This is Minnesota Native News. I’m Marie Rock, coming up… the podcast Indigenized Connections On Air examines tribal issues and leadership through the lens of economic development and the Counter Stories podcast recently featured an in-depth conversation about Indian boarding schools and their intentional trauma.
The Indigenized Connections On Air podcast series looks at topics that impact tribal communities and leadership around Minnesota.
Jason Schlender (podcast excerpt): Welcome to Indigenized Connections On Air, a podcast brought to you by the University of Minnesota Extension Center for community vitality in the area of leadership and civic engagement and also by the Minnesota Indigenous Leadership Network, which explores the issues that impact tribal communities and leadership throughout Minnesota.
Jason Schlender is the American Indian leadership and civic engagement educator for the University of Minnesota Extension in the center for community vitality. And is the host of the podcast.
“[Ojibwemowin introduction] My name is Jason Schlender. I’m from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe in Wisconsin, just been really inspired by a lot of the things that have happened in this country politically over the last year and a half. And it’s important for us as indigenous people, more so Ojibwe Anishinaabe people to be visible. We are contributing that we are… That we have something to say and something to contribute,” said Schlender.
The guests and the focus vary though every episode of Indigenized Connections On Air relates to economic development. The monthly podcast got started just as the pandemic hit last year. So Jason spent the first several episodes looking at what native leadership looks like in a crisis.
“I think it’s like six episodes that are focused on tribal leadership and how they’re navigating change,” said Schlender.
For example, in conversation with Dennis Olson Jr., Fond du Lac Band citizen, and commissioner of Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education, they talk about the significance of servant leadership and recognizing school inequity is becoming more and more apparent during a pandemic. Jason also spoke with Minnesota’s Supreme Court Justice Anne McKeig and tribal leaders, Joe Nayquonabe, Jr., Beth Drost and many more…
“Just trying to build awareness and I can’t emphasize it enough, for me to just make sure that people know that Indigenous people are still here. We’re still here. We still contribute a lot to the state, to our tribal communities, to our neighboring communities and we’re vital parts of the state, the country and the world,” said Schlender.
Next, the Counter Stories podcast is by people of color, for people of color and everyone else. Recently, the podcast took a deep look at Indian boarding schools and the trauma inflicted by them. One of the hosts, Don Eubanks introduces.
Don Eubanks (podcast excerpt): “We do have a very welcome guest joining us today. We have Christine McCleave.”
Christine Diindiisi McCleave is the CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in Minneapolis, with the recent uncovering of lost lives of young ones at boarding schools in the US and Canada, the fact of intentional erasure of culture and language of indigenous people is brought to the surface for all to see.
Christine Diindiisi McCleave talks about the story of genocide as being told mainly by those who came to overtake and occupy.
“When we get to issues like unmarked graves from boarding schools that were federally sanctioned and church run or missing and murdered indigenous peoples, all of that goes back to that original story in that original paradigm of how this country was founded,” said Diindiisi McCleave on the podcast.
Hear more of this conversation on the full episode of Counter Stories on the Counter Stories podcast stream.
More about the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition at boardingschoolhealing.org.
Leah Lemm reporting for Minnesota Native News
Minnesota Native News is produced by Ampers Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities made possible by funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.
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