Wassaja Series 1

  • News

News from Indian Country produced and hosted by Emmy award winning Native journalist Mark Trahant.


1. She Represents


Mark Trahant hosts Wassaja, a weekly news series from Indian Country.

2. Dominica


Dominica - The Kalinago people were among the first Native Americans to encounter Christopher Columbus. The tribe, over the centuries, fought off the Spanish, the French, and were eventually pushed by the British to a small corner of their own island. Yet they remain. Now on their homeland the Kalinago face a new challenge, climate change and stronger hurricanes. But the Kalinago are resilient.

3. ”Thunderbird Woman”


Mary Annette Pember saw Ojibwe ‘spirit writing’ among the water protectors at Standing Rock. How did that sacred symbol end up on the prairie? Pember’s answers that question in ink on a very personal journey.

4. Innovation


INNOVATION. This story starts with a problem: A shortage of dentists in rural villages. Alaska Natives highest rates of tooth decay rates in the world. Program trains people from the villages to deliver basic oral health. Dentists sue. Tribes win. That story has been told. And the next chapter is extraordinary. (Could trim here) After the success of the dental program, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium takes on a university, refashioning it as a tribal college, in order to prepare the next generation. Think of that: An entire university with one task, preparing young people for the jobs of the future, not the past.

5. Windigo Economy


Winona LaDuke has already made history. She’s run for the vice presidency twice. She has received an electoral college vote. And she is a steady voice of conscience. She talks to Paul DeMain about her hope for a new economy. A seed of wisdom from Winona LaDuke on Wassaja.

6. Legacy


Ojibwe elder Joe Rose talks about battles past and provides a traditional context to today’s debates. And in Montana a conversation with a mother and daughter, Carol and Denise Juneau, citizens of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, whose legacy includes reshaping politics. And education.

7. The Playwright


Mary Kathryn Nagle is a busy attorney, practicing law in Oklahoma and Washington, DC. And in her spare time she is heading up a new program at Yale. Tired yet? Because she’s also an amazing playright with shows running on both coasts.

8. A New Era for Native Media — Vehicles of Indian Intelligence


A year ago Native media was huddled in a hotel room talking about the death of Indian Country Today. Now the paper is back … but it almost doesn’t matter because there is so much Native media going on across the country. A golden age?

9. Making Sure Alaska Natives Have A Voice In State’s Politics


Alaska Politics: Debra Call represents so many trends in this election. She’s experienced. She’s running for a state office raising so many issues that impact Native women. There is just one thing: She is challenging a Native American man who has been serving in the office for the past four years. Why? And will it result in both candidates losing?