With Thanksgiving 2020 somehow already behind us, and Native American Heritage Day 2020 upon us, it seems like the perfect opportunity to shine a bit of light on some the very best Indigenous voices through podcasting. This year has certainly flown by, but it’s important for us to slow down for a bit and focus on bringing awareness to the Indigenous people around the world and celebrate their cultural heritage and integral importance on the world’s past, present, and future. These podcasts tell the stories of different Indigenous people in their very own words. From podcasts that hone in on the disparities that exist on reservations in America to long-running series that offer up unique takes on traditional Indigenous recipes and meals and a whole bunch of others in between, these podcasts that support the voices of Indigenous people are a must-listen — not only around Thanksgiving, but throughout the entire year.
While current affairs podcast Media Indigena might be based out of Canada, the full scope of this important Indigenous podcast is not limited to one country alone. Hosted by Rick Harp, president and founder of the INDIGENA Creative Group, Media Indigena has spent the last several years breaking down the latest and most important issues facing Indigenous people on a week-by-week basis — things like health, jobs, fighting racism, and more. At over 200 episodes so far and counting, Harp’s podcast is a great starter for anyone hoping to get a thorough overview of contemporary Indigenous issues throughout North America and beyond.
This Land (Crooked Media)
We’ve highlighted some of Crooked Media’s podcasts in previous blog posts before, and this special collection of podcasts focusing on Indigenous people is no exception thanks to their series This Land. Tracking the unexpected collision of two major crimes as they came together in the United States Supreme Court, This Land is a thorough, richly detailed true crime podcast that highlights the sheer amount of disregard that the legal system has for Indigenous People in America. Hosted by Rebecca Nagle, an Oklahoma journalist and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, This Land is ideal for both fans of true crime and those hoping to educate themselves on one of the most important trials over tribal land in the history of the U.S.
Red Man Laughing (Indian & Cowboy)
Throughout the history of North American arts and culture, there have been some truly disturbing portrayals of Indigenous people. Dissecting these portrayals and finding out what makes them so offensive to the community being portrayed is an important conversation to have, and Red Man Laughing host Ryan McMahon is ready to have it. An Anishinabe comedian himself, McMahon has proven he has the know-how and the experience to explain the good, the bad, and the ugly that exists between the mainstream media and Native people throughout North America for over 100 episodes now.
Toasted Sister (Native Voice 1)
If you live in North America, odds are that you’ve encountered traditional Native American dishes and recipes on countless occasions before without even knowing it. The podcast Toasted Sister from the network Native Voice 1 is hosted by journalist and Navajo Nation citizen Andi Murphy and sets out to discuss the ways in which historic Indigenous food has been forgotten, rediscovered, and reinvented throughout the past couple of centuries and into today. Through her own expertise and conversations with fellow Indigenous foodies, Murphy helps to keep traditions alive well into the 21st century.
While Indigenous (NDN Collective)
NDN’s fascinating and incredibly insightful podcast While Indigenous serves as something of a how-to for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. Hosted by NDN Collective Director of Communications Sarah Sunshine Manning, While Indigenous aims to help people improve their relationships with others and with themselves from a uniquely spiritual perspective. From dealing with the holidays to discussing leadership to analyzing power structures, While Indigenous is full of all sorts of useful solutions to (and analysis of) the most pressing problems in our personal lives.
Stories From The Land (Indian & Cowboy)
Produced by Indian & Cowboy, the same people who gave us Red Man Laughing, comes Stories From The Land: a podcast devoted to the greatest storytellers in the Indigenous community. From the stories passed down through generations of family to the legends that made their way throughout different tribes and time periods, Stories From The Land hopes to strengthen the world outlook, the lessons, and the ideas of Indigenous people through the art of language and music. As an added bonus, episodes tend to be as long or shorter than the length of your average 30 minute television episode, which makes binging Stories From The Land even easier.
Indigenous Innovators (Animikii)
For the more work-minded, Animikii’s podcast Indigenous Innovators provides an inspiring snapshot of some of the freshest and most exciting Indigenous voices in the worlds of leadership, activists, the arts, and entrepreneurship. From Canada to the United States to all over the rest of the world, Indigenous Innovators allows for the innovators themselves to explain what they’re doing and how they face their unique challenges in their own words. It’s an unmissable miniseries for anyone in search of the Indigenous perspectives of trendsetters.
All My Relations
A frequently lighthearted and often touching look at the daily issues young Indigenous people face on the regular, All My Relations features Swinomish and Tulalip host Matika Wilbur and Cherokee Nation host Adrienne Keene as they traverse their relationships to the land, their relatives, and each other. The two Indigenous women invite guests on to discuss their personal stories as young Indigenous people growing up in the here and now, grappling with their historic roots, their youth, and their promising futures. It’s funny, it’s honest, and it’s more than worth your time.
Easily the most prolific podcast featured in this piece, Native Trailblazers has spent countless seasons and over 500 episodes diving deep into contemporary Indigenous issues from the perspective of its two hosts, Vincent and Delores Schilling. The two aren’t afraid to go long, often devoting hours to exploring the episode’s topic with experts and guests and spending as much time as necessary to provide listeners with a thorough, complete analysis. Recent highlights include a discussion of Hollywood’s portrayal of Indigenous people, a conversation about how COVID-19 has impacted Indigenous people around the world, and an interview with Native Olympian Billy Mills. With such an enormous catalog, there’s no shortage of excellent episodes to choose from.
Whether you’re interested in discovering more podcasts that focus on indigenous people or you’re hoping to get hooked on a completely different kind of podcast entirely, Backtracks has got you and all your podcast needs covered. There’s an endless supply of great new podcasts on our site in addition to many great curated collections like this one on our blog. For something eerie, take a look at our most recent series on True Crime, Supernatural, and Mystery podcasts. For a change of pace, check out our series on Amplifying Black Voices in Podcasts, Amplifying Queer Voices in Podcasts, or Amplifying Voices in Education. For things on the lighter side, take a look at our series on Amplifying Voices in Sports or our post on Funny Podcasts About Movies.