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NBC News and MSNBC contributor Alyssa London joined Native News Online’s editor Levi Rickert and senior staff reporter Jenna Kunze on this week’s Native Bidaské to discuss this coming Sunday’s The Culture Is; Indigenous Women that premieres Sunday, June 4 at 10 p.m.- EDT. on MSNBC.

London, who hosts the program, is the first person of Tlingit descent to be crowned Miss Alaska USA and founder of the media and education company Culture Story 

A leading voice on Indigenous culture and identity London, sat down with seven trailblazing Indigenous women for an honest and thought-provoking discussion about Native identity, stereotypes, and the generational trauma within Indigenous communities. 

The roundtable conversation was filmed in Suquamish, Washington and features cuisine from the Suquamish tribe. 

The one-hour special features a roundtable with: 

  • Crystal Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Executive Director of IllumiNative
  • Amber Midthunder (Fort Peck Assiniboine/Sioux), the first Indigenous actress to lead an action franchise
  • Kimberly Teehee (Cherokee), Cherokee Nation's First Delegate-elect to Congress
  • Jhane Myers (Comanche/Blackfee), Emmy Award Winning Producer of The Prey
  • Janee Kassanavoid (Comanche), 2024 Olympic hopeful and the first Native American woman to medal at the World Athletics Track & Field Championship in Oregon
  • Plus a special appearance by Secretary Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo, the U.S. secretary of the interior, who is first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary
  • Additionally, London sat down in Anchorage, Alaska for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Rep. Mary Peltola (Yup’ik), the first Alaska Native elected to Congress


Rickert asked London what common theme emerged during the filming of The Culture Is: Indigenous Culture. 

“A theme that comes to my mind right away is the shared mission to increase representation of Indigenous women in all of the fields that each of these women represent. We are not all working in the same field, in our professional careers, but we are all working to the same mission, which is that there needs to be more Native voices in positions of leadership and media in all areas of country,” London said. 

The special will also stream on Peacock.

The Culture Is is a special four-part series highlighting Black, Latina, Asian American Pacific Islander and Indigenous women, elevating diverse voices across MSNBC platforms. On June 19, 2022, The Culture Is: Black Women aired and was followed by The Culture Is: Latina, which aired August 7, 2022 and The Culture Is: AAPI Women, which aired April 2, 2023. All three previous specials are available to view on Peacock.

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