Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 30, 2017

First Voices Radio: Sacred Ground, Standing Rock, O'odham Border


This Week on “First Voices Radio” Hosted by Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Lakota—Listen Thursday, March 30, 9 to 10 a.m. EDT on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City

By Liz Hill, Red Lake Ojibwe, Producer, “First Voices Radio”
Censored News

Listen now at WBAI archive
Ofelia Rivas, elder and activist from Tohono O’odham Nation, was a featured guest on this week’s edition of “First Voices Radio,” which aired on Tuesday, March 28, on WPKN 89.5 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “First Voices Radio” (formerly “First Voices Indigenous Radio”) is a weekly live hourlong broadcast hosted by Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Lakota. The show airs every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern Time (
This week’s show will be repeated on Thursday, March 30, 9 to 10 a.m. on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City (streaming at and WBAI-FM on Tune In).
Tiokasin, who in addition to being the host is also the show’s founder and executive producer, announced an auspicious anniversary. It was on March 28, 2002 at the full moon when Tiokasin began his broadcasts in the northeast. Now exactly 15 years after the first northeast broadcast—this time at the new moon—and 25 years after the original broadcast on the west coast, “First Voices Radio” is heard on 70 other public and community radio stations in the U.S. and Canada.
On this week’s show, Tiokasin talked with three guests—filmmaker Toby McLeod, water protector Cheryl Angel, Lakota, and Tohono O’odham elder and activist Ofelia Rivas. Tiokasin’s first guest Toby McLeod circled the globe for five years filming the “Standing on Sacred Ground” series. He founded the Sacred Land Film Project in 1984 to make high-impact documentary films relevant to Indigenous communities and modern audiences. Toby produced and directed In the Light of Reverence (P.O.V., 2001) and other award-winning documentary films: Downwind/Downstream, and NOVA: Poison in the Rockies. In 1990, he produced Voices of the Land as a 20-minute preview of “Standing on Sacred Ground.”  This week Toby is presenting two of his films in the “Standing on Sacred Ground Series” at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Tiokasin will be a featured speaker at the Thursday, March 30, program, the screening of Toby’s film “Pilgrims and Tourists.” More information can be found at,

Tiokasin’s second guest Cheryl Angel is a lifelong, devoted water protector who has been part of the Standing Rock Camp since April 2016 and was vital in helping stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. Cheryl's voice among the water protectors is one of integrating deep prayer with direct action, guiding two women-led actions at Standing Rock. She moves from a deep space of non-violence and love, as guided by her ancestors, Lakota traditions and ways of being. This week, Cheryl is speaking on a panel at the opening of the exhibition “Killing the Black Snake—Resistance at Standing Rock (Oct. 30-Dec. 6, 2016): Photographs by Stephanie Keith.” The event is taking place at the Hemispheric Institute (NYU) in New York City on Thursday, March 30, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Tiokasin’s third guest Ofelia Rivas is Founder of O'odham Voice Against the Wall. Tiokasin and Ofelia discussed the March 25, 2017 article by Brenda Norrell in Censored News, “Traditional O’odham in Sonora, Mexico, Protest Trump’s Border Wall on O’odham Land”:

Tiokasin, who is also the show’s music curator, featured two compelling musical selections during the show:  “He” by Consolidated (CD: Play More Music, 1992; Label: Nettwerk) and “Burning Times” by Rumors of the Big Wave (CD: Burning Times, 1993; Label: Earth Beat).

A note to listeners: An archived version of the original Tuesday, March 28, broadcast is available now in the archive of WPKN-FM ( On Thursday, March 30, another archived version of the show will also be available as a download in the WBAI archive immediately following the replay after 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

More information about “First Voices Radio”: Join the “First Voices Radio” Facebook group page at

(Photos courtesy “First Voices Radio”)

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