Monday, June 29, 2020 – Tribes reinforce protections as states confront COVID-19 surge
Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show new surges of COVID-19 cases in Arizona, Texas, Florida and other states. Many governors loosened restrictions on public interactions and are leaving it up to local officials to enact health and safety measures. Tribes, meanwhile, continue to hold down strict social distancing orders, curfews, and border monitoring. Such measures helped the Navajo Nation mark a day with no new COVID-19 deaths in the past week, even as they struggle to keep control of new cases. We’ll check in with tribal leaders to get their views on what’s next and how they are protect their citizens.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 – Book of the Month: “Help Indians Help Themselves”
This month’s literary feature provides a unique opportunity to hear about an important historical figure in Native America. “Help Indians Help Themselves” presents the writings of Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa), who was born on the Yankton Sioux reservation in 1876. Many readers have turned to her wisdom over the years to understand the impact of boarding schools and Native political activism in early U.S. history. The book is edited by English Professor Jane Hafen (Taos Pueblo). The forward is by educator Dr. Margaret Noodin (Anishinaabe). Both will help us take a deeper look into the work of this revolutionary writer.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020 – Federal coronavirus aid offers relief and frustrations
After lawsuits and numerous delays, the Trump Administration distributed billions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief money to tribes. But there remain some challenges and frustrations. Federal lawsuits have yet to decide whether Alaska Native corporations should receive any of the funds. Also tribes now confront the bureaucracy of conforming to the narrow scope of criteria required by the federal legislation for eligibility. We’ll check in with tribes on some of the good and bad outcomes of receiving federal relief aid.
Thursday, July 2, 2020 – Native theater table read
The coronavirus threat has closed theaters across the country, from New York’s Broadway to South Dakota’s Black Hills Playhouse. Theater companies and individual actors are still finding ways to connect with audiences. One way is to stage live script readings over Zoom. Table reads are usually the first step of a play’s production as the cast and crew get acquainted with the story and characters. We’ll stage our own table reads for a taste of Native theater on the radio.
Friday, July 3, 2020 – Haka and cultural appropriation
(Encore show) A Brazilian motivational speaker faced backlash for including haka in his programming. He’s not Maori, but uses the traditional Maori dance that he says he learned from videos. He’s one of several Brazilian companies criticized for using haka in corporate retreats. The Maori ceremonial dance is accompanied by chanting and intimidating postures and facial expressions. Modern presentations of it include important events like weddings and funerals and some sports teams perform haka before competitions. We’ll get the basics of what haka is and when it turns into appropriation.