Lew Hastings - Red Road Radio Show (EP.23)

It’s nothing new to complain about the government. It seems everywhere you go someone has a bone to pick with the way Politician X is handling Issue Y. Grumbling about politics is a hobby for some.

But what if, when you looked at your representatives, you couldn’t find a single person who looks like you? Would that not fuel the concern that maybe it’s not all in your head, that maybe, perhaps, “your” politicians don’t have your best interest at heart, because they don’t share the same background, haven’t faced the same challenges, and therefore don’t hold much empathy for your place in the greater community? And what if, to top it all off, your community was here first, but has since been pushed and prodded and marginalized to the brink of non-existence? Would that not be the ultimate bone to pick?

The issues faced by First Nation people often fly under the radar. With the exception of a few high profile cases, such as Standing Rock, Native concerns and injustices go largely ignored by mainstream media. The Red Road Radio Show, hosted by Lew Hastings, seeks to shine a light on such subjects often relegated to the darkest corners of the news, if they are covered at all. Lew is forthcoming in saying that he does not have much in the way of a genetic connection to Native Nations, but that his interest comes from a place of passion and desire to help. “It’s tough to leave that land, and it’s tough to live on that land”, Lew says of indigenous communities.

Unfortunately it is well known that Reservation populations suffer higher rates of poverty than Americans as a whole. This, however, is not the focus of the podcast. “The communities don’t want people to focus on the poverty as much as they want them to focus on them being Americans.“ Lew highlights the ways in which people can make a positive difference in the community, covering themes such as Tribal Sovereignty, human rights, and access to resources, to name a few. “That’s the biggest call to action is to educate yourself, find out what it is that is going on in this country…Go and visit your local reservation…Meet with people there and talk to them, find out what their concerns are.” Lew shares his podcast in the hopes of illuminating hidden issues in order to ultimately make a better life for the people living in these communities.

Key Topics

-       Introducing Lew. [01:07]

-       Reason for starting the show. [02:11]

-       Background behind the Native Now non-proft. [03:30]

-       Lew’s cultural background. [05:06]

-       Lew’s relationship with the community. [05:42]

-       Current issues faced by Native communities, and the US government’s role in that. [07:14]

-       How Native populations’ needs are marginalized by the government. [10:15]

-        The importance of awareness of issues affecting these communities. [14:21]

-       The value of visiting your local reservation. [17:43]

-       The flawed “casino argument.” [19:09]

-       What makes this podcast unique. [22:37]

-       Reasons for starting Native Now. [24:35]

-       Returning Nokota horses to Standing Rock. [25:44]

-       Advice for starting a podcast. [28:26]

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