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.

More Stories Like This

Eighth Generation Blanket Featured on Cover of British Vogue in October
Here’s What's Going On in Indian Country, September 21 —September 28
The Land That Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans Exhibition Begins Sept. 22 at National Gallery of Art
Gifted Native American Flutist Robert Tree Cody Walks On
The Future is Now at Newly Opened Center for Native Futures in Chicago

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].