Native American Heritage Month and National Day of Mourning


In this episode of COVID, RACE AND DEMOCRACY:

“Protect your spirit, because you are in the place where spirits get eaten.”
― John Trudell

“Since 1970, Native Americans and supporters have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture.”  -United American Indians of New England. For more information:

In memoriam: John Trudell hosted the broadcast of Radio Free Alcatraz live from the island, December 2nd, 1969.The camp on the Island was united as Indians of All Tribes and the takeover lasted 19 months. Radio Free Alcatraz was broadcast throughout the Pacifica network. Al Siverwitz interviewed John in 1969 from Alcatraz. John Trudell became the Chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973 to 1979. His wife Tina was pregnant, and their three children ages one, three and five, as well as Tina’s mother were burned to death in a fire of suspicious origin” at his in-laws home in Nevada. The fire occurred hours after he burned an American Flag in protest on the steps of the FBI headquarters in Washington DC. His father in-law survived but was badly burned. The fire was never investigated. After some time had passed John began his poetry career. From the Pacifica archives hear a rare interview of John Trudell in 1992. Activist, poet, actor John Trudell passed on December 8, 2015. Special thanks to the Pacifica Archives.

Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director of the Gwitchin Steering Committee is concerned about the Gwitchin peoples ancestral bond and protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is internationally known for its ecological importance, beauty and for its wildlife, 8.9 million acres are protected as wilderness with a 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, its biological heart. After a rushed approval process, the U.S. has opened up the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas exploration and development that violates the human rights of the Gwichin People.

Lenny Foster, Indigenous Rights activist with a long history of protecting rights to Indigenous spiritual practices. He has served as spiritual counselor for many imprisoned Indigenous people. Now with Covid outbreaks in prisons, Lenny talks about the survival of Native people on the inside.

Lyla June is an Indigenous environmental scientist, doctoral student, educator, community organizer and musician of Dine (Navajo), Cheyenne and European lineages from Taos, NM. She shares her journey, to find herself, from the Conference of Hope.

Its Our Special Month again by John Kane, WPFW host of Let’s Talk Native  (airs on Friday’s), with some hard truths about November and the realities and myths around Native American Heritage month.

Hear the latest from Georgia on the run-off races that will determine the control of the US Senate from Greg Palast and his team of investigators. Palast, in recognition of the National Day of Mourning, fills us in on the crucial role of the American Native Nations vote in the presidential election and the history of the continuing Trail of Tears “the suppression of the vote of Indigenous citizens. For more information, check out Pacifica’s Election Crimes Bulletin  at

Listen to Greg Palast’s report here:

National DAY OF MOURNING: TH., November 26,2020, (U.S. “thanksgiving” day) at Cole’s Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 12 noon SHARP. Cole’s Hill, above Plymouth Rock in the Plymouth historic waterfront area. Organized by the United American Indians of New England. For more information visit:

Caribou Skin Hut Dance, by Sarah James and Dean Everson/ Soundings of the Planet
Valerie Dee Naranjo, Doh Tah Shiedla
Lyla June, All Nations Rise & Time Traveller featuring Desirae Harp 

Today’s show was co-produced and edited by Jacqueline Baptiste (People of the Earth, host, KPFT-HTX) and Akua Holt, with production and editing assistance by Polina Vasiliev and producer Ken Yale. Co-executive producers Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev and Steve Seltzer. Dr. Obidike Kamau guest host, former IGM KPFT, contributor and former host of Conscious Mindset and Afrocentric Reality (KPFT – HTX).

“No matter what they ever do to us, we must always act for the love of our people and the earth. We must not react out of hatred against those who have no sense.”
― John Trudell

CR&D Resource List

“I Am Not a Leader”: Russell Means’ 1980 Mother Jones Cover Story



Lines from a Mined Mind : The Words of John Trudell

Lines from a Mined Mind brings together lyrics and musings from the twenty-five-year recording career of John Trudell, an internationally acclaimed poet, musician, and leader of the American Indian Movement. More than a simple anthology, this collection goes deeper, revealing the incendiary intersection of music and activism.


Forgotten Native American musicians: ‘We could have been the next Nirvana’

Indigenous say ‘no thanks, no giving’ 400 years after Mayflower