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Julianna Brannum and Stanley Nelson, producers for the Wounded Knee segment of the upcoming five-part We Shall Remain series, knew that their audience would be largely non-Native American. They also knew that educating such an audience about the pivotal events that led to the occupation of the tiny town of Wounded Knee in South Dakota would be a challenge. And even for Brannum, who is Comanche and had familiarity with the subject, she knew that all this would be a learning process.

Tohono O’odham tribal members playing accordions and saxophones in the southern Arizona desert is more reminiscent of old world polka than a present-day tribal favorite among the O’odham Nations.

Daniel Golding, the filmmaker behind Waila! Making the People Happy, grew up in Arizona listening to such melodies—a historical blend of European instruments infused with modern-day electric keyboards and guitars. The music the O’odham call waila is derived from the Spanish word for dance, baila.

If you had asked Sina Bear Eagle or Aden Marshall, hosts of AIROS Native Network’s radio show,Native Sounds-Native Voices, about Native American music almost a year ago, their answer would be limited.

Since the pair began hosting the show in September, the two, both college students in Lincoln, Neb., have been exposed to many unexpected sub-genres under the Native music umbrella including punk, rap, and even polka.

A native of Plano, Texas, Willow Blythe (Muscogee-Creek) is a freelance multimedia creator for KERA public media in Dallas, Texas. Willow attended Southern Methodist University where she recently received her degree in Journalism.

Will the Affordable Care Act work? It's too early to know that answer. But this is not a new question in history. More than sixty years ago the Bureau of Indian Affairs was awful in its operation of health care programs. One doctor wrote: All we really need are good doctors, facilities and pharmaceuticals. I am weary." Congress finally got the message and in 1955 created the Indian Health Service. But that shift -- as dramatic as the one today -- worked and it significantly improved the quality of life for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Medicaid is a particularly complex government insurance program for the poor. But for American Indians and Alaska Natives, Medicaid is also an odd partnership between states and the federal government. The U.S. pays the bills, but each of the 50 states decide the rules and what's authorized as a health care cost. And there's another problem: The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid eligibility, but only about half the states are doing that.

There is not a lot of competition in health care, especially for American Indians and Alaska Natives who live on a reservation or in a native village. The one choice for health care is often the federal Indian Health Service or perhaps a locally-managed tribal or nonprofit clinic. But the Affordable Care Act changes that. Once you have an insurance card from a Marketplace Exchange or Medicaid ... then you have a choice.

The Affordable Care Act includes incentives for people to buy health insurance coverage at a reduced rate or even free. So why would American Indians and Alaska Natives purchase insurance? Because there are a lot of benefits to doing so, including money for medical-related travel, or improved medicines. But first Native Americans need to sign up. And the Government Accountability Office said that will only happen if there is a major campaign to education people about their expanded coverage options.

The reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act had been stuck in Congress for nearly twenty years. So when health care reform moved front and center it became an opportunity to get that done -- and to add tribes to the larger discussion. The result, says National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jaqueline Peta, is the Affordable Care Act, a law that's "very good" for Indian Country.

Written by Mark Trahant.

Kavelina Torres is an Alaska Native hailing from the Yup'ik, Inupiaq and Athabascan Nations. She lives in North Pole, Alaska, where life is rich and full of diversity. She is a student at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where she is studying Yup'ik Filmmaking. She writes theater plays and screenplays with contemporary Alaskan and Alaska Native themes.

Rebekka Schlichting is a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in Journalism, with a minor in English. A member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska: Rebekka is an active member in the First Nation Student Association, a mentor for incoming freshman, the host of Good Morning KU, a social media intern at HerLife Magazine, and a research assistant with the KU School of Journalism in a program currently working on creating websites for tribes in Kansas. 

Warrior Women, is a new documentary film from Elizabeth Castle, and Christina King (Creek/Seminole/Sac & Fox). The title is based around the story of women activists who participated in the Red Power and American Indian Movement (AIM).

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