“First Voices Radio” digs deep into our 30-year-old archive and brings listeners another interpretation and observation surrounding the American holiday known as “Thanksgiving.” The late John Trudell’s “Thanksgiving Day Address” is from 1980 but how his observations have stood the test of time and still ring true. The names of U.S. politicians that Trudell mentions have changed over the years but the issues that Native peoples faced then and now remain the same. John Trudell (1946-2015) has been identified as a poet, a fighter for Native American rights, an agitator, and many other things. But if you were to have asked him which of these descriptions best suits him he would have refused to be pinned down. “Actually I don’t consider myself to be any of those things. They’re things that I do…but they’re parts of me. They’re not the total.” Indeed, Trudell was the complex sum of all that he saw, endured and accomplished during his 69 years, a time when he experienced more than most people might in several lifetimes. More information about John Trudell can be found at https://www.johntrudell.com/.

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Music selection

1. Song Title: Tahi Roots Mix (First Voices Radio Theme Song); Artist: Moana and the Moa Hunters; Album: Tahi (1993); Label: Southside Records (Australia and New Zealand) (00:00:22)

2. Song Title: Caravan of Fools; Artist: John Prine; Album: The Tree of Forgiveness (2018); Label: Oh Boy Records (00:02:08)

3. Song: The Cleansing (Red Earth Song); Artist: John Trudell; CD: Tribal Voice (1983); Label: Effective Records (00:29:30)

4. Song: Wildseed; Artist: John Trudell and Kwest; Album: Through the Dust (2014); Label: Dialect Records (00:45:15)

5. Song Title: The States I’m In: Artist: Bruce Cockburn; Album: Bone on Bone (2017); Label: True North (00:50:15)

6. Song Title: This is not America; Artist: David Bowie and Pat Metheny Group; Single: The Falcon and the Snowman (1984); Label: EMI (55:45)