First Voices Indigenous Radio

This weekly program produced at WBAI in New York and broadcast across North America focuses on the struggles of indigenous people on Turtle Island – the native name for North America, and beyond. This show is typically hosted by Tiokasin Ghosthorse but a substitute host was in place for the episode I listened too. What drew me to this broadcast was the simple fact that rarely are stories of native people told anywhere – other than the occasional historical documentary, or story on poverty or alcoholism. It surprised me to know that there are still land rights disputes for native people in various parts of the world, including the United States. The interim host, Mario Irigaray, interviews sources from Brazil and the US to tell very specific stories about land infringement issues. In the US, for example, their is an initiative to build wind turbines in a land which is sacred to the Quechan people. Although the turbines are great, the impact to that population is devastating – the land is a part of their creation story and central to their spiritual belief. The structure of the show is a news/talk format, providing in-depth news of First Nations all over the world, from the Americas to Africa and Asia. It had special importance to me, as there are native people in my heritage and we don’t learn much about them.

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