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Borders, Migration and Belonging: Native Voices

Brian Bull

KLCC presents a year-long series on Native Voices of Oregon beginning July, 2018. 

Funded by the University of Oregon's Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, the stories coincide with the Center's 2017-2019 Theme of Inquiry: Borders, Migration and Belonging. 

The series is reported by KLCC's Brian Bull and Karen Richards. Stories air monthly during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

This project is made possible by a grant from the KLCC Public Radio Foundation.

Special Report:  Check out Melorie Begay's feature on theKLCC Community Conversation held May 15, 2019 at the LCC Longhouse.

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Episode 1 - July 31, 2018
Amanda Trail Recognizes Displacement and Suffering of First Nations During Pioneer-Era by Brian Bull

Oregon’s history with the First Nations remains an often overlooked part of the state’s checkered legacy. But more and more, Native Americans and their supporters are highlighting aspects of Oregon’s pioneer era that may not jibe with tourist signs and old school textbooks. One story is that of Amanda Du-Cuys. U.S. soldiers put the Coos Indian and others on a forced march up the coastline in the 1860s.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on how her story is being shared today.

Episode 2 - August 31, 2018
Native Oregon Names Tell Stories by Karen Richards
Many Oregon place names have Native American roots. Some of them teach lessons about the land and its history, others are more like a game of “telephone” played over time. KLCC's Karen Richards has a few stories about local place names.

Episode 3 - September 28, 2018
State and Community Work to Support Oregon's Native American Students by Brian Bull

Oregon’s Native American students largely struggle to keep pace with their non-Indian peers.  Graduation rates and attendance are low, while dropouts are high. In this months’ segment for the series “Native Voices of Oregon,” KLCC’s Brian Bull talks to Indian educators about the challenges their students face, and what’s being done to brighten their prospects.

Episode 4 - October 29, 2018
Tribal Business on Cusp of Change by Karen Richards

Oregon’s Native American tribes are well known for their casinos. What's less recognized is how tribes use their sense of place to start new businesses, and the diversity of those ventures.

Episode 5 - November 30, 2018
For Two Spirits, An Opportunity To Reclaim Acceptance Across Indian Country by Brian Bull

The term “Two Spirit” in Native American culture describes a person possessing both male and female spirits within themselves.  Many tribes held them in high regard, or at least accepted them. But after colonization and the integration of Judeo-Christian values, many Two Spirits were shunned, ridiculed, and even assaulted.  And while “Two Spirit” has been used for Indians who identify as gay, bisexual, or transgender…many say there’s more to it than that.  KLCC’s Brian Bull explores a community that’s finding its voice again after generations of oppression, prejudice, and oversight.

Episode 6 - December 19, 2018
Ancient Oregon Languages Being Nudged Awake by Karen Richards
All over Oregon, words that haven't been said out loud for generations are being spoken again. The work to revitalize native languages has accelerated in recent years, and scholars hope their efforts will yield generations of new speakers.
Episode 7 - January 30, 2019
Native American Tribes Gaining Recognition for Timber and Forestry Practices by Brian Bull
When Native Americans ceded their lands during the treaty era, much of it was forest. Today, many tribes – including those in Oregon – are not only working to regain some of those forests, they’re getting national recognition for their sustainable management practices.

Episode 8 - February 28, 2019
Native Oregon Artifacts Coming Home, by Karen Richards

All nine Oregon tribes have Cultural Resources departments. Some have archaeologists on staff, others have museums or archives. In recent years, the number of donations of cultural artifacts is soaring.
Episode 9 - March 21, 2019
Native American Veterans Fight On, For Support And Recognition
, by Brian Bull
Of the 317,000 veterans in Oregon, 3900 are Native American. Historically, the First Nations have enlisted at higher rates than any other demographic, despite not being recognized as U.S. citizens until 1924. Now native veterans in Oregon and across the nation are striving for more recognition and support.

Episode 10 - April 29, 2019
Indigenous Artists Earn Recognition And Work For Change, by Karen Richards
While the business of art is always in flux, the Indigenous art community may see more dramatic change than most.  This feature looks at the evolving Native American art scene.
Episode 11 - May 31, 2019
Farewell Frybread, Hello Camas; First Nations Revisit Traditional Foods, by Brian Bull
The modern American diet – with its processed foods in grocery stores and drive-through eateries – has sparked super-sized health problems. That’s bad in itself, but data shows Native Americans suffer higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease than the general population, and diet is a factor.  There’s been a push among tribes to promote traditional, indigenous foods to offset these issues, as well as instill cultural identity among members.  This effort isn’t without its challenges.

Episode 12 - June 26, 2019
Native Oregon History Goes Public, by Karen Richards
Oregon has many historic and geological sites with informative signage. What’s been missing until recently is much recognition of the time before Lewis and Clark. There’s momentum now to tell a deeper history of the state.

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View previous KLCC series funded by the Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics:
2016-2017 -  The Future of Public Education in Oregon
2017-2018 -  Borders, Migration and Belonging: Immigration in Oregon


Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.