To start this week’s show on what it means to be indigenous, we went right to the source. We spoke to three people from three different Native American tribes about issues facing their communities. All three currently reside on reservations.


Lauren Chief Elk , Ruth Hopkins, and Gyasi Ross are all outspoken on a number of issues facing their communities, such as violence against indigenous women, high unemployment and suicide rates, and what it feels like to constantly witness careless cultural appropriation in the mainstream media.


These conversations offer just a small insight about the ongoing problems facing Natives both on and off reservations. They also show the just a bit of the passion that these writers and activists have for their cultures.

The extended version of this segment will be available shortly.





Ruth Hopkins is a Native American (Dakota and Lakota Sioux) writer, blogger, biologist and Judge. She is a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network and one of the founding writers of She is also a contributor to,,,,, and has been published by dozens of other sites online as well as in print. Find her on Twitter @RuthHopkins.




Lauren Chief Elk is the co-founder of the Save Wiyabi Project, an advocacy group relating to violence against Native American Women. She is also very active on twitter, where you can follow her @ChiefElk






GyasiRossGyasi Ross is an attorney, writer and member of the Blackfeet Nation/Suquamish Nation. His new book, “How to Say I love You in Indian,” is available now.

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