Cody Blackbird is Eastern Band of Cherokee of North Carolina and Dakota. Cody is the youngest recipient for "Flutist of the Year" by the Native American Music Awards. He travels throughout the year performing and as a motivational speaker for Native American youth. Cody is a rising star in Indian Country and is experimenting with new things by way of flute songs. Cody collaborated with Frank Waln (Rosebud Sioux) of Nake Nula Waun on their song, “Hear my Cry." And, their song was nominated for "Best Hip-Hop Song" at the Indian Summer Music Awards.

It's not easy to convince people at the Winnebago Tribe Powwow to talk about politics and the upcoming election. It's not only talking over the steady, infectious rhythm of the drum groups performing in the dance circle. There's often a sense that Native people get left off the radar of the people campaigning for office. In fact, if there's something everyone agrees on, regardless of political philosophy, it's that candidates need to make a swing through the reservation more often.

I had the opportunity to interview Frank Blythe, who is my grandpa and Founding Executive Director of Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT), as well as my mom, Francine Blythe, who is Executive Director of the National Geographic All Roads Film Project. The three of us were in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the same time and we got together for a cookout.

Judi gaiashkibos (Ponca) talks with reporter Ben Kreimer about the historical significance of Chief Standing Bear and the annual Chief Standing Bear Celebrations occuring in May in Lincoln Nebraska.

Interviews conducted and edited by Ben Kreimer with assistance from Aden Marshall.

Native American media artists Chris Eyre, Cody Blackbird, and more share their stories on why graduating from high school is so important.

Native American Music Award recipient Cody Blackbird (Eastern Band Cherokee/Dakota) shares his stories on why graduating high school is very important.

Watch how Native American activist and poet John Trudell fuses his radical politics with music, writing and art.


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