Grab a cup of coffee, or your favorite medicine mix of tea, and cozy up for some great stories and conversations that will make you think, laugh, cry, and learn.
The great thing about podcasts, as they grow in popularity, is that you can hear from a wide variety of storytellers and knowledge keepers. Podcasts cover things you didn’t even know you needed to know.
With all of us searching for ways to escape the screen during the pandemic, podcasts are the perfect way to do that. Here are ten of our favourite podcasts featuring Indigenous content. Cozy up and enjoy some great listening.
MediaINDIGENA is a roundtable podcast with host Rick Harp and a group of panelists who tackle weekly affairs in so-called Canada. The podcast draws in people of all backgrounds, but appeals to those who enjoy a more academic look at things. They cover all topics, from decolonizing to dismantling. Harp is hilarious, and his podcast will have you laughing and also learning history, context and academic ideas that you might have never heard about.
2. Warrior Life
Warrior Life is a fiesty podcast hosted by renowned Mi’kmaq lawyer Dr. Pam Palmater (who IndigiNews interviewed in the heat of the lobster conflict in Mi’kmaq territories). She takes her warrior heart and pours it into this podcast where she interviews grassroots activists, Indigenous leaders, and knowledge keepers, shining light onto important topics. Warrior life is a podcast meant to support a decolonizing journey in mind, heart, bodies and spirits, by educating and connecting a larger community.
3. All My Relations
All My Relations is a beautiful podcast, with a poetic flavour. The host Matika Wilbur, a woman from the Swinomish and Tulalip Peoples, is known for her visual storytelling and her passion to humanize and celebrate Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island. Alongside Wilbur is her co-host, Adrienne Keene, a Cherokee woman that is passionate about representation of Indigenous Peoples in all spaces. Keene holds a doctorate degree from Harvard which equips her to critique media and work to change the narrative of Indigenous Peoples.All My Relations tackles tough topics, but in a way that’s an easy listen, all while bringing Indigenous creators to the forefront of their topics.
4. Red Man Laughing
Red Man Laughing will have you bursting at the seams, as comedian host Ryan McMahon, an Anishinaabe man brings in special guests that add to his colourful episodes. The podcast is an Indigenous arts and culture podcast that directly confronts the “good, the bad and the ugly between Indian Country and the mainstream,” as stated on his website. This podcast is good for a Friday night when you want to break into the weekend with a good belly laugh.
On a more serious note, McMahon is also the host of Thunder Bay and the recently released Return to Thunder Bay, where he tries to figure out what is happening in this city that he says “might be the most dangerous city for Indigenous kids in the world.” He digs into the roots of racism, systemic inequities, and city politics that are often otherwise invisible to outsiders.
5. Nation to Nation
Nation to Nation is APTN’s weekly podcast hosted by Todd Lamirande where he dives into current affairs discussing political topics with decision makers throughout the country. A great way to keep up-to-date with a more in-depth look at what’s happening and a news-related flavour.
6. Missing & Murdered
Missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada is an ongoing crisis, and it’s an issue the media has often gotten wrong. In this podcast, Cree investigative journalist Connie Walker spends more time, and helps tell difficult stories in a way that honours the lives lost, and the families struggling to navigate a systemic, complex, intergenerational issue.
The first eight-episode season of Missing & Murdered ‘Who Killed Alberta Williams?’ investigates the cold case of a young Indigenous woman murdered in B.C. in 1989. The second, ten-part season ‘Finding Chloe,’ joins a family in their search for their sister.
Perhaps award-winning Algonquin journalist Karyn Pugliese said it best during a ‘MMIWG & Media Getting it Right’ panel organized by Journalists for Human Rights, when she said Walker’s podcast is an example of how to cover a heavy topic in a way that centers the victims and families. ‘Missing & Murdered’ “is a perfect example of pushing for more space and time with families, and showing the entire truth of the family and the women, to lead to the circumstances they’re in.”
7. Toasted Sister
Toasted Sister podcast is a culinary and Indigenous cuisine podcast focused on highlighting and promoting the spirit of a plate of Indigenous food. Listen in to learn more about how Indigenous Peoples all over Turtle Island are bringing food made with love to the table and how they do it differently. Especially during COVID-19, it’s been eye opening to hear how Indigenous food businesses are coping during the pandemic.
“After contact, Indigenous foodways and knowledge were devastated, nearly destroyed and replaced with foods that are far from the people,” says the website. “Talking to Native chefs and foodies about what Indigenous cuisine is, where it comes from, where it’s headed and how it’s used to connect them and their communities to their origins and traditions.”
8. Coffee with My Ma
Coffee with my Ma is a great listen at any time! Although there are only a few episodes created so far, it’s wonderful hearing stories from the mother of actress Kaniehtiio Horn from the Mohawk territory. Horn’s mother, Kahn-Tineta Horn, was a model in the 1960’s and a fierce Mohawk advocate whose stories range from when she punched a journalist in the face, to how she saved an infant from the 60’s Scoop. The podcast brings you to a place where you feel like you’re sitting at the kitchen table listening to these unbelievable stories of love and resilience, with a good mixture of humour.
9. Our Native Land
Our Native Land is one of the newest Indigenous podcasts brought to you from the CHEK Studios on the Lək̓ʷəŋən territory in so-called Victoria, B.C.. This podcast talks about all things Indigenous, featuring a variety of guests who engage with the host Tchadas Leo, in a way that keeps you waiting for the next episode. Leo and his guests have conversations that intertwine Indigenous humour, education, and kinship building.
10. Indigenous Action
Indigenous Action is a badass podcast hosted by Bonn, a Indigenous host who speaks truth with bravery and confronting issues head on. The podcast covers critical thoughts about land acknowledgements, stolen kinships and anti-blackness in Indigenous communities. The website describes the podcast as, “an autonomous anti-colonial broadcast with unapologetic and claws-out analysis towards total liberation.”
“So take your seat by this fire and may the bridges we burn together, light our way.”