College of Law Alum, IPLP Fellow Launches Podcast to Highlight Indigenous Leaders

Nov. 19, 2021

The four-episode series features interviews highlighting grassroot efforts to strengthen sovereignty of Indigenous nations and peoples.

Determi-Nation Podcast Artwork

A new podcast from the University of Arizona College of Law is on a mission to share the work of Indigenous organizers and policy advocates. 

Determi-Nation”, a four-episode series from the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program (IPLP) at University of Arizona Law was created by IPLP fellow Darrah Blackwater (Deutsch, Diné), along with regents professor of law and IPLP co-chair Rebecca Tsosie (Yaqui descent). 

The show focuses on topics related to the larger Indian law concepts of self-determination for Indigenous peoples and communities, as well as the efforts and grit of Indigenous individuals who engage in the difficult work of nation building. 

“There is so much Indigenous brilliance in this world” noted Blackwater, an alumnus from the JD class of 2020. “I am lucky because I am constantly connecting with people who are doing incredible things for their communities, creating thought-provoking art, and speaking up for what they know is right. I wanted to amplify some of those voices. I wanted to engage in dialogue that highlights my guests’ knowledge and power to educate and inspire listeners.”

The series features interviews from Indigenous leaders highlighting grassroot efforts to strengthen the sovereignty of Indigenous nations and peoples. Guests include Crystal Hottowe (Makah) who discusses the work behind bringing broadband networks to rural Reservations; Deionna Vigil (Nanbé Ówingeh) from Johns Hopkins on the importance of conducting ethical research and clinical trials in communities of color; Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabe, Métis) on writing the New York Times best-selling children’s book “We Are Water Protectors”, and Elizabeth Azzuz (Yurok) who describes the tradition of cultural burns in California. 

“I picked four perfect guests for this project, and they all happened to be women. I already knew that Indigenous women are amazing and strong, but I learned that we are even more powerful than I thought.”

Blackwater’s hope is for the show to be an “immersive experience” for listeners with the goal of being accessible to all, including those who have never been exposed to Indigenous languages, cultures or thinking. 

All four episodes are streaming now.