Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities

18 Unique Stations from Border to Border

Finding Your Inner Warrior’s Voice with Jessica Smith

February 14th marks a day of honoring relatives lost in the ongoing epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIWR). A recent report from the Minnesota Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women reveals a heartbreaking statistic: while Indigenous people make up just 1% of the state's population, a stunning 9% of all murdered girls and women in Minnesota over the last ten years were American Indian. Today we talk with Jessica Gidagaakoons Smith (Bois Forte Band of Chippewa) who is a mother, survivor, Two-Spirit warrior, Indigenous scholar, and researcher, MMIWG2S Legal Advocate, and so much more. Jessica shares how her own experience seeking healing as a survivor of domestic violence and human trafficking, led her on a path to become a national speaker, leader, and advocate for others. We hear Jessica’s powerful story of how her “Inner Warrior” pushed her to step forward and speak up, sharing her own story of survival, to advocate for legislation aimed at strengthening law enforcement’s ability to track and solve cases of murdered or missing Native Americans. We are thankful for Jessica Smith’s powerful voice and for all the work she is doing to help others find safety, healing, and their own voices.  You can learn more about Jessica Smith and her work at www.gidagaakoonsresearch.com Sovereign Bodies Institute (SBI) builds on Indigenous traditions of data gathering and knowledge transfer to create, disseminate, and put into action research on gender and sexual violence against Indigenous people. www.sovereign-bodies.org If you or someone you know needs help right now, you can reach out to these hotlines: StrongHearts Native Helpline provides culturally appropriate support and advocacy for American Indians and Alaska Natives, including resources for victims, families affected by domestic violence and dating violence, and it is anonymous and confidential at: 1-844-7NATIVE or 1-844-762-8483. National Human Trafficking Hotline serves victims and survivors of human trafficking and anti-trafficking community in the US: 1-888-373-7888

RECENT STORIES

Native Lights: Levi Brown’s Gift for Building Relationships Across the Table

Today we’re speaking with Levi Brown, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe citizen and Director of Tribal Affairs at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot). Levi talks with Leah and Cole about acknowledgment on a person-to-person level and on an institutional level. In his current position at MnDot, Levi helped facilitate the highway signs marking the 1854 Treaty boundaries in Northern MN, a step toward acknowledgment and a point of education. Levi is also a part of the Tribal State Relationship Training Program that helps develop collaboration and understanding between tribes and Minnesota state departments.


Elaine Fleming: Celebrating and Sharing the Culture of Leech Lake

Today Leah and Cole chat with Elaine Fleming. She teaches and preserves Leech Lake Ojibwe culture, history, and language. Elaine proudly lives in Cass Lake, where she has been an instructor at Leech Lake Tribal College for 29 years.


Native Lights- Amber Annis: Nurturing & Protecting Authentic Narratives

Today Leah and Cole chat with Amber Annis, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe citizen who is currently the director of Native American Initiative at the Minnesota Historical Society. Amber has a long history not only as a public historian, but as an educator, tribal nation liaison, community engagement specialist and collaborator.


Minnesota Native News: Keeping Stories Alive- Native knowledge, Culture, and Language are Alive

This week, Emma Needham talks with story-keeper Hope Flanagan about why stories are essential to keeping native knowledge, culture, and language alive.


Minnesota Native News: Minnesota Launches COVID19 Telehealth Program

This week on the Health Report, the Minnesota Department of Health has announced a new telehealth program to help people receive treatment for COVID19. And Bivalent COVID19 vaccines are now available for the youngest age group; Chaz Wagner has more.


Native Lights-Jada Brown: Expression and Affirmation Through Singing

Today Leah and Cole have a conversation with Jada Brown. Jada is a Minneapolis-based singer, songwriter and spoken word poet who is affiliated with the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe. She just released her debut solo album Admiration this month. Jada is also in the band Willows who are releasing an EP at Icehouse in January.


Grand Portage Band Receives Off Reservation Land From State

On Friday, November 18, for the first time in the history of the state of Minnesota, off reservation land was returned to tribal hands by the state. Barbara Jean Meyers has this report.


Native Lights – Karen Jones and Stephanie Longfield: Taking Initiative for Future Generations

Today Leah shares her conversations with Karen Jones and Stephanie Longfield from White Earth Nation’s cohort of Indigenous Parent Leadership Initiative (IPLI). As graduates of the initiative, they’ve begun projects to deepen connections between their communities and culture.


Supported by...

McKnight FoundationPohlad family foundationThe Minneapolis FoundationSaint Paul & Minnesota Foundation