Native American

Poet, writer and musician Joy Harjo — a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation — often draws on Native American stories, languages and myths. But she says that she's not self-consciously trying to bring that material into her work. If anything, it's the other way around.

Updated Jan. 24 at 9:30 a.m. ET

A crowd of students surrounds the Native American man, laughing and filming on cell phones. One boy, wearing a red Make America Great Again hat, stands just inches away from the man's drum, staring at him with a wide smile.

Nathan Phillips, an Omaha elder participating in the Indigenous Peoples March, keeps drumming and singing.

Four days a week, Micah Swimmer facilitates an all-day language session between young adults who are learning Eastern Band Cherokee and older, fluent speakers.

He points to the back of his classroom at the New Kituwah Academy in Cherokee, N.C. It's early September, and sheets of paper on a bulletin board display the names of 226 Eastern Band Cherokee members.

"That's all we have out of [about] 16,000 enrolled members," he says. "That's all we have left that are fluent speakers."

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has announced the winning concept for the National Native American Veterans Memorial: Multimedia artist Harvey Pratt's Warriors' Circle of Honor will incorporate a large, upright stainless steel circle set above a stone drum in the center of a circular walkway with intricate carvings of the five military seals.

Guests for Sundial on Monday, March 19, 2018:

We revisited an interview we had with Miccosukee Indian School teacher William Osceola. The k-12 school has about 150 students and the most recent graduating class had seven students. Osceola told us how the accredited school is modeled to highlight Miccosukee tradition but also provides an education that parallels traditional public school outside of the reservation. 

Generations ago, the American Indian Osage tribe was compelled to move. Not for the first time, white settlers pushed them off their land in the 1800s. They made their new home in a rocky, infertile area in northeast Oklahoma in hopes that settlers would finally leave them alone.

As it turned out, the land they had chosen was rich in oil, and in the early 20th century, members of the tribe became spectacularly wealthy. They bought cars and built mansions; they made so much oil money that the government began appointing white guardians to "help" them spend it.

Kate Stein / WLRN

From fry bread to beadwork to alligator wrestling, there’s a lot of Seminole and Native American culture on display at the 2017 Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow in Hollywood.

But for hundreds of attendees from throughout North America, the real draw is the dance competitions.

"Native Americans come from across the country to dance at our powwow," said Wanda Bowers, powwow director. "A lot of these people, that's their life."

 

Kate Stein / WLRN

The American Civil War is usually regarded as the war that led to the end of slavery in the United States. But battles over American slavery had been fought long before that.

 

During the three Seminole Wars, escaped slaves joined the warriors of the Seminole tribe to fight the American government for freedom. For the slaves, it was freedom from the brutality of plantation life. For the Seminoles, it was freedom to keep land that the U.S. government wanted for American settlers.

 

Peter Haden / WLRN

Gordon Oliver “Ollie” Wareham says all of his songs tell a story.

When she was growing up, Dina Gilio-Whitaker was constantly asked, "How much Indian blood do you have?" She could never figure out how to respond, which is not to say she didn't know who she was.

"I knew that I was Native, I knew that I was Colville, I knew my family up there on the reservation," she said recently. "But what I grew up with was a process of not being seen and not being recognized as being Native, because I was completely out of context.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  Key West has a lot of signs denoting historic sites. Most point to events and places of significance since Europeans settled the island in the early 19th century.

For the month of March, four new signs point further back into the island's history. They are works of public art by Edgar Heap Of Birds and are part of his Native Host series.

Native American Heritage Panel Tackles Substance Abuse

Nov 17, 2015
Audrey Armitage

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Broward College hosted a panel with speakers from Florida Atlantic University to discuss issues facing the Native American community.

Can Beckham Bend It At A Boat Slip?

May 23, 2014
Miami Beckham United

On The Florida Roundup: Former soccer star David Beckham's team presents a new plan for a stadium and park at a boat slip by the American Airlines Arena after their vision for a facility at Miami's Port faced fierce opposition. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez got into office by touting his opposition to Marlins Park. But this week he was all over in the news for deals with sports teams, including the Miami Heat and Dolphins. What’s changed?

And a reporter spends eight months delving into the world of South Florida's Seminole and Miccosukee Indians.

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