The Urban Auntie ShowDec 02, 2022
Episode 47: Music and Wellness with Ethan Paul
In this episode, Ethan Paul from Holy Cross plays music with his acoustic guitar. Laura and Ethan discuss Ethan's childhood, his music journey, and he shares some of the things that gets him through hard times.
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Episode 46: Indigenous Men's Mental Health with Johon Atkinson
In this episode, Laura and Rinam Kowalski ask Johon Atkinson about his mental health journey and how he works to help others. Johon is from Metlakatla, Alaska and he comes from the Tsimshian and Pawnee people.
Episode 45: Music with Isaac Ticknor and Ethan Paul
In this episode, Gitsighiy, also known as Isaac Ticknor, from Gatringithchagg (Anvik, Alaska) and Ethan Paul from Holy Cross, Alaska play music.
They are musicians of the Two Feather Band, but most commonly known as the Holy Cross Band. Check out their Facebook page! Isaac told some hunting stories and told us about his leadership positions.
Isaac is the 2nd Chief of Anvik, former Chairperson for the Emerging Leaders, he served on the Tanana Chiefs Conference Youth E-Board, he served on the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative nominating committee.
Episode 44: Leadership and Policy with William Wilkinson
Check out this interview with William Wilkinson from the Center for Native American Youth.
William H. Wilkinson is Diné, Cherokee, and a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. He has earned his A.A. in Communication Studies and his B.S. in Business Administration from Haskell Indian Nations University (Haskell) and is pursuing his M.S. in Public Policy & Management as a Tribal Affairs Fellow at the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.
Will has served in student government leadership and received national recognition for his demonstrated leadership and campus service by NASPA's (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community with the Dr. Arthur Taylor Student Commitment to Service Award. In his final year at Haskell, Will was named Haskell's Student of the Year.
In the summer of 2019, Will was accepted into the summer class of congressional interns within the Native American Political Leadership Program at The George Washington University and interned for U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. In the summer of 2022, Will was admitted into the summer class of political interns within the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation and was placed in the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In both placements, Will worked on various policy issues, projects, and consultations and now serves as a Graduate Fellow for the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute.
Episode 43: Being an Indigenous Scholar and Ambassador with Cordelia Falls Down
In this episode, Laura and Cordelia, discuss Cordelia's experiences as a graduate student, as a contestant in the Miss Indian World Pageant, and as a Remembering Our Sisters fellow. Cordelia has taken part in a lot of cool opportunities and she has some great advice for other Native people.
Cordelia Falls Down is a member of the Apsáalooke Nation and United Keetoowah Band. Her name is Biabaashíalebaaxpáash which translates to “Sacred Dream Woman” given to her by her grandfather Art Alden, a Vietnam veteran. Cordelia is from the Crow reservation of Montana but currently resides in Norman, OK where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters in Tribal Governance and Policy at the University of Oklahoma. Her area of emphasis focuses on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit +, Indigenous methodologies, and community planning. She is currently a Fellow at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute where she has served roles as a Remembering Our Sisters Fellow, Democracy is Indigenous organizer, and cultural preservation ambassador.
Episode 42: Filmmaking and Indigenous Culture
In this episode, guest Shondiin Mayo discusses her cultural identity and how it weaves with her bachelor’s degree and her future goals. We also chat about other fun topics like native games, boat racing, and beaded earrings (of course).
Shondiin Mayo is Diné (Navajo) and Denaa and is of the Bitterwater Clan and born to the Koyukon Athabascan people. Her name means “Sunshine” in the Navajo language as she is originally from Stevens Village, Alaska, and grew up in both Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Navajo Nation. Shondiin’s childhood was influenced by the subsistence lifestyle of fishing and living in a rural Alaska village as well as spending time on the reservation with her family. There, she learned values such as an appreciation for the land, preservation of traditional knowledge, and the responsibility to continue her heritage.
Shondiin recently graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor's degree in Creative Media and Film with an emphasis in Documentary and a minor in Ethnic Studies. Shondiin enjoys traveling and learning about other Indigenous communities. She also enjoys learning about her heritage and participating, in community events or taking part with her family, in subsistence activities such as boat racing, berry picking, and harvesting sheep in the Navajo Nation.
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Episode 41: Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Vice Chair, Loni Grinnell-Greninger
In this episode, I talk with Loni about the various leadership positions she held within her state government, tribe, and other boards. She talks about how she advocates for Native people in the different positions she has held.
Loni Grinnell-Greninger (“yúčciʔə”) was appointed to Tribal Vice Chair in January 2020 and elected in November 2020. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University in 2012, and her Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Tribal Governance from The Evergreen State College in 2016. Her professional experience includes four years of working with the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services (DSHS) as an Office of Indian Policy Regional Manager, and then as a Statewide Tribal Liaison in the Department’s Division of Behavioral Health & Recovery. Both positions led to help create systems and policy that increases access to state services for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Additionally, another role was to educate state workers in the government-to-government relationship that the State has with its Federally Recognized Tribes.
In 2017 she moved back home to her Tribe, serving her people and greater community as the Deputy Director, and now Director, of the Social & Community Services Department. Her work includes local, state, and federal relations and education, as well as cultural leadership.
Episode 40: Brittany Woods-Orrison, Broadband Specialist for AKPIRG and Native Movement
In this episode Laura chats with Brittany about broadband issues in Alaska and specifically in rural Native communities. Apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program at https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/. Go to Lifeline to sign up for a free smartphone with unlimited talk, text, and data. You can contact Brittany at email@example.com for more info.
Brittany is Koyukon Dené from Rampart, Alaska; a village along the Yukon River. She grew up spending summers in the village learning how to live off the land with no running water and spending the winter in the city of Fairbanks going to school. For high school she decided to attend a state-run boarding school in Sitka, Alaska with students from every region. After having a successful student athlete career in high school, she continued this journey with the women’s wrestling team at Menlo College where she earned a psychology degree. Brittany ended up in a culinary career in the Bay Area of California post-graduation during the pandemic. Brittany saved money from this job to go on a year-long endeavor to roadtrip across the country to reconnect with relatives, uplift Indigenous stories, and learn about the land and waters people come from. During this roadtrip Brittany secured a career in telecommunications as a broadband advocate with two Alaskan non-profits. Brittany has since returned to Alaska to champion digital equity, join back into community, return to the culture, and reconnect with living off the land again.
Episode 39: Lands Use with Jamie Marunde, Doyon VP of Lands and Natural Resources
In this episode Auntie Laura interviews Jamie Marunde. Jamie is from Northway, AK and is the Vice President of Lands and Natural Resources at Doyon Limited. Jamie will discuss her knowledge on lands use in Alaska. We will be discussing regulation of Native land and development on Doyon lands.
If you want to learn more about Doyon lands or look at maps you can go to https://www.doyon.com/lands/
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Episode 38: Urban Indian Health Institute Evaluation with Daysha Gunther and Martell Hesketh
Daysha Gunther is a mixed Yup’ik evaluator based in Seattle. Her work at the Urban Indian Health Institute largely focuses on evaluating their chronic disease prevention community grants program through the lens of the UIHI Indigenous Evaluation framework. Through this work she tells the story of how urban Indian organizations improve health outcomes by centering culture and community.
Martell Hesketh, MPH is a member of the Michel First Nation (Mohawk/Plains Cree) from Treaty 6 territory in Canada. She grew up on Coast Salish land in Northwestern Washington state and currently works as an Evaluator II at the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), where she designs and implements evaluations for UIHI projects and other tribal and non-profit partners. She is also a facilitator for UIHI’s Indigenous Evaluation Workshops and enjoys teaching others about new ways to approach evaluation as storytelling. For her undergraduate degree, Martell studied Human Biology at Stanford University and later completed her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Washington. She is passionate about addressing the root causes of health disparities and centering Indigenous values and ways of knowing in the evaluation of public health programs.
Episode 37: Meda DeWitt, Traditional Healer
Meda and Laura discuss the history of Alaska Native health and how it looks today. Meda dives into traditional ways of healing and her pathway to becoming a traditional healer. Meda DeWitt is a traditional healing expert with a Master of Arts in Alaska Native Traditional Healing. Her clan is Naanyaa.aayí and she is a child of the Kaach.aadi. Her family comes from Shtuxéen kwaan, also known as Wrangell, AK.
Episode 36: Indigenous Trailblazer: Dr. Jessica Black
In this episode, Dr. Jessica discuss lessons she learned in her childhood, her educational journey, her work on the Fairbanks Native Association Board, her work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a professor, and her various research projects.
Episode 35: Inspiration from Samantha Wade
In this episode, Laura talks with Samantha Wade. Samantha is a senior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks graduating with a degree in Biology with a concentration in Biomedicine. She was raised in Wainwright, Alaska where she learned the dances of her Native people, ate berries, and learned how to bead. Samantha hopes to become a doctor one day and serve people in her region.
Episode 34: Intersectional Identity, Relationship Advice, and Resources from Rinam Kowalski
In this episode, Rinam and Laura discuss Rinam's work at the Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living. Rinam Kowalski is a two-spirit and nonbinary person who is passionate about their role in building up community. Rinam is involved with the Fairbanks Queer Collective. The mission of the Fairbanks Queer Collective is to build community through performance art and community outreach.
Follow the Fairbanks Queer Collective on Instagram @fbxqc and like their Facebook page. You can also check out their website at https://www.fbxqc.com/. You can contact the Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living at (907)452-2293 and you can check out their website at https://iacnvl.org/.
Episode 33: Modern Natives
In this episode, Laura does an interview with Savannah LaBua and Dezy Hall, who are in the band Modern Natives. Modern Natives is a punk group with meaningful lyrics. Check out their website https://www.modern-natives.com/
Episode 32: Skin Sewing with Amy Topkok
In this episode of the Urban Auntie Show, Amy Topkok will discuss her life, masters research on skin sewing, and the current research she is doing in her Ph.D.
Episode 31: Ice Watah the Local Drag Queen
In this episode, Gareth Erhart, whose stage name is Ice Watah, discusses his journey into drag. Gareth talked about how he expresses and shares his culture through drag performances. You can see when his next show is on the Klondike Drag Facebook page and their Instagram @klondikedrag. https://www.facebook.com/klondikedrag/
Episode 30: Native Movement with Deloole'annh Erickson
In this episode, Deloole'annh discusses her upbringing in Hoonah and her college experience at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She explains the work she does at Native Movement as the Environmental Justice Director. Check out the Native Movement Facebook page and their Instagram at @native_mvmt to stay updated.
Episode 29: Local Leader Evon Peter
In this episode, Evon Peter discusses how his upbringing has influenced the person he has become today. Evon talks of his previous leadership roles and his current job as the director of Tanan Ch'at'oh.
Episode 28: Becoming a Physician with Dr. Elise Pletnikoff
In this episode, Dr. Elise Pletnikoff of Kodiak talks about her journey to becoming a physician. Dr. Elise discusses the challenges she faced and how she overcame those challenges.
Episode 27: Community Opioid Intervention Project with Linda Nicholia
In this episode, Linda Nicholia talks about her work on the Community Opioid Intervention Project. This project was created by the Fairbanks Native Association to increase recovery activities for opioid misuse and opioid use disorder. Fairbanks Native Associations main phone is (907)452-1648.
Episode 26: The Alaska Native Birthworkers Community with Helena Jacobs
In this episode, Helena Jacobs talks about the services offered by the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community. Be sure to look at their Facebook page and go to their website at https://www.nativebirthworkers.org.
Episode 25: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator, Ingrid Cumberlidge
In this episode, we hear from Ingrid Cumberlidge. Ingrid was an educator for 23 years, a tribal court judge for 22 years, and a leader in her tribe. Now Ingrid is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator for the Department of Justice. Listen to Ingrid talk about her life and work. Ingrid explains Tribal Response Plans and what prevention strategies tribes are using to prevent violence against women and other factors leading up to Native people going missing or being murdered.
Episode 24: Alaska Native Women's Resource Center with Tiana Teter
In this episode, we have guest Tiana Teter, the Program Specialist from the Alaska Native Women's Resource Center. Tiana discusses her education and Indigenous culture. She explains the work they do at the AKNWRC and we discuss the MMIW crisis. Check out this link for more resources for victims of domestic violence https://dot.alaska.gov/covid19info/SOA-Covid-19-Domestic-Violence-Shelters-Crisis-Lines.shtml
Episode 23: Interim Vice Chancellor Charlene Stern
In this episode, we talk with Charlene Stern. Charlene is the Interim Vice Chancellor for rural, community and Native education. We discuss Charlene's education, challenges that Native students face in education, and ways to combat those challenges.
Episode 22: Life, Education, and Work of Indigenous Women with Tia Tidwell
In this episode, Tia Tidwell discusses how her cultural identity influences her life, education, and work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Episode 21: UO Miss Indigenous with Angela Noah
In this episode, Angela talks about her experience as the University of Oregon's Miss Indigenous. She will discuss her achievements and goals. Angela will discuss the trials she overcame as a first generation college student and her experience as a Native woman at the University of Oregon.
Episode 20: Bering Sea Elders with Mellisa Johnson
In this episode, Mellisa Johnson, the Executive Director of Bering Sea Elders, discusses the work that she is doing to make sure the voices of Indigenous Elders in Western Alaska are heard. Mellisa also talks about NOAA's Annual Report Card and some the the effects of climate change the elders are concerned about.
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Episode 19: Village Outreach Liaison: Sharon Hildebrand
In this episode, Sharon Hildebrand discusses her life, education, and work as a Village Outreach Liaison for Doyon. Sharon will also update us on events and deadlines at Doyon.
Episode 18: Alaska Native Success Initiative with Dr. Pearl Brower
In this episode, Dr. Pearl Brower talks about her previous work with Ilisagvik College and the current work she is doing at the University of Alaska. Dr. Pearl discusses the Alaska Native Success Initiative which is an initiative with the goal of increasing Alaska Native retention and graduation at the University of Alaska. Go to https://alaska.edu/pres/aknativesuccess/ to learn more about the Alaska Native Success Initiative. Like the Urban Auntie Show on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Episode 17: Saving Oak Flat with Naelyn Pike
In this episode, Naelyn Pike talks about the work that Apache Stronghold is doing to save Oak Flat from becoming a mining operation. Go to http://apache-stronghold.com/ to learn more.
Episode 16: Indigenous Leadership Continuum with Gatgyedm Hana'ax
In this episode, Gatgyedm Hana'ax from First Alaskans Institute discusses the various programs offered by the Indigenous Leadership Continuum. Go to FirstAlaskans.org to learn more about these programs or to apply.
Episode 15: Indigenizing Education
In this episode, Charitie Ropati talks about the work she has done in creating a native-centric curriculum for her high school in Anchorage.
Episode 14: Changing Policy with Ayyu Qassataq
In this episode, Ayyu Qassataq, the Vice President and Indigenous Operations Director for First Alaskans Institute, discusses how First Alaskans Institute raises awareness of issues and advocates for policies.
Episode 13: Indigenous Wellness with Taniesha Moses
In this episode, I got to talk with Taniesha Moses, the Indigenous Wellness Outreach Coordinator with Rural Student Services. Taniesha talked about Rural Student Services programs and what she plans on doing in her new position. We also discussed how students can practice wellness this school year.
Episode 12: Two-Spirit Identity with Lane Little
In the season finale of the Urban Auntie Show, guest, Lane Little comes on to the show to talk about his two-spirit identity. He tells us his definition of two-spirit identity and the positive and negative experiences that come with his identity.
Episode 11: Indigenous Music with Stephen Qacung Blanchett
In this episode, guest Stephen Qacung Blanchett will talk about how he started his journey in music and what it is like to work in music.
Stephen is a member of the music group Pamyua. He is a graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Alaska Native Studies. He is a 2019 Dance/USA Fellowship recipient, a 2019 & 2016 recipient of the Rasmuson Foundation’s Artist Fellowship, and a 2015 National Artist Fellowship recipient through the Native Arts and Culture Foundation.
Episode 10: Elder Stories with Patricia Ekada
In this episode, Laura play recordings that she made of her 95 year-old grandmother, Patricia Ekada. Laura discusses the stories that her grandma tells.
Episode 9: Traditional Medicine with Dr. Allison Kelliher
In this episode, Dr. Allison and Laura talk about the health of Native people before and after colonial contact. Dr. Allison also gives many examples of medicines we can use in our backyard and how to promote our wellbeing.
Episode 8: Saving the Native Language with Susan Paskvan
Laura and Susan talk about preserving the native language and why it is important. Susan talks about her experience with learning the language and the work she is doing and wants to do in saving the language.
Susan Paskvan is from Koyukuk. She is the Native Language Coordinator for the Yukon-Koyukuk School District. Susan has a BBA in Management from UAF. She participated in two summer institutes at the American Indian Language Development Institute through the University of Arizona in Tucson. Susan is currently working toward a Masters of Arts degree in Linguistics and Alaska Native Languages at UAF.
Episode 7: Indigenous in Film with Michael Martin Jr.
This episode features Michael Martin. Michael’s Lingít name is Kaajiyadal. Michael studied and practiced filmmaking for the past three years now they are working with the production company Hill Top Pictures. Michael’s mother’s people come from Xuna Kaawu (Hoonah), and their father’s people come from Keéx Kwaán.
Michael dives into the history of Indigenous people in film and how that can oppress us. Michael and Laura talk about how the film industry needs to change to be more inclusive. Michael shares their dreams of creating films.
Episode 6: Indigenous Healing with Linda Isragulik Nicholia
In this episode, Linda and Laura talk about ways our culture and cultural practices can heal us from our trauma. Linda brings up a great point about how traditional practices for men are being regulated by the state, and so it is harder for them to heal through their culture.
Episode 5: Leaving Home for School with Kaitlyn Painter, Brittany Woods-Orrison, Matt Enoch, and Agatha Andrews
This show features a panel of rural Alaskan college students. Kaitlyn Painter is from Nome and attends Fort Lewis College in Colorado. Brittany Woods-Orrison from Rampart graduated from Menlo College in California. Matt Enoch from Nunapitchuk attends UAF. Agatha Andrews is from Akiak and attends the University of Jamestown in North Dakota.
In this episode, we will talk about the culture shock they experienced leaving their community and the challenges they face. These students will talk about the homesickness they felt leaving their rural communities and how they dealt with their homesickness.
Episode 4: World Eskimo Indian Olympics with Marjorie Kunaq Tahbone
In this episode, Auntie Laura speaks with Marjorie Tahbone about the World Eskimo Indian Olympics. Laura and Marjorie talk about their experiences attending WEIO and competing in the WEIO games.
Episode 3: Owning a Beading Business with Jazmyn Vent
In this episode, Auntie Laura chats with Jazmyn Vent, owner of Siqiñiq Design about owning a business and how her business has connected her to her culture.
Episode 1: Indigenous Representation in Media with Princess Johnson
In this episode, Auntie Laura speaks with Molly of Denali Creative Director Princess Johnson about how indigenous people and culture are represented in media and the impact it has on indigenous people.