native American DNA. We talk about the concept of “Native DNA,” the problems of ancestry DNA tests, challenges in these areas for Native communities moving forward, Elizabeth Warren, the politics of research in Indigenous communities, and offer potential alternatives for thinking about kinship as a marker of Native belonging rather than false promises of DNA.
Kim Tallbear Bio:
Dr. Kimberly Tallbear - is Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and also descended from the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. She’s an Associate Professor in the faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta where she holds a Canadian Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Environment. .In 2013 She literally wrote the book on Native American DNA, entitled: “Native American DNA: Tribal belonging and the false promise of genetic science”. Her Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society work recently turned to also address decolonial and Indigenous sexualities, specifically on decolonizing the centering of monogamy that she characterizes as emblematic of "settler sexualities." This builds on work she has been doing in a blog written under an alter ego, "The Critical Polyamorist." Through this work she founded a University of Alberta arts-based research lab and co-produces the sexy storytelling show, Tipi Confessions, sparked by the popular Austin, Texas show, Bedpost Confessions. She also is active on twitter, is a role model to many of us as an indigenous researcher, public scholar, and feminist scholar.
Links and resources:
Kim’s book, “Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science”: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/native-american-dna
The Summer internship for INdigenous peoples in Genomics (SING) Workshop: https://sing.igb.illinois.edu/
If you need more context and understanding on the whole Elizabeth Warren thing, Adrienne and her fellow Cherokee colleagues Joseph Pierce and Rebecca Nagle made The Elizabeth Warren Syllabus: http://www.criticalethnicstudiesjournal.org/blog/2018/12/19/syllabus-elizabeth-warren-cherokee-citizenship-and-dna-testing
In 2018 there are still over 2000 schools and professional sports teams with Native mascots, despite decades of activism and academic research demonstrating the harms of these images. Today Matika and Adrienne are in conversation with Amanda Blackhorse, Navajo social worker and mother, who was the lead plaintiff in the supreme court case against the Washington Redsk*ns, and Stephanie Fryberg, who is the top psychological researcher on these issues and has demonstrated through lab experiments and surveys how harmful these mascots are to Native youth and how they reinforce negative stereotypes.
Dr. Stephanie Fryberg is a member of the Tulalip Tribes, and an expert on the psychological and educational affects of social representations of race, class, and culture. She got her PhD in Psychology at Stanford University, where she is a member of the Multicultural Hall of Fame. Just last month, she was appointed as a Gerberding University Professor at the University of Washington, recognizing her exceptional research, contributions, and accomplishments in the field of American Indian Studies and Psychology. Dr. Fryberg’s research on stereotypes, race, class and psychological development led her to testify in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on the impact of racist stereotypes on Indigenous people. My favorite title of a recent paper would be hands down: “We’re honoring you dude: Myths, Mascots and American Indians.” She is also one of the hardest workers I have ever known, and one of my most influential thought leaders.
Amanda Blackhorse is from Big Mountain on the Navajo reservation, and is a Dine’ a social worker, activist, and mother. She was the lead plaintiff in Blackhorse vs. Pro Football Inc, a 2012 case which sought to revoke trademark protection of the term Washington R*dsk*ns. She attended haskell and received her Bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Kansas and her Master’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis. While her training and work history includes focuses on substance abuse treatment, health care, and adult mental health in the Native communities, she has fiercely fought against the use of Native American imagery and stereotypes as sports team mascots. After filing her case against Pro Football Inc., Amanda founded Arizona to Rally Against Native American Mascots, and later launched the website NoMoreNativeMascots.org. Both entities are dedicated to spreading education, organizing protests, and working towards the elimination of sports mascots based on Native American imagery. She is a badass warrior woman, and this week was standing on top of a car in Arizona protesting Native Halloween costumes.
NPR Article: Experiencing Discrimination in America
Talking about invisibility & representation around the beginning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65LT8pwD8xk
Stereotypes Panel Lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOHDcJe4BC0
Are you truly sovereign if you can’t feed yourselves? Today we delve into a topic we can all relate to! We all got to eat! But how are we eating, or better, WHAT are we eating? And how has colonization disrupted our relationship with our traditional foods?
That is why today’s discussion on food sovereignty is so important because we all know that colonialism destroyed our food systems, sometimes on purpose and sometimes as a byproduct of other colonial policies— But separating Native peoples from the way we traditionally ate and harvested was a very effective tool of colonization.
Fortunately, we are living in a time of reconnection and revitalization— and our there are many people throughout turtle island who are doing this good food sovereignty work. Listen in, as we bring in our amazing guest Valerie Segrest to discuss the definition of food sovereignty; learn how breastfeeding supports the food sovereignty movement; and how all of us, even if it is just in tiny ways, can become food sovereignty activists.
Valerie Segrest is a Native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. As a member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, she serves her community as coordinator of the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Projectand also works as Traditional Foods and Medicines Program Manager.
In 2010, Valerie co-authored “Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture.” Valerie received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University, and a Masters Degree in Environment and Community from Antioch University. She is also a fellow for the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy. Valerie aims to inspire and enlighten others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a culturally appropriate, common sense approach to eating.
Twitter thread of indigenous foods you can buy! https://twitter.com/NativeApprops/status/1072525570716651521
Decolonizing Diet project: http://decolonizingdietproject.blogspot.com
The Pueblo Food Experience: https://shumakolowa.com/products/pueblo-food-experience-cookbook-whole-food-of-our-ancestors
Billy Frank: http://billyfrankjr.org/
Matika and Adrienne discuss their “origin” stories as Indigenous women, bloggers, and storytellers— revealing the intimacies of their friendship, the inception and goals of the All My Relations Podcast, and their relationships to feminism.