Episode 1: Indigenous Resilience
Play • 1 hr 23 min

In the first episode of Season 2 of the Demystifying Diversity Podcast, host Daralyse Lyons explores Indigenous Resilience, and just some of the far-reaching implications that systemic racism have had over 500 years of colonization and systemic oppression.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How racism against Indigenous groups extends beyond human-to-human interactions to include issues that shape the justice system, the environment, and basic quality of life for many Indigenous people today.
  • How education systems censor and negate Indigenous identities and experiences in favor of narratives that promote heroic images of colonization and invasion.
  • How the proliferation and impact of crime against Indigenous people, particularly women and girls, is a major problem in and around lands that are supposed to be protected.

  • How the systemic erasure of Indigenous languages creates separation and isolation of those groups, weakening cultural and ancestral bonds.

  • The importance of art in articulating Indigenous perspectives, especially in instances where Indigenous individuals have been disenfranchised from their “seat at the table.”

  • The long-term consequences of participating in holidays that promote inaccurate narratives surrounding the Indigenous experience in the Americas.

The experiences, perspectives and challenges shared in this episode come from those who have witnessed, experienced and endured the struggles of systemic racism against Indigenous peoples, and are actively doing work to educate and remedy its far-reaching effects.

Our guests include:

Morgan Ridgeway: Morgan is a PhD candidate with graduate minors in queer and Indigenous studies whose research focuses on multitribal communities, decolonization strategies, and queer indigenous theory. They are also an artist who utilizes poetry, creative nonfiction, dance, and mixed media in order to disrupt linear, non-inclusive modalities of history-telling and to inspire themselves and others to reimagine what's possible.

Simon Moya-Smith: Simon is a contributing writer to NBC News and CNN, and is a registered member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. He works to bring light and awareness to issues that directly impact Indigenous communities.

Fern Anuenue Holland: Since receiving her Bachelor of Science with triple majors in Wildlife Management, Environmental Science and Marine Biology, Fern has worked as an environmental scientist and ecological consultant. She was instrumental in the development and passing of Bill 2491, a bill which regulates the agrochemical industry. You've likely seen her if you watched the well-known documentary "Poisoning Paradise."

Tessa McLean: Tessa is a Community Planner with a multidisciplinary background. An expert in sustainable energy practices and environmental justice, she brings indigenous knowledge, subject matter expertise, technical skills, and industry experience to community planning initiatives. She is also deeply committed to raising awareness about the plight of missing, murdered, and trafficked indigenous women.

Jaclyn Roessel: Jaclyn is the president of GrownUp Navajo, the co-founder of Native Women Lead, a writer, a curator, a coach and a cultural equity and justice consultant. She was the inaugural recipient of the Arizona Humanities Rising Star Award and has been named one of Phoenix's 100 Creatives You Should Know.

Charlene Teters: Charlene is a Spokane Tribal Member and is an educator, artist and lecturer whose paintings and installations have been featured in numerous collections and exhibitions. As the former Dean of the Institute of American Indian Arts, she spent much of her academic career working to ensure the education of future tribal leaders, innovators and artists.

Click here for the full transcript of this episode.

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