It's Giving...Not Our Land | Crooked Media
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November 17, 2022
Dare We Say
It's Giving...Not Our Land

In This Episode

Turkey trotting awayyy from our colonial past. Josie, Alycia, and Yasmine talk to icon and legend Crystal Echo Hawk from IllumiNative about Native American Heritage Month and how we should reframe the way we think about Thanksgiving — and indigenous people all year round. Then, the girlies share their tips and tricks for not starting WWIII at the dinner table.

Show Notes

IllumiNative on Instagram

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TRANSCRIPT

Josie Totah: I’m Josie. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: I’m Alycia. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: And I’m Yasmine. And this is Dare We Say. 

 

Josie Totah: Ugh. I’m getting bundled up. I’m literally. I’m lighting my candle right now. My, you know what candle I’m lighting right? The one that you– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yes. Um. It’s boy smells, is it– 

 

Josie Totah: No, no, it’s not. It’s a Moroccan something. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Moroccan Amber from Nest. 

 

Josie Totah: Ugh. Yes. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: But this is oh I introduced you to that because I had that when I was filming a movie in Texas last year. And I was, like, obsessed with the smell. And I when you come into my room, if you’ve been privileged, if you’ve been privileged enough to come in to my bedroom, you smell Moroccan Amber. That’s what you smell like. You smell musk. It’s so good. 

 

Josie Totah: What’s the latest Yazzie boo? 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Okay, so I know this sounds like kind of ugh gro– I’m like embarrassed to say this, but recently I like, I didn’t wear deodorant this morning because usually, like I, I do wear deodorant. But I– 

 

Josie Totah: And you always smell amazing.

 

Yasmine Hamady: I always smell amazing. Like, I literally shit and it smells good. But I this morning woke up and like I actually did not smell good. Like, that’s like I’m so ugh I’m like smelling myself right now. And, like, I shower every single day. I don’t like. I keep it very– 

 

Josie Totah: Tight. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: –Very groomed.

 

Josie Totah: Maybe you’re going through puberty again. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Maybe I am because it’s smell and I’m, like, eating healthy, too, so it’s not like what I’m eating. I’m drinking a lot of water. I don’t and I don’t know what it is. And I’m like, I just my BO is honestly horrific right now. 

 

Josie Totah: I wonder what it is. Something in the air. Do you remember when Jeffree Stars’ boyfriend got Botox in his armpit so that he wouldn’t sweat?

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 

 

Josie Totah: That’s been stained– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Of course I do. 

 

Josie Totah: That’s been stained on in my brain. I’m also on Jeffree Stars’ ex-boyfriend TikTok not his TickTok, but the TikTok where people theorize where he went because he like kind of fell off the face of the earth. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: You ah see conspir– let’s talk about conspiracy theories just for 5 seconds. 

 

Josie Totah: Please. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Because I love a conspiracy theory about like where someone is. Like I was on a TikTok where like, apparently the FBI found Carole Baskin’s husband in Costa Rica. 

 

Josie Totah: Shut up. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: So she didn’t kill him.

 

Josie Totah: Wait wait wait. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 

 

Josie Totah: Did they actually?

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. Apparently, they have, like, records of him literally being alive today in Costa Rica off the grid. 

 

Josie Totah: Wait so what did she say about him originally? Did she just say that he died or did she say that he– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: No, she was like he just literally dipped. 

 

Josie Totah: Okay. So this is that was a year ago. Okay. Wow we’re a year old to this news. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: No. But remember, like, I just want to take a second and, like, pay an homage to, like, the Tiger King era of 2020. Like, that was like, I feel like every it had a grip on everyone’s fucking neck. 

 

Josie Totah: Wait. This is literally the–

 

Yasmine Hamady: During 2020.

 

Josie Totah: –quote that she gave to a television show, she said. I don’t know how it is that Homeland Security says he’s alive and well in Costa Rica, but I’m glad to hear it. That doesn’t sound like the words of someone who is happy that her husband is alive. Also, I love that she’s questioning homeland security. I mean, I guess I would too. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. She’s just, like, honestly, glad to hear it. I hope he’s great. And I’m like, this woman. Like that whole, that whole thing, that whole movie, the whole meaning or TV series makes me actually want to–

 

Josie Totah: Oh my god– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: –skin myself alive. 

 

Josie Totah: –you know what’s insane, the amount of people who said Tiger King is hot. Like, literally one of my castmates I’m pretty sure said that he was hot. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: I just feel like if you’re like, liking any of these re– I don’t know if you go to zoos or like SeaWorld and all of that, like for like entertainment, you’re fucking weird to me. Like if some that’s like a thing like– A couple days ago, one of my cast members were like, yeah, I think I’m gonna go to SeaWorld because I’m in San Diego right now. And I was like, Why? 

 

Josie Totah: Who the fuck would say that? Unless you’re– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Why would you–

 

Josie Totah: –unless you’re four year old or a literal fucking maniac, you shouldn’t be at SeaWorld. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: No, you shouldn’t be at SeaWorld. What happened to Shamu? What happened to Shamu? 

 

Josie Totah: Look at my Shamu. Oh, my God. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Look at my Shamu moo. 

 

Josie Totah: I watched Blackfish, when I was like 12. [gasp] And it– 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Such a good doc. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: No. 

 

Josie Totah: It is. It is really good. Um. But yeah, don’t fuck with animals. Don’t fuck with cats. Isn’t there a movie? Anyway. What are we doing?  

 

Yasmine Hamady: No that TV series that’s a conspiracy theory. Well, I think today we are talking about family traditions, um the anxieties of the holidays. But the holidays are always very interesting for me because I every Thanksgiving I have my mom’s side of the family who is in Massachusetts, in the Berkshires, shout out Williamstown. And I always–

 

Josie Totah: That’s giving Gilm– That’s giving Gilmore Girls. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: It’s giving Gilmore Girls. And I’m not going to lie. [?] I’m living like my little fantasy of like being off the grid, but very much on the grid because, you know, I’m posting every second of my life on– 

 

Josie Totah: Oh literally. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: –Social media to show like I’m. Exactly. And so I’m just I’m going to be there. I’m excited to see my Sitti, which means grandmother in Arabic. I’m excited to see my family members. A lot of them are very old. And it’s it’s I say that and I know it’s like, sounds funny, but like, I don’t know, I’m not trying to get deep and whatnot cause that makes me want to vomit. But I go to like my Auntie Jeanette’s house, my Auntie Edna’s house, not Edna [?], but and I see on the fridge is like old baby photos of me. And like they have like back, you know, when Clinton was president, like they have photos of Barack Obama on his inauguration day. And it just like, I don’t know, it really brings me to a place that like, it’s very wholesome and it makes me excited for the holidays to like be around my family. And that’s a privilege. Am I nervous? Absolutely. But I’m excited. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: How are you feeling?

 

Josie Totah: My mom– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 

 

Josie Totah: I was just on the phone with my mom the other day and I was talking to her about how like and this season usually like kind of brings me lower just because like the winter and the weather and like whatever. And she literally was like, Can you do me a favor? She said this dead seriously. She said, can you do me a favor and not be depressed when you come home? Because I really don’t want that–

 

Yasmine Hamady: Um. 

 

Josie Totah: –Energy is what she said to me. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Um. 

 

Josie Totah: And I was like, Oh yeah, I’ll work on it. So um–

 

Yasmine Hamady: Imagine your mother being like, can you just shut the fuck up and not be sad thank you.

 

Josie Totah: Literally. But you know what’s funny, I’m going to be here for Thanksgiving. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: So Alycia’s not going home for Thanksgiving. I am traveling to the East Coast for Thanksgiving. Josie you are alone in a foreign country for this holiday season. How do you feel? 

 

Josie Totah: I feel good it’s interesting because I mean, Thanksgiving, they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Scotland. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Mmm. 

 

Josie Totah: They do a Sunday roast here. Um. I feel fine. I mean, it’s like I miss my family. I miss my cousin Natalia. Um. I miss the shit out of her. And like, you know, when you just like, you look forward to like that one cousin every year that you guys just, like, go off and like fuck around and do your own thing. Um. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 

 

Josie Totah: Kind of sad that we can’t do that. Um. But I’m going to try to make the most of it in the winter, the fall here is so beautiful. So I might just, like, play with a leaf or and lay in the grass. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: You should. You should touch grass honey. 

 

Josie Totah: I might touch grass. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: You should go outside. 

 

Josie Totah: How do you feel about it? 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Alyc– 

 

Josie Totah: Alycia.

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: I don’t know. Like Thanksgiving, el dia del pavo for us is such a huge deal. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Mmm. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Um. And it’s funny because I literally didn’t grow up saying Thanksgiving like that would be el dia de gracia, but we would say the day of the turkey, which, if you know anything about Latinos, you’re, the main event, is [?] which is pork. But anyways, um I don’t know. It feels like sacrilegious that I won’t be home for Thanksgiving. Uh.

 

Josie Totah: You weren’t home last year. You were with me. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: I wasn’t but that is– 

 

Josie Totah: Because you broke your ankle.

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes. Yes, that was– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: That was a time, that was awful– 

 

Josie Totah: We had a nice Thanksgiving together last year. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: We had a friend– we had a friendsgiving last year, do you remember we had a potluck um–

 

Josie Totah: Yas you didn’t go– 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes. 

 

Josie Totah: –To the Friendsgiving this year. I missed the Friendsgiving this year and you missed it too, right? 

 

Yasmine Hamady: I know we’re both on set. We’re both fucking booked. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: I love it. Y’all are booked and busy and blessed, but I will say the friendsgiving that our best friend Angelica threw, was not a friendsgiving dinner. That is what everybody thought that they were going to. But it was fully a friendsgiving party. Um with–

 

Yasmine Hamady: Oh, God. Of course, if it’s, if you’re going to Ange and Jason’s house, you’re having a party sorry. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Exactly. 

 

Josie Totah: Except–

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like music blasting. 

 

Josie Totah: –Sadly, it’s not a house, it’s an apartment. And there was like over 70 people there. Also, the way that she said–

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Josie! 

 

Josie Totah: –it was literally– [laugh] Alycia stop. I can’t.

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Josie what did we talk about yesterday?

 

Josie Totah: I didn’t mean it like that. I meant it cause I wanted people to understand– 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: It’s literally an apartment. 

 

Josie Totah: No, no, no. That’s not how I meant it. I didn’t mean it like that. Okay basically, Ange was saying that her childhood best friend was there, but also the person who cast us in Moxie was there like everyone was at this event, and it was insane and unhinged. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, it was a very eclectic event. I’ve never gone to a friendsgiving like that, so that was cool um because it was like none of the weird vibes that I feel like sometimes you can feel going into Thanksgiving, but all the just like the joy and celebration and people brought different dishes from their culture, which was dope. Yeah. Fun fact, not for what it stands for, like genocide and– 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: –Like imperialism, but Thanksgiving is actually, outside of that my favorite holiday, because I love eating and I love being with family. So not being with my family will be new just because, you know, I’ve kind of created a home for myself here in L.A. But here’s to like new beginnings and still having that tradition of like, I’m still going to try to make myself some Latino food um even if I’m across the pond. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: I think you touched on something really beautiful, Alycia. Um. It’s the it’s the being thankful part that I think is really important–

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: –um about this holiday because I I the whole pilgrim and Indigenous people like that’s what they taught us in school of like they had a beautiful feast and they lived happily ever after is the biggest load of shit I’ve ever heard because it is a load of shit. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Um but the what the colonizers did was um rape, massacre and murder these um Indigenous people um and then took their land. And here we are in America. But I do like the message of being thankful and being grateful. And I think that’s why I think in this episode, why we’re talking about the importance of Indigenous culture and Indigenous people on this day. 

 

Josie Totah: I also think we hear all the time people be like, oh, Thanksgiving, like, oh, it’s bad. And no one really talks about why I feel like it’s always kind of like a–

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 

 

Josie Totah: It’s a touchy subject because like obviously the holiday means a lot to other people outside of its cultural reasoning. Um. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 

 

Josie Totah: So I think it’s just important to like speak to someone, which is why today we have a really exciting, really important interview with Crystal Echo Hawke, an incredible Indigenous activist. Stay tuned to listen to more and maybe learn a thing or two before you shove some turkey in that waddle and mouth of yours. That didn’t make sense. But you know what I mean. Let’s get into it. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Yasmine Hamady: Hey, you guys. Don’t forget to follow us at @DareWeSay on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/Darewesay. If you don’t, I’ll never forgive you. We’ll be right back. [music break]

 

Josie Totah: All right, everyone. Today’s guest is a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and the president and CEO, okay boss, of IllumiNative. An organization that fights for more and better native representation, both in the media and in general. Simply, she is just an iconic Indigenous activist. Please welcome Crystal Echo Hawk. Hello. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: Hi. Thank you for– 

 

Josie Totah: How are you doing? 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –having me. I’m I’m like, pumped up after that introduction. Are you kidding? I’m just like, you made my day. 

 

Josie Totah: Oh my gosh, I’m so glad. We are so happy to have you here and we’re so curious about your activism and everything you’ve done um with IllumiNative, your organization. What got you into this specific area of activism? 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: You know, I think I was born into it, honestly. Um. You know, my family, I come from a long line of of warriors, and you know, and in our Pawnee tribe, um starting with my great great grandfather, where we were, he was the one that our name comes from. Um. And, you know, and more recently, just, you know, from my my dad and my uncles and my aunties, I mean, they’re all like fighting for native rights. They’re attorneys, they’re politicians, they’re organizers, they work in nonprofits. So ever since I was little, I just always grew up with all these incredible people around me to look up to and and really modern day warriors for our people in in a lot of different ways. So I’m I’m really blessed to stand on the shoulders of just not only members of my family, but I think I look out across Indian country and I’m constantly just, you know, inspired by so many different generations of activists, particularly women. 

 

Josie Totah: Yeah. Talk, if you don’t mind. Talk a little bit more about IllumiNative and how uh that organization got started, but also what you guys do for people who might not be aware. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: Yeah, no definitely. You know, um IllumiNative, you know, is founded on something deeply personal. And I also feel like it’s the sort of lease culmination right now of just I think 25 plus years of not only activism, you know, but really, I think it was it was really sort of the the combination of the personal and the political really coming together. And, you know, in terms of the professional and the political, you know, I had been, you know, organizer, fundraiser, working for native nonprofits on a variety of different issues, usually around, you know, women, youth in particular Native American youth and and families and really, you know, supporting our rights, our voices. And I think it just reached a point kind of going back in 2014-ish. You know, I just really felt this level of frustration, right? I was advocating for children’s health and it just we were constantly invisible. We weren’t even included in the the health statistics. Right. Um. In this country. And it’s just like everywhere I went, you know, it’s like we were it felt like we were invisible. Our kids were invisible. Um. We’re not in the data, you know? And I just always, you know, still at that point, just still like understanding like as we’re out there advocating that we’re just constantly referred to as like caricatures. And nobody seems to really be taking our issues very seriously. And how many people were still asking me and colleagues all over like, do you still live in a teepee? And just asking like really inane kind of things that it was just a conversation I was having with more and more like colleagues working across different issue areas, tribal leaders, young people, just, you know, again, it was like either we’re invisible or we’re like a caricature. And um– 

 

Josie Totah: Right. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: And so it was just really like, how do we change that? And it was that and then it was really just at that moment that on a very personal level, you know, I’m the mom to just a really remarkable, you know, daughter um who was really, you know, being bullied a lot in school because she had, you know, a traditional Dakota name. Um. And, you know, kids made fun of her, teachers made fun of her. Her teachers wouldn’t even call her in class. And, you know, anybody with a different name in this country has experienced that, right? If you’re not like– 

 

Josie Totah: Right. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –You know, plain Jane, whatever, you know, English, then, you know, oftentimes our kids are really marginalized and othered. And I think– 

 

Josie Totah: Yeah. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –You know, it just it really you know, it was a lot of things taking a toll on her and and seeing like as that was really impacting her. And then seeing like the school blamed us for her bullying because her dad and I gave her that name. Right. And it was our fault. And it was just constantly realizing, like, you know, the challenges she was facing. And me as her mother, we were always reduced to like, well, I must be an alcoholic or she must be homeless, or we must our family must be this or that. And it just even really affected the way we were accessing, you know, resources and supports. And, you know, our story is just one story that’s like of so many other Native American youth and parents and families that have to put up with this BS. Right. Um. And so I think it was really those things coming together that, um you know, I co- I founded and co-led a project called the Reclaiming Native Truth Project. And it really examined, you know, what are the dominant narratives and perceptions that Americans have about native peoples and institutions? Why where did those come from, you know, and how do they– 

 

Josie Totah: Right. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Affect the way we’re treated? And what we’ve found is that nearly 80% of the American public knows little to nothing about native peoples. And depending on where you live in this country, if you don’t live in like proximity to a reservation or something like that, then a lot of pockets of the country aren’t even sure if we exist anymore. And then research that had been going on by, you know, different amazing researchers around the country found that nearly 90% of schools don’t teach about us past 1900, which means that generation after generation of Americans are literally–

 

Josie Totah: Wow. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Conditioned to think that we sort of fade to black in 1900. 

 

Josie Totah: Yeah. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: And you kind of like maybe learn about Wounded Knee, the Lakota, which is why people always– 

 

Josie Totah: Right. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Ask about teepees, because that’s like the only frame of reference, because people didn’t learn that there were more than 600 tribal nations in this country, all with their own languages and cultures. And we’re all very different, right? You don’t get taught that in school. And literally, Americans are conditioned to think that we just don’t exist in a contemporary context. And then when we examined and looked at what’s going on in media and entertainment, we found that our representation in TV and film is less than 0.4 percent. In what little ekes through is like really toxic stereotypes. You know, we’re drunks, we’re savages. If you’re a native woman, you’re probably being sexually assaulted, beaten, and probably don’t even make it to the end of the film or the TV show. Um. And again, majority of that is all pre 1900. And so as we began to look around how problematic that was, we found that the only time that Americans really think they see us is when they see racist sports mascots and they see people in red face and turkey feathers and doing the tomahawk chop. And what we’ve found is between that erasure, right and then these toxic stereotypes and representations that are not led by us. Right. They’re led by non native people, you know, making up ridiculous things. We found that really that that fuels bias and racism against our people and that particularly those, you know, racist sports mascots and representations like that, they actually cause psychological harm to our kids. So we were able to map all of this. Right. And really understand not only like here’s the threat, invisibility, erasure is really affecting us and all of this toxic crap. So it really gave us a roadmap to like, we got to flip the script, we got to disrupt that invisibility. We have got to smash the toxic stereotypes, and we have got to reeducate the American public not only about the history, but more importantly, who we are today. And we are resilient. We are here. We are much more than a problem to be solved or some damn you know stereotype. We are thriving. We are leading. We are leading on all kinds of issues. And so that’s really the mission of IllumiNative is to like build power for native peoples and really amplify our voices, our stories, and our issues. And we really focus on that work, particularly in media entertainment, but also in politics. And um we just you know, we’re about a little over four years old and, you know, it’s just been really an amazing ride. You know, we’ve been a part of helping to change the Washington football team you know name back in 2020. We didn’t do it alone and we stood on the shoulders of 30 years of activism by you know people like Suzan Harjo, who’s just like the grandmother of the the mascot you know movement um to like helping to mobilize the native vote or, you know, really working in partnership with a lot of people to get Deb Haaland, the first Native American secretary of the interior, you know, nominated and confirmed. So it’s been it’s been quite a ride. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Going back to what you said about politics. Um. Ahead of the mid-terms IllumiNative did a lot for the get out to uh vote work. What did that look like and what do the midterm elections results say about the impact that has on your work and the Indigenous people? 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: Yeah, I mean, you know, we really invested a lot in that. I mean, the first thing we did with our partners you know at the Native Organizers Alliance and the Rize Research Centers, we did the largest um public opinion poll with native peoples ahead of the election. We did it earlier in the year um to really, you know, ask native peoples, you know, what are what are the issues that you are most concerned about right now? Asking people if they’re registered, you know, asking people what they did in the last election. And we found that over 80% of the people reported voting in 2020 was like I think it was like 84% and nearly I think was 79% said they were going to vote in the midterms. So we know that we had a highly, you know, energized electric and really a lot of them women voters, Native women voters. Um. And we found that, you know, across the board, depending on gender, geography, all the, age, actually, there was like a pretty big consensus about what the top issues were. And it was climate change, uh racism, access to health care and the cost of living. And so really understanding you know that and also understanding that, you know, our people don’t increasingly don’t trust the government. I mean, about 96% of our people don’t trust not only federal but state, local government. Um. I think there’s a decreasing trust in media and institutions. And so, you know, the rise of misinformation, disinformation. Um. And then I think like so many other people, I think everybody’s just like really sick of the polarization and just the fighting and like the politicians. I mean, I think more and more people have been disenchanted with that. So we knew that we had to find really unique ways to get people to like lean in. Right um. And we knew what we went with like more edgier messaging in 2020. It was all about this is how we care for our community and all the things and this is like, yo, this is how we got to show up this year. We cannot let them not count us. Like our voices need to be heard. So we really like– 

 

Josie Totah: Yeah. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –leant into that um and just wanting to make sure that we reminded people that when we turned out in 2020, we broke records and we had achieved historic representation in Congress and we got the first native cabinet secretary. So like really reminding people um of that. And so really leant in to that messaging and around those issues that were really resonating with voters. Um. We did a lot of like digital targeted ads. I think we reached over 5 million people. We also leaned into native comedy um and we and like, our I think one of the things that Native people are really excited about is our like historic representation in TV and film. With reservation dogs. Rutherford Falls, our first Native American shows, um particularly Rez Dogs, everybody like loves, right. So we– 

 

Josie Totah: Such a good show. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: So we partnered with them and like we got permission from FX and Reservation Dogs to do a whole poster around building Native Power featuring Willie Jack, who’s like one of the most popular characters. And she is, like, a fierce, badass, sassy girl. 

 

Josie Totah: Yeah. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: Who’s always dropping the F-bomb. And so we, you know, and she has this tagline where she says, you know, Native power can’t be tamed. Um. And so we did posters like that. Um. We really framed it around power building. We also worked with comedians like Dallas Goldtooth to do like radio ads on tribal radio stations and just try to lean into comedy and just different ways to get people energized. And so fast forward, the red wave did not show up. I mean, I can’t go to partisan, right? But I think it just really showed, um you know, often times pollsters don’t know what they’re talking about because I think everybody was surprised. Um. But I think native voters really turned out. And what’s really exciting is that for all the Native American candidates that were incumbents, um nearly 84% won reelection. And we’re still waiting on some some results to come in. But that could be as high as 90% reelection rate, which is really– 

 

Josie Totah: Wow. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Really exciting. Um. I think we have more than 210 Native people that were elected to all different levels of office. So, you know, I think that’s more than a 17% increase. So, I mean, it’s really exciting to see that Native people are understanding that one voting is one way, not the only way we can build power, but we we need to have representation um at all levels of government. But I think also understanding that these candidates, if they’re not native, they need to understand our issues because our voters really do pay attention to the records. And I think no party can take our people for granted. Oftentimes our people are very bipartisan. You know, they don’t always vote certain party lines. And so I think it just you know, politicians need to work harder, I think, to get our vote.

 

Josie Totah: Definitely. And we can see too, you know, the power of of the vote and the power of not having that sort of red wave is amazing. Um. And 90% reelection is also incredible. I want to ask you, though. It’s Native American Heritage Month. And we’ve been talking about the holiday season a lot, specifically with this episode um and with Native American Heritage Day being the day after Thanksgiving, some call Thanksgiving the national day of mourning to remember the natives killed, of course, by the colonizers. Wanted to ask you like, what do these holidays bring up for you? And also, how should Americans reshape how they view the November holidays? 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: Yeah. Well, um first and foremost, the entire month of November is Native American Heritage Month. So it’s all month long. It’s not just one day. Um. So everybody should be celebrating. Well, we should all celebrate all peoples all the days, but, you know, Indigenous peoples you know throughout this– 

 

Josie Totah: Yeah. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Entire month. Um. Yeah. So I think there’s just so many you know things to celebrate. I mean, it’s been interesting because with the election, um you know, there’s a lot of things going on. But, you know, I think it’s really an opportunity for people to really learn so much about Indigenous people. There’s so much stuff going on and really encourage people, follow us at IllumiNative, you know, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. But you know, particularly if you go and look on our um our Instagram, I mean, we’re always putting out things about books and the latest TV shows and films and, you know, Indigenous businesses that you can support. And just to really encourage that is like the biggest way, you know, is like we want you to connect and there’s like music, there’s everything, there’s fashion, there’s so many things to connect with. And so I think that’s the one way where people can not only, you know, follow us, but start to really learn about other, you know, Indigenous organizations and, you know, major things that are happening right now, just depending on, you know, what people are interested in. But, you know, for people who uh really care about climate and other kinds of things, I mean, Indigenous organizations are leading leading on these issues and really on the front lines of just so many of the biggest, you know, not only battles, but just really about just really innovation as well. Um. And there’s just like I said, there’s so many cool things to watch um on streaming services, you know, not only this month and other things, but again, really encourage people to watch Reservation dogs, Rutherford Falls, um there’s like if you have kids, um there is like an amazing show on Netflix right now called Spirit Rangers that’s just been killing it. Um. Another great show called Molly of Denali. I mean, there’s there’s just so much stuff. So I think that’s the way to, like, lean in and for really to like educate, follow native, you know, Indigenous organizations, learn more. And then I think, you know, as we become to Thanksgiving, you know, look, Native Americans are not a monolith, right? So you can like talk to one member of my family, another one over here, and everybody’s got sort of a different opinion. Like some people are like, absolutely not, I will not celebrate Thanksgiving. You know, it’s it’s all based on a myth. It’s all propaganda that, you know, President Lincoln created right after the Civil War, this whole grandiose story, you know, and actually really when the Pilgrims came, it was really violent. Right. I mean, this was this was colonial genocide. These were all the things that happened. It wasn’t the nice thing that everybody learned about in in school. And again, it was just propaganda that came way after, you know, to try to unify the country after the Civil War. So, I mean, that’s just the thing as we unpack American history, so much of it is propaganda and other things. But, you know, I think like–

 

Josie Totah: Definitely. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –You know, so one, people should really, you know, in [?] just Google the true history of Thanksgiving. Educate yourself, educate your kids, educate your friends and family. Right. Like, why should we– 

 

Josie Totah: Yeah. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Be embracing these kind of BS myths anymore when it’s better to just understand the history. Two, I think like, look, I think it’s amazing when friends and family can come together and share a meal, right when there’s nothing wrong if we can come together and in good ways and we can think about giving thanks, right, and appreciating one another and appreciating where the food comes from. If people want to go and do that, no harm, no foul, just don’t perpetuate the myths um that you know and the– 

 

Josie Totah: Right. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Stereotypes and things that have gone around that, you know, I think other things that people can do on that day, like if you’re gathering with your friends and family, literally look up, who’s Indigenous lands are you on? Because everywhere in the United States is Indigenous lands. And it’s not only like, Oh, whose land am I on, but like how many native peoples are still living where I live in my state? Like learn about who native peoples are today. 

 

Josie Totah: Right. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: And I think that’s the problem with land acknowledgments like, oh, okay, we’re going to just check that box and somebody lived here a long time ago, but it’s like, how do you find out what’s going on with contemporary native people in your state, in your community? And I just think there’s a lot of fun ways where people can really, you know, engage and learn in that and I think the biggest thing is just to educate and really understand that like, I think a lot of people don’t understand that they inadvertently can kind of sometimes perpetuate negative stereotypes or like false myths, you know, myths about native peoples. But I think this is there’s so there’s no excuse now. There are so many organizations out there including IllumiNative that are really trying to make it–

 

Josie Totah: Yes. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: –Fun and easy and really just ways that people can get involved in and really support Indigenous peoples.

 

Yasmine Hamady: 100%. I think that’s–

 

Josie Totah: Definitely. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: –I think I think you said it perfectly. And I also feel like, I suppose specifically on a day like Thanksgiving, like get with your family, like everyone chip in money and like donate, give back. Like money helps. I think it’s important to say that too. And like, it shouldn’t only just be you and IllumiNative and different Indigenous organizations leading the work. It has to be everyone collectively holding hands together to uplift and encourage and support you. So, Crystal, I can’t thank you enough for coming on here, for um sharing your wisdom and sharing your time with us, because this is we’re grateful. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: Yes. 

 

Josie Totah: We encourage everyone to look into IllumiNative and everything Miss Crystal Echo Hawk is doing. Um. We are. We are so grateful for you. And you are someone we feel thankful for, [laugh] for this time. 

 

Crystal Echo Hawk: Well thank you. And I’m thankful for you ladies, you’re bad ass. And this has just been a beautiful conversation and uh I just really appreciate it. 

 

Josie Totah: Amazing. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Thank you so much. [music break]

 

[AD BREAK] 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Here at Dare We Say we know that the holiday season can be a little rough, a little tough, a little anxiety inducing, especially if you have to share the dinner table with a racist, homophobic and Trump supporting uncle. Not that I would know. So we want to share with you some tips and tricks that have helped us in the past. Here is how to not start World War Three at the dinner table this holiday season. 

 

Josie Totah: Before the holiday, post your political opinions on your Facebook and Instagram. So all your family can see. Trust me, they’d much rather cyberbully you than fight you in person. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: If a relative says something ignorant. Offer them more food. You can’t say stupid shit or spew rhetoric when your mouth is full of food. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Strike first. If things look like they’re going south, be prepared to drop the first bomb. But be sure to have your escape route planned ahead of time. 

 

Josie Totah: Make a game of it. Pick a charity and donate every time one of the male members in your family says something slightly misogynistic. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: Unions are in this year, babe. Organize your cousins. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Smile through the pain. If your family says something ignorant, just smile at them. They’ll get so uncomfortable they won’t know what to do. Kind of like this. [weird laugh]

 

Josie Totah: Contract a fatal and vicious disease. Then you can avoid the holiday altogether. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: If the opportunity comes up to have a productive educational conversation with a family member that has different political views. Honestly, take it. We learn from transparent conversation. Now, if it’s combative, don’t do it. But if it seems peaceful and fruitful, go for it. Be willing to take that step with a family member and teach them something new. Be that change in your family. [music break]

 

Josie Totah: That was such an informative conversation and I’m just want to shout out um Crystal Echo Hawk again for being here and–

 

Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 

 

Josie Totah: –just allowing us to learn a little bit more, even though it is literally not their job or any obviously groups job to educate us um on their own oppression. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: 100% and this is their land. Um. So it’s important to um pay attention and to do something about it and not even just acknowledge it. Um. But I think it’s important to say thanks and be grateful and thankful for the life we have and the people around us. So Josie, Alycia, I’m so fucking grateful for you.

 

Josie Totah: I’m grateful for you guys too. I’m so grateful. Um. And yeah, I’m going to eat a, I’m going to eat a shit ton. Um. Love you all. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: I’m going to get so full. [music break]

 

Josie Totah: Dare We Way is a Crooked Media production. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: Caroline Reston is our showrunner, producer and mommy, and Ari Schwartz is our producer and show daddy. Fiona Pestana is our associate producer and Sandy Girard is the Almighty Executive producer. 

 

Josie Totah: It’s hosted and produced by me, Josie Totah. 

 

Yasmine Hamady: And me Yasmine Hamady. 

 

Alycia Pascual-Peña: And me, Alycia Pascual-Peña. Our engineer and editor is Jordan Cantor and Brian Vasquez is our theme music composer. Our video producers are Matt DeGroot, Narineh Melkonian and Delon Villanueva and Mia Kellman. 

 

Josie Totah: Lastly, thank you to Jordan Silver, Gabriela Leverette, Jesse McLean, Caroline Heywood, Shaina Hortsmann, Deisi Cruz, Danielle Jensen, and Ewa Okulate for marketing the show and making us look so damn good.