Native America Calling

Weekdays 11:00AM - 12:00PM
  • Hosted by Tara Gatewood

Native America Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the Internet and listeners together in a thought-provoking national conversation about issues specific to Native communities. Each program engages noted guests and experts with callers throughout the United States and is designed to improve the quality of life for Native Americans. Native America Calling is heard on 52 stations in the United States and in Canada by approximately 500,000 listeners each week. 

Special Needs Youth In Our Native Communities

Mar 23, 2015
Andi Murphy

Tues. 03/24 11a: From interest groups and summer camps to sports and tribal fairs, there are many ways to keep kids busy all year. For young people with disabilities these activities in the community could be stimulating and fun. But what happens if caretakers and parents don’t to take special needs children to the basketball games or other community events? In rural areas and Native communities, are people with disabilities welcome and supported in public spaces?

Racism on Campus

Mar 23, 2015
Li Tsin Soon via Flickr

Mon. 03/23 11a: Earlier this month, a video showing members of a fraternity at University of Oklahoma, singing racist chants surfaced on YouTube. The national chapter of the fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, responded swiftly by closing the OU chapter and developing an initiative to address racism. Two students who led the chant were expelled from OU. While many are applauding the quick action by the university and fraternity, others are wondering if expulsion is the right answer. When racism occurs on campus, can universities help students learn about the harm of racism?

Bureau of Indian Education Changes

Mar 16, 2015
scarletgreen via Flickr

Fri. 03/20 11a: The Bureau of Indian Education is responsible for 183 elementary and secondary schools. In 2013, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, appointed a study group to “diagnose the causes of too common academic failure in BIE-funded schools.” Some BIE schools struggle academically and a recent report from the federal government points out major health and safety concerns due to poor building conditions.  On this episode of Native America Calling, we look at proposed changes that aim to improve BIE schools.

Born From The Stars: Native Astronomy

Mar 16, 2015
Joseph Gruber via Flickr

Thurs. 03/19 11a: There’s a story told by the Skidi Pawnee about Mars and Venus, two bright stars in the sky. Mars, or a male god, travels across the sky to meet with Venus, a female god. Along the way, he has to battle a bear, serpent and a wildcat — among other constellations in the sky. When the gods meet, they create the first human, a girl. Since the beginning of time, Indigenous people all over the world have looked to the stars for the answers to life, religion, culture, origins and the future. What do the stars say to Native Americans?

Cesarean Sections: Good or Bad Trend?

Mar 16, 2015
Jerry Lai via Flickr

Wed. 03/18 11a: Cesarean sections are a major surgery done to deliver a baby through in incision made in the mother’s abdomen. It’s the most common surgery performed in the United States. While one in four births in the U.S. happen this way, Native American women have the lowest rates of cesarean deliveries. Why is that? Is that a good or a bad thing?

Managing Bison Herds

Mar 16, 2015
Dan Dzurisin via Flickr

Tues. 03/17 11a: The bison population in Yellowstone National Park is the oldest in the United States. Bison are unique because of their return from virtual extinction, but tensions rise each year over the management of the bison population in the park. Some groups oppose limiting or slaughtering the population on the Montana side of the park. Other concerns include the spread of brucellosis from bison to cattle. Yellowstone management works with tribes to provide bison for consumption and raising herds. What are the keys to managing bison herds?

The Impact of Indigenous Music

Mar 16, 2015
Indigenous music Sihasin

Mon. 03/16 11a: Indigenous music and musicians have a special place in our tribal societies. These music makers also understand it is important to share their words and sounds beyond tribal borders. This year the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival will bring several Indigenous musicians to its stages. As these musical ambassadors prepare to share their music with a diverse audience, we bring part of this year’s Indigenous lineup to our electronic talking circle. How can sharing Indigenous music in venues across the country help our tribal nations?


Mar 6, 2015
Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Fri. 03/06 11a: It’s that time again to “spring ahead” and set our clocks one hour forward. Do you dread the time change each year? Do you know why we use daylight saving time? Does your tribe follow daylight saving time? Time can mean many things. Are you the kind of person who is always on time? Or do you show up for things when you’re ready? What do your traditional teachings in your tribe tell you about time?

In Moderation

Mar 2, 2015
Tom Magliery via Flickr

Thurs. 03/05 11a: Have you ever gone online to look up something and then realized three hours later that you were still surfing? What about when your plan to eat one cookie turns into half the bag? We all know that some foods, screen time and even alcohol should be consumed in moderation. In fact it seems the mantra of weight loss industry is “do it in moderation.” But what exactly does moderation mean? These days, it’s easy to get too much of just about anything. Do you struggle to balance healthy choices and indulgences?

Native Women And HIV/AIDS

Mar 2, 2015
max_thinks_sees via Flickr

Wed. 03/04 11a: Native American women are victims of sexual assault at higher rates than other women in the country. Does that puts them at risk for being infected with HIV? Today we talk about the current rates of HIV infection among Native women and efforts to prevent future infections. When Native women are dealing with HIV and AIDS, how does that impact our communities?

March Current Events

Mar 2, 2015
Tony Alter via Flickr

Tues. 03/03 11a: The month of March brings a time change, St. Patrick’s Day and the National Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas Nevada. Join us for our monthly current events show where we feature events held in the month of March. Join us as we check in on the 40th Annual Northwest Indian Youth Conference in Fort Hall Idaho. The Aboriginal Music Week in Winnipeg, Canada is scheduled this month and Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs hosts a conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Strong Natives, Strong Muscles

Mar 2, 2015
Andi Murphy via

Mon. 03/02 11a: There are many ways to be a strong Native American. One is to have muscles that can lift a 200-pound bar bell and hold a plank position for two minutes. Today we talk about muscles and physical strength. We will learn what’s best for our muscles, what foods fuel them and which routines and workouts are best for certain body types.

Are You Afraid to Call the Police?

Feb 27, 2015
via / Creative Commons

Fri. 02/27 11a: The relationship between people of color and the police is strained in many communities across the US. Are you afraid to call the police? Do the police in your area handle Native American cases with care and cultural sensitivity? Join our conversation about the current relationship between the police and Native people in your community. Would you like to see an improved relationship between the police and the Native American in your city, town or village?

Native American Art Greats

Feb 23, 2015
F B via Flickr

Thurs. 02/26 11a: Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh are influential in our understanding of art and history. What about Native artists and their mark on the world? Who are the Native American artists that deserve the same type of recognition? Which of our Native forefathers should be known by those who care about art history? Is there a Native artist that you think everyone should study?

Tribal Marijuana Laws

Feb 23, 2015
Spot Us via Flickr

Wed. 02/25 11a: Laws on growing and selling marijuana are up for debate across the country. Washington State and Colorado legalized the recreational sale of the drug in recent years. Voters in Alaska and Oregon also approved similar measures last fall. Tribes across the US are facing new decisions. The US Department of Justice issued a memorandum in December 2014 on how the federal government views potential new tribal laws on marijuana sales, growing or possession.

February Book of the Month

Feb 23, 2015
arbyreed via Flickr

Tues. 02/24 11a: First Nations educator and author Glen Coulthard, a citizen of the Yellowknives Dene Nation, takes on the ideas of Indigenous identity and colonization in his new book, “Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition.” Coulthard examines the systems of what he calls settler colonial power in the book’s chapters. He also explores how these systems took a toll on Indigenous self-governance and rights to the land. What kind of impact has recognition as a nation had your Native life?

Native in the Spotlight: Tom Goldtooth

Feb 23, 2015
Mat McDermott via Flickr

Mon. 02/23 11a: Tom Goldtooth (Dine’ and Mdewakanton Dakota) is the executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, a 25-year-old organization devoted to Indigenous environmental and economic justice. Join us for a conversation with Tom Goldtooth about his visit to a climate change conference in Lima Peru, genetically engineered trees, food sovereignty and much more. We’ll also discuss the future of the environmental justice movement and hear about his hopes for Indigenous peoples across the world.

Bipolar Disorder

Feb 20, 2015
Nina J G via

Fri. 02/20 11a: We were all saddened by young Native actress Misty Upham’s death last year. News articles revealed that she had stopped taking medications for bipolar disorder and anxiety before she was found dead in Auburn, Washington. Bipolar disorder affects 2.6 million adults, according to theNational Institute of Mental Health. Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? What questions do you have about life after a bipolar diagnosis?


Feb 16, 2015
tarsandsaction via Flickr

Thur. 02/19 11a: The US House of Representatives recently voted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline extension. President Obama is expected to veto the bill and cite the need for the US State Department to finish a review of the pipeline proposal. Many tribes oppose the construction of the pipeline. While debate over the KXL pipeline continues, we take a closer look at other proposed or existing pipelines in the US. According to the Association of Oil and Pipelines, the US has over 2.5 million miles of pipelines. Are pipelines a safe way to transport oil and gas?

Fight Over Eagle Feathers

Feb 16, 2015
cL0d via Flickr

Wed. 02/18 11a: Eagles are a sacred animal to many Native tribes and their feathers are an important part of our blessings, prayers, ceremonies and other cultural events. Now that The Bald and Golden Eagle Act and 50 CFR 22 laws are in place, eagle feathers and parts or harder to come by and it’s causing controversy across Native America. Eagle feathers can only be possessed and distributed to federally recognized tribes, leaving members of state-recognized tribes at a loss. Are you concerned about access to eagle feathers?

Racism Against Our Children

Feb 16, 2015
Light Brigading via Flickr

Tues. 02/17 11a: Last month, a group of middle school students from the American Horse School on the Oglala Lakota Nation left a hockey game after a group of fans allegedly assaulted the students with beer and racial slurs. Authorities are currently investigating the incident. Some suggest the acts were hate crimes or even child abuse. Tensions are running high and many are asking what can be done to protect our Native children from such hate. Do you talk to the children in your life about racism?

Encore: Smoke Signals Reunion

Feb 16, 2015
Encore: Smoke Signals via

Mon. 02/16 11a: It’s been more than 16 years since the film “Smoke Signals” made its way to audiences around the country. The film has become a beloved classic among both Native and non-Native audiences and is hailed for its view on the modern day life of Native Americans. What has this film meant to you over the years? Can you recite scenes from it word for word? Did this film change perceptions of Native Americans? We invite you to an encore presentation of this hour when we were joined by “Smoke Signals” cast, crew and some fans.

Shady Business

Feb 13, 2015

  Fri. 02/13 11a: Have you ever come across a deal that just seemed too good to be true? According the Fraud Research Center, the estimated cost of financial fraud and scams are almost $50 billion each year. From phone calls about great financial deals to emails announcing you’ve won a foreign lottery, the ways to cheat people out of their money are endless. With the tax season in full swing, the IRS is warning the public about dishonest tax preparation tactics. What should we know about protecting ourselves against fraud?

Transgender Native Americans

Feb 9, 2015
InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr

Thurs. 02/12 11a: Before assimilation, two-spirit people, including those who identify as transgender, played very important roles in tribal communities. Transgender people now face discrimination. According to a study by the National Center for Transgender Equality, over half of transgender people have attempted suicide. In today’s show, we talk about the struggle to regain that historical acceptance and celebrate our Native people who call themselves transgender. We will also look at the roles of transgender people in their communities today.

Detecting And Treating Cancer

Feb 9, 2015
Phillip Jeffrey via Flickr

Wed. 02/11 11a: Cancer is a scary diagnosis, but early detection and treatment can help improve the chances that you will survive and spend many more good years with your loved ones.  Some tribes are working with health experts to bring the latest information and research on cancer to their communities. Have you or a loved one survived cancer? What advice do you now share with others?

February Music Maker: Sister Says

Feb 9, 2015
Keith Walters

  Tues. 02/10 11a: Siblings Gillian and Robert Thompson (Haida and Tsimshian) make music a family affair. Once again, their soulful group Sister Says tempts audiences to take a deep look at life and love in their latest album “Heart Placement.” The Canadian duo out of Vancouver, British Columbia grew up with various musical influences and you can hear it in their new 12-track album full of pop, jazz rock and soul sounds. We invite you to join us for our February Music Maker – Sister Says.

Affordable Care Act Update

Feb 9, 2015
Great Plains Tribal Chairmans Health Board via

 Mon. 02/09 11a: Last year, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare required that all Americans have health insurance coverage. While American Indians and Alaska Natives are exempt from the shared responsibility payment, there has been a push to sign up Natives for health insurance. This year’s deadline is approaching. Today we check in on whether people across Native America are signing up for insurance. Our guests can answer your questions about health insurance. Have you signed up for insurance under Obamacare? Why or why not?

Interracial Relationships

Feb 2, 2015
ElRaffa via Flickr

Thurs. 02/05 11a: Interracial relationships can be challenging, especially if you have strong ties to your culture, traditions and language. Conflicts and problems may arise from lack of understanding, stereotypes, or discrimination from both sides. When children are involved, things can get even more complicated. What makes an interracial relationship a healthy one? What is it like for a Native American to join a non-Native family?

Satire Or Offensive?

Feb 2, 2015
Marty Two Bulls via

Wed. 02/04 11a: The recent terrorist attacks in France heated up debate about the line between what’s considered satire and what is simply offensive. Some say art and political satire are overstepping the line but others disagree. What about when it comes to Native America? There are many things to Native Nations considered sacred and off limits. What happens when the sacred gets the satirical spotlight? Join us and share where you draw the line between what is satire and what’s an attack on your beliefs.

Current Events In Native America

Feb 2, 2015
Bear Paw Battlefield via Flickr

Tues. 02/03 11a: Every first Tuesday of the month, we host a Current Events show. During the hour we will highlight events around Native America during the month of February including community fairs, powwows, fundraisers, conferences to museum exhibits. This month the exhibit Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection opens at the Seattle Art Museum and the Institute of Museum and Library Services is offering grants for tribal libraries. The Bay-Area American Indian Two-Spirit 4th annual Two Spirit Powwow will be held in San Francisco.