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Pass the Mic: Lose the Native American stereotypes

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Kerry Hawk Lessard (top left) talks with artist and healer Judy Tallwing McCarthey (top right) and public health researcher Tara Maudrie (bottom) about the rich Native American culture they share; why Native lives depend on accurate Covid-19 data, and how they have flipped the script on Native American Heritage Month. Photos: Melissa Gerr

Today we’re sharing our platform, in our series called ‘Pass the Mic.' We invite a host to choose the guests and direct the conversation. This month, host Kerry Hawk Lessard, head of Native American LifeLines, talks with Judy Tallwing McCarthey about art as healing and the stereotypes some non-natives hold of Native Americans:

“Stop mythologizing us. I’m not a myth, dammit. I’m a real human being. I have grandkids and kids and bills to pay. But I have a culture and ancestors that go back generations and I know them.”

Then Lessard welcomes Tara Maudrie, who explains why her methods of public-health research derive from the storytelling she learned from her ancestors.

Links: Judy Tallwing McCarthey artwork, Native American LifeLines, Native American LifeLines Instagram #UrbanNativeLegends, Tara Maudrie, @TheIndigFoodie

Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'
Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.