The podcast series, Indigenous Voices at the Intersection of Environmental & Social Justice, is a collection of interviews by Anna Steltenkamp. The series seeks to decolonize and diversify the voice of media by prioritizing the voices of Indigenous leaders, as well as Indigenous-led organizations and initiatives, that are working to achieve environmental and social justice within their own communities and throughout the world.
It is with gratitude and humility that I acknowledge that The Sanctuary for Independent Media resides upon, and broadcasts the Hudson Mohawk Magazine radio show from, the ancestral homelands of the Mohican people, who are Indigenous peoples of the lands of New York. Despite tremendous hardships and being forced from their lands, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. I pay honor and respect to their ancestors, past and present, as I commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.
Learn whose land you are residing upon: https://native-land.ca/
A Dialogue with Lyla June on Restoring Connection, Gaining Wisdom, & Localizing Justice Movements
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Lyla June, an Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne), and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective, and ecological healing. She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives and solutions. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree, focusing on Indigenous food systems revitalization.
In this dialogue, Lyla speaks about the role that the creative arts have played in her own life, as well as the impact of the creative arts in movement spaces for environmental and social justice. She reflects on the value of community-level organizing, as well as the negative consequences of the notion of private property and the need to challenge this idea in order to act in a manner that acknowledges and respects our connectedness and interdependency throughout space and time. The conversation then transitions to a discussion about Lyla’s own learning journey and the lessons she has learned about food systems, land stewardship practices, and reciprocal relations with(in) the natural world, in which she shares tangible examples discovered through her journey and emphasizes the importance of prioritizing Indigenous wisdom traditions.
Listen to More Interviews in the Series
“The Condor & The Eagle”: Indigenous Voices in Independent Media Work
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with “The Condor & The Eagle” film’s co-director, Clement Guerra. In this segment, Clement speaks about “The Condor & The Eagle” film’s Global Impact Campaign and the use of independent media work as an impact tool, as well as the importance of Indigenous voices in the global fight for environmental and social justice. Listen in to learn about the significance of cultural frameworks and personal reflection for successful action in the fight for climate justice—as well as the necessity of listening to the Indigenous voices who are leading the fight.
“The Condor & The Eagle”: Co-Director Clement Guerra’s Personal & Creative Journey During Production
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp continues speaking with “The Condor & The Eagle” film’s co-director, Clement Guerra. In this segment, Clement speaks about his personal and creative journey throughout the production of “The Condor & The Eagle” and the implementation of the film’s Global Impact Campaign. Listen in to learn how an idea to create a 10-minute video led to a two-year, trans-continental journey documenting the global impact of four well-known Indigenous leaders in the fight for climate justice.
A Dialogue with Bryan Parras: The Path to Achieve Harmony in the World & Balance with the Earth
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Bryan Parras. Bryan Parras is one of the Gulf Coast’s most dynamic environmental justice organizers, fighting along the entire central and eastern United States. He is the co-founder of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign—and he is one of the protagonists in the film, “The Condor & the Eagle.”
This is the first segment in a three-part dialogue with Bryan Parras. In this segment, Bryan speaks about his personal efforts in the fight for environmental justice, his role in “The Condor & the Eagle,” and how collective action is necessary to achieve harmony in the world and balance with the Earth.
A Dialogue with Bryan Parras: Indigenous Voices & Healing Amidst the Fight for Environmental Justice
This is the second segment in a three-part dialogue with Bryan Parras. In this segment, Bryan speaks about the importance of people telling their own stories, the need for especially local media to change towards greater inclusivity, and the healing practices Indigenous communities use to cope with the environmental issues they face.
A Dialogue with Bryan Parras: When We Help Those Least Empowered, Everyone Benefits
This is the third segment in a three-part dialogue with Bryan Parras. In this segment, Bryan speaks about the importance of changing the narrative about those who are affected by environmental racism and how when we help those least empowered, everyone benefits. Further, he addresses how those in a privileged position can contribute to the fight for environmental justice in a respectful and inclusive manner.
Revitalizing Native American Cuisine: A Dialogue with Chef Sean Sherman of the Sioux Chef & NĀTIFS
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Chef Sean Sherman about his efforts to revitalize Native American cuisine. Chef Sean Sherman is the Founder of the company The Sioux Chef and the Co-Founder of the organization North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NāTIFS). Sean speaks about the importance of food for Native American identities, for the reclamation of Native American ancestral education, and for the well-being of both Native American communities and the environments wherein they reside.
Seeding Sovereignty: Redefining ‘Expertise’ in the Environmental Movement
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Janet MacGillivray, the Founder and Executive Director of Seeding Sovereignty. Seeding Sovereignty is a multi-generational, Indigenous womxn-led collective that works to decolonize social and environmental paradigms.
This is the first segment in a multi-part dialogue with Janet MacGillivray. In this segment, Janet speaks about the need to ‘de-expert’ and diversify the environmental movement so that the voices of those directly impacted by social and environmental issues are heard. She addresses how we must redefine our understanding of ‘expertise’—recognizing that those directly impacted have their own ‘expertise’—if the environmental movement is to be both inclusive and successful.
Seeding Sovereignty: The Importance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems & Multi-Generational Stewardship
This is the second segment in a multi-part dialogue with Janet MacGillivray. In this segment, Janet speaks about the importance of Seeding Sovereignty’s multi-generational approach and elaborates on how Indigenous practices are in synchronicity with the land. Further, she addresses how COVID-19 has exposed systems of racism, economic oppression, and speciesism present within our society—and the necessity of seeking alternatives that are informed by nature and by a regenerative philosophy.
Seeding Sovereignty: An Indigenous-Led Effort to Transform the Colonial-Capitalist Farming Industry
This is the third segment in a multi-part dialogue with Janet MacGillivray. In this segment, Janet speaks specifically about Seeding Sovereignty’s Land Resilience Project. She addresses how the profit-driven, industrial agriculture system is detrimental to environments, communities, and the workers within the industry—and she emphasizes how COVID-19 has exacerbated these negative consequences. Further, she explains her vision for a regenerative food system and how Indigenous ecological knowledge and land practices are essential for this transformation.
Papscanee Island: Sacred Land of the Mohican Nation Threatened by the E-37 Pipeline
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Heather Bruegl, the Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of the Mohican Nation. The Indigenous peoples of the upper Hudson Valley are the Mohican people, derived from their name for the Hudson River, the Mahhicannituck, the “waters that are never still.” Today known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, the Tribal Nation is based in Wisconsin, far from their original homelands. However, the Stockbridge-Munsee Community maintains a close connection to its cultural sites.
Heather Bruegl discusses the historical and present-day cultural significance of Papscanee Island. Papscanee Island is located in the Hudson River just south of Albany, New York. It is perhaps the best preserved known late woodland Native village site in New York, and the entire island is nominated for the National Register of Historic Places due to its Mohican cultural significance. Further, Heather addresses how the installation of National Grid’s proposed E-37 natural gas pipeline threatens to negatively impact Papscanee Island, and she explains the role that the Stockbridge-Munsee Community has taken throughout the decision-making process to protect the island’s rich cultural heritage.
Papscanee Island: The Stockbridge-Munsee Community’s Continued Efforts to Protect Their Sacred Lands
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks again with Heather Bruegl, the Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of the Mohican Nation. Heather continues her discussion of the cultural significance of Papscanee Island and the Stockbridge-Munsee Community’s efforts to protect their sacred lands. Heather addresses the most recent developments in the proposed Pipeline E-37 case, including the Pipeline E-37 Resolution that was approved by the Tribal Council of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community on August 18, 2020.
To learn more about Papscanee Island and the proposed Pipeline E-37, and to support the Stockbridge-Munsee Community’s preservation efforts, visit: papscanee.org
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Centering American Indians in the Question of What is Environmental (In)Justice
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Dina Gilio-Whitaker. Dina is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, an award-winning journalist, and a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos. Anna speaks with her about her recent book: “As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock.” Dina also co-authored “‘All the Real Indians Died Off’: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans” with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.
This is the first segment in a multi-part dialogue with Dina Gilio-Whitaker. In this segment, Dina speaks about her personal experience as an Urban Indian in the United States, as well as her background as an activist and journalist, and how these experiences influenced her work. Further, she addresses how the defining of “environmental justice” by the United States Government creates issues for American Indians, and she discusses her argument for why American Indians need to be centered in the question of what is environmental (in)justice.
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Native Place-Based Identities Informed by Relationships with the Natural World
This is the second segment in a multi-part dialogue with Dina Gilio-Whitaker. In this segment, Dina speaks about how Native worldviews are informed by their identity as place-based people, an identity formed through relationship with the natural world and the more-than-human elements within it. Further, she addresses how American Indian knowledge systems result in societies of sustainability because land was not understood as a commodity, as just a function of economies. This contrasts Euro-American perceptions of land as a resource in service to humans, wherein humans are dominant over the land and exploit it for extractive purposes.
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: The Importance of Food for American Indian Health & Cultural Identity
This is the third segment in a multi-part dialogue with Dina Gilio-Whitaker. In this segment, Dina speaks about the importance of food for American Indian cultural identity and personal vitality, as well as efforts to revitalize Native food sources. She addresses how the imposition of foreign food systems, the dependency on Federal Government food programs, and the forced removal from, or degradation of, natural environments and food sources created a multiplicity of health-related issues within Native communities—including starvation, malnourishment, and obesity.
Devon Mihesuah: The Indigenous Food Sovereignty Movement in the United States
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Devon Mihesuah. Devon is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation and is the Cora Lee Beers Price Teaching Professor in International Cultural Understanding at the University of Kansas. Anna speaks with her about the book she co-edited with Elizabeth Hoover, entitled: “Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health.” Devon is also the author of the book “Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens: Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness,” and the revised edition was just released this year.
This is the first segment in a multi-part dialogue with Devon Mihesuah. In this segment, Devon speaks about the Indigenous Food Sovereignty movement in the United States, including her personal experiences as part of this movement. Further, she explains her definition of “Indigenous food sovereignty,” and she addresses what the main reasons are for the movement and its fundamental goals.
Devon Mihesuah: Reimagining Food via Multi-Generational & Experiential Learning in the Natural World
This is the second segment in a multi-part dialogue with Devon Mihesuah. In this segment, Devon speaks about how to conceptually reimagine food as more than just a commodity. She proposes that food provides more than just biological nourishment, for it also gives us cultural, ecological, and spiritual nourishment. Also, she addresses the importance of learning about food in a multi-generational and experiential manner within the natural world. In this manner, one may develop an emotional connection with the natural world and learn how to act respectfully within, and how to understand the rhythms of, the natural world.
Hudson Mohawk Magazine Spotlights ‘Indigenous Voices’ Podcast to Honor & Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day
On Indigenous Peoples Day, we honor and celebrate Indigenous communities.
For this reason, the Hudson Mohawk Magazine dedicated its October 12th show to Indigenous voices by spotlighting our podcast series: “Indigenous Voices at the Intersection of Environmental & Social Justice,” produced by Anna Steltenkamp.
On this special episode of HMM, first we hear from Janet MacGillivray, the Founder and Executive Director of Seeding Sovereignty on redefining ‘expertise’ in the environmental movement. Then we have Dina Gilio-Whitaker, author of “As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock.” And later on, Heather Bruegl, the Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of the Mohican Nation, speaks about Papscanee Island, a site of cultural and historical significance, located in the Hudson River. After that, we’ll hear from Bryan Parras, co-founder of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign—and he is one of the protagonists in the film, “The Condor & the Eagle.” Finally, Anna speaks with Devon Mihesuah, co-editor of the book: “Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health.”
Photo Copyright: Amanda J. Mason/Greenpeace
Multi-Generational Sharing of Farming Knowledges & the Revitalization of Traditional Agriculture
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Clayton Brascoupé. Clayton is a life-long gardener and farmer. He is also the Program Director of the Traditional Native American Farmers Association (TNAFA), which is a non-profit, inter-tribal organization of Indigenous farmers, gardeners, educators, and health professionals whose mission is “to revitalize traditional agriculture for spiritual and human need, by creating awareness and support for Native environmental issues.”
This is the first segment in a multi-part dialogue with Clayton Brascoupé. In this segment, Clayton speaks about the mission of the TNAFA and why it is personally significant to him. Further, he speaks about the practices and ideals of traditional agriculture that the organization seeks to revitalize, as well as the importance of these practices for his own children and grandchildren. He speaks on the value of the quality time and the knowledges he is able to share with his family through farming.
Working the Land: How to Become Attune to, & Create Positive Relations with, All of Nature
This is the second segment in a multi-part dialogue with Clayton Brascoupé. In this segment, Clayton reflects on how working the land, and having a productive role within his natural landscape, makes him feel—while describing his own efforts to find a healthy relationship with all of nature. Also, he speaks about the acute awareness of, and the feeling of connectedness within, the natural world that develops through working the land.
Natural & Holistic Approaches to Creating Sustainable & Healthy Living Systems
This is the third segment in a multi-part dialogue with Clayton Brascoupé. In this segment, Clayton speaks about TNAFA’s education program: the Indigenous Sustainable Communities Design Course. This program takes a holistic approach to creating sustainable communities, integrating many disciplines to create complete living systems. He addresses the benefits of community participation in farming and gardening—including access to a healthier diet, to physical activity, and to quality time with both your community and family. Also, Clayton speaks about the importance of developing youth interest in farming and gardening, and the resurgence of this interest that occurred amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indigenizing Media Through Indigenous Eyes
HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Myron Dewey. Myron Dewey is a filmmaker, journalist, digital storyteller, and the founder of Digital Smoke Signals, a media production company that aims to give a platform to Indigenous voices in media. He co-directed the award-winning 2017 film “Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock,” which tells the story of the NoDAPL movement and the Native-led peaceful resistance and fight for clean water, the environment, and the future of the planet. Through both Digital Smoke Signals and his own media work, Myron seeks to bridge the digital divide throughout Indian Country and to indigenize media with core Indigenous cultural values.
In this segment, Myron speaks about his personal experience at Standing Rock as both a Native participant and media maker. He discusses the importance of Indigenous people becoming community journalists, so what is shared is the Indigenous narrative through Indigenous eyes. Myron discusses the historical trauma that continues to affect Indigenous people—including Western encroachment, Western media and misrepresentation, broken treaties, and environmental extraction and degradation. He also speaks about the strength, synchronicity of support, and spirit of Standing Rock, as well as the importance of ceremony and kinship for Native healing and his own efforts to empower Native communities. Further, he shares his perspective on how one can be a white ally, and what role an ally has in the movements for environmental and social justice—describing the decolonizing process of (re)learning, healing, and holding space in solidarity with Indigenous people.
Host & Producer
Anna Steltenkamp began working with the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Summer 2020. Anna was a member of the University Scholars Program at Duke University, studying Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Sciences & Policy, and Documentary Studies. During her undergraduate career, she studied abroad in Berlin, Germany and Sydney, Australia.
Her primary research interests include food sovereignty, Indigenous ecological wisdom, and biocultural restoration. At Duke University, she conducted ethnographic research at the Duke Campus Farm and worked as an Equity Through Stories Researcher at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the inclusion of local Indigenous peoples & their knowledge systems.
At the Sanctuary, Anna worked as a host and producer for the Sanctuary’s radio show, the Hudson Mohawk Magazine (HMM). Her interviews for HMM primarily address BIPOC-centered efforts to achieve environmental and social justice. Anna also created the site, papscanee.org, in collaboration with the Stockbridge-Munsee community of the Mohican Nation. This is an effort to spread awareness about the Mohican cultural and historical importance of Papscanee Island in the Hudson River and to combat the threat that the E-37 natural gas pipeline proposal poses on this sacred land.