Shelley Buck, President of the Prairie Island Mdewakanton Indian Community in Minnesota. The Prairie Island Indian Community, a federally recognized Indian Nation, is located in southeastern Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately 30 miles from the Minneapolis and St. Paul. Tiokasin and President Buck will be talking about a November 13, 2021 article in the New York Times: “Flooding and Nuclear Waste Eat Away at a Tribe’s Ancestral Home.” President Shelley Buck is serving her fifth term on Prairie Island Tribal Council and third term as president. Prior to being elected Tribal Council president, Buck held other positions within the Prairie Island Indian Community government, including Tribal Council secretary and assistant secretary/treasurer, enrollment clerk in the Prairie Island Enrollment Office and government relations specialist for the Tribe. She has also served on the Pow Wow and Constitution Revision Committees. She is currently working on a second master’s degree in tribal Indian law from the University of Tulsa. She is vice-chair of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council.
In the second half-hour “First Voices Radio” remembers the late John Trudell, who left us in 2015. Although his remarks are from 1980, his observations have stood the test of time and still resonate today. The names of U.S. politicians that John mentions have changed over the years but the issues that Indigenous peoples faced then and now remain the same. John Trudell has been identified as a poet, a fighter for Indigenous rights, an agitator, and many other things. But if you were to have asked him which of these descriptions best suited him, he would have refused to be pinned down. John said: “Actually, I don’t consider myself to be any of those things. They’re things that I do…but they’re parts of me. They’re not the total.” John Trudell was the complex sum of all that he saw, endured and accomplished in his 69 years, a time in which he experienced more than most people might in several lifetimes. More information about John Trudell can be found at https://www.johntrudell.com/.