The California Indian Radio Project

Thirteen Half Hour Programs, available on cassette or CD.

A series featuring the voices and stories of contemporary Native people of California, telling how their lives have been shaped by history, their traditional values and their land.

California tribes are key players in issues such as water rights, fire management and public financing. This audio series is a timely source of information and balance in discussions of gaming, the environment, California history, law, race relations, religion, arts and education.

Several programs are narrated by tribal participants, giving a first-hand viewpoint on the topic. The views of ordinary people predominate, from more than 25 tribes throughout the state. Additional background information is provided by scholars, both Native and non-native. Voices are mixed with uniquely different California Indian music and beautiful, evocative sounds such as the squeak and slam of a door in a 200-year-old adobe building, the note of a crane-bone whistle, or the tinkling shells on the fringes of a ceremonial dress.

Executive Producer
Peggy Berryhill (Muskogee)

Joseph Orozco (Hupa), Susan Newstead

Audio Engineer
Neil Harvey

Production, Engineering and Marketing Assistance
Mel Baker, audio engineering
David Burnett, digital design
Cathy Chapman, production assistance
Keduescha Colegrove, marketing assistance
Kat High, production assistance
Njemile Carol Jones, production assistance
Bradley Marshall, digital design
Jill Paydon, marketing assistance
Joyce Stanfield Perry, narration and production assistance
Frances Slack Raiside, narration and production assistance
Susan Ruschmeyer, production assistance
David Tripp, scripting and production assistance
Hulleah Tsinnajinnie, film-making and production assistance

Funded by:
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
The California Council for the Humanities
The Lannan Foundation
The Vanguard Foundation
The Abelard Foundation
The Seventh Generation Fund
The LEF Foundation
The Fund for Folk Culture
The Sierra Pacific Foundation
The Seva Foundation
The Strong Foundation

Thanks to David Ipina (1952-1998) for the logo design.

Traditional California Indian songs are considered the personal property of the singer and often have spiritual significance as well. For this reason songs must not be reproduced by any means without the specific permission of the singer. Special thanks to the following individuals and groups for the use of their personal, traditional songs:

Ollie Foseide, Aileen Figueroa, the David Hostler Family, Ki-shan Lara, Marc LeBeau, Leroy Miranda, Jr., Alvino and Ernest Siva, Nancy Richardson Steele, Carly and Erin Tex, Brian Tripp, the Wukchumni Preschool, Linda Yamane, Klamath-Trinity Indian Education Program, the Jim Brown Family, Melodie George Carpenter

About the series

About the series

Thirteen half-hour programs cover such topics as: government relations; economics and trade, art, language, ceremony, healing, the role of women, land use and sovereignty. Each program includes original interviews, narration, music and ambience.

Program Descriptions

Program #1
California Indian Basketweavers: Weaving the Future
The California Indian basketweaving tradition is one of the most highly developed in the world. Today, weavers young and old are practicing the tradition of basketry and passing on a cultural education to the young.

Program #2
Balancing Life, Dancing in Time
Native spiritual traditions still survive. This award-winning program examines the experience and motivation of individuals who have committed themselves to traditional religious practices that demand much of them.

Program #3
The Politics of Erasure and the Importance of Federal Recognition
Many California Natives are not recognized as Tribes by the Federal government and have not had the same legal status as Indians in other states. “Recognition” would qualify them for the state and federal funds they need to provide for their communities, but even more importantly, it is a matter of pride.

Program #4
Honoring Our Women
California Indian women are often movers and shakers in their communities. This program introduces some women who were leaders in the past and some who have achieved recognition today.

Program #5
Education: The Values in Learning
Since the early part of this century when California’s then-segregated school system refused them, Indian students have struggled with education. Now twenty years of effort in recruiting and training Indian teachers is having an impact in public schools, and tribally-operated schools are springing up around the state.

Program #6
Acjachamem Nation: The First People of San Juan Capistrano
Most people know it as the place where the swallows return every year, but to one Native family, it’s home. It was their village when the Spanish came, their ancestors built and survived the mission, and their great-great-grandchildren are still living in the town of San Juan Capistrano today.

Program #7
Language, Giving Voice to Our Culture
As a region, California boasts the widest variety of Native languages of any comparable place on earth. Today most are reduced to only a few aged speakers. But many Native communities are working to ensure that their languages don’t die with their elders.

Program #8
California Contemporary Indian Artists
California Indian artists have created their own place in the world of art. As distinctly different from the popular Santa Fe school of Indian art as it is from the mainstream, it’s Indian Art, California style.

Program #9
Following the Beaten Paths: California Indian Trade Routes
What were the most widely used trade routes? Take a look at a modern highway map. Native traders carried goods and news in a complex and thriving native economy. Today a lively trade continues in the “underground” economy.

Program #10
Fighting for Sovereignity
If dealing with the complexity of Federal Indian policy wasn’t enough, California Tribes are often caught in a turf war between Washington and Sacramento. Taxation, law enforcement, gaming, resource management, health and welfare are all effected.

Program #11
Tending the Wild: Native California Land Management
A look at how the Native people of California have worked with plants and wildlife to maintain natural bio-diversity while providing for their needs. Some of their methods may help allay the effects of modern changes in the California ecosystem.

Program #12
Our Heroes Are Often Called Bandits
Sometimes who’s a hero and who’s an outlaw depends on who tells the story. Can there be equal justice without an understanding of history? Despite who makes the headlines, Native people know the personal qualities that are required to keep communities and cultures intact.

Program #13
Honoring Our Grief; Healing the Wounds
Historically, California Indians experienced trauma so vast and continuous that it could not be fully grieved. Through ceremonies which honor the grieving process and the renewal of life, Native communities are now healing the wounds.

Hear the programs

We hope to soon have the full set of programs archived here for you to listen to on demand. The following public radio stations have broadcasted The California Indian Radio Series, and some tations are repeating the series or individual programs occasionally. If you don’t see your favorite station listed, give them a call and let them know you’d like to hear the series. Or let us know, and we’ll send them more information. Tape sets are still available to stations that have missed the satelllite feeds. You can order individual programs or the entire series on cassette. Prices include tax and shipping. We can accept checks, money orders or purchase orders. Sorry, we’re not able to accept credit card orders at this time. Individual programs $10.00 each. Two programs (one tape) $15.00 Set of 13 programs (7 tapes) $54.00 Include a note indicating what you are ordering (a single episode or the entire set) and send to: California Indian Radio Project P.O. Box 650 Hoopa, CA 95546
Alaska KNBA Anchorage Arizona KGHR Tuba City California KALW San Francisco KFCF Fresno KHSU Arcata KIDE Hoopa KKUP Cupertino KMUD Redway KPBS San Diego KPFA Berkeley KQED San Francisco KVMR Nevada City KWMR Pt. Reyes Station KZFR Chico KZYX/Z Philo/Ukiah FRSC Santa Cruz
Colorado KDUR Durango KGNU Boulder Illinois WZRD Chicago Maine WMPG Portland WERU East Orland
Missouri KDHX St. Louis Nebraska KZUM Lincoln New Mexico KGLP Gallup KSFR Santa Fe KUNM Alburquerque
Oregon KBOO Portland KWSO Warm Springs South Carolina WLGI Hemingway Vermont WRMC Middlebury
Washington KAOS Olympia KSVR Mt. Vernon KBCS Bellevue Wisconsin WOJB Hayward (Milwaukee) Alberta CKUL Lethbridge
British Columbia CJSF Burnaby Manitoba CKUW Winnipeg New Brunswick CHSR Fredericton
Ontario CFBU St. Catherine’s CKLU Sudbury

Tribal Members & Leaders

To obtain a set of tapes for your tribal library, school or cultural center, contact us. We hope this project has inspired you to think about telling the stories of your family, tribe, region or history. There is much to tell, to document and to share. As the “information age” comes upon us, there is far more capacity than content. Now, as ever, a good story will find an eager audience. Let’s make sure Native voices are part of the mix. Steps to getting your stories recorded and heard:
  • Contact your local public radio station, they may be able to help.
  • Contact NC3, we can help with training and technical assistance.
  • Contact local Indian Education Programs or Tribal archives.
  • Don’t wait. Expensive recording and editing equipment isn’t necessary. Use whatever you have to start with and work up from there.
A good place to learn more about producing audio stories is the website of Association of Independents in Radio.