Lauren Crazybull is a Blackfoot and Dene artist. She runs This Is Blackfoot Territory, a podcast that explores topics from a Blackfoot perspective. The podcast has seven episodes so far and is currently on hiatus, but Crazybull intends to get back into the radio game in the coming months.
We spoke to Crazybull about TIBT, about podcasting and radio and what plans she has for TIBT’s future. Read the full Q&A below.
Photo source: www.ncra.ca
Why did you start This is Blackfoot Territory?
My good friend Mav Adecer and I started This Is Blackfoot Territory. He and I were in a similar place, and needed some projects to focus on. Mav offered to produce the podcast, and since I had a few years of experience radio producing and programming, I took on the role of the host. The goal was to share stories and issues of people of colour. At the time, I was living on my homeland, Treaty 7, Blackfoot Territory; I was sharing my own experience of what that meant alongside the stories and ideas of our guests.
How do you choose your topics for each episode?
We never had a shortage of ideas for the podcast. They were and are still relevant issues and ideas that are very real to Indigenous, Black and People of Colour. We wanted to uncover conversations that may not have been happening with certain issues. We also tried to look past what is immediately apparent to those who follow the issues and ideas we were focusing on. Indigenous issues are often used as sad headlines, or to get a reaction. We wanted to show that a lot of these issues are often very complicated, or the context is removed from certain stories. Indigenous people are not here for audiences to love or hate or form a lethargic opinion on—we are people with stories and complexities. We shouldn't have to prove that repeatedly. "Overcoming" shouldn't be the only headline because we are doing so much more than that.
Is there one that stands out to you the most? A specific episode that challenged you or helped you learn a lot about something?
I think our episodes on Métis identity and politics really helped me understand a lot. As a Blackfoot and Dene person I know my experience, but there’s a lot about indigeneity that I didn’t know and still don’t know. My experience is just a sliver of what indigeneity looks like. I’m really excited to learn more about different intersections of Indigenous people. That’s a small start, but I think that it’s a good one.
There are a lot of Indigenous-made/focused podcasts and radio shows out there. Which ones do you listen to? How do (or did) they inspire you in your work?
I always really admire what Janet Rogers does on Native Waves Radio. I’ve also had the opportunity to be on a podcast panel put on by Brown, Black & Fierce this past year where I got to meet some really cool Indigenous media makers.
How is radio/podcasting unique as a medium, and why are some Indigenous folks gravitating towards it?
I can only speak for myself, but I think community radio can be a really accessible format for expression. Podcasts are easy to download and for the most part, free. Many people are too busy to sit down and read a newspaper or wait for the news to come on. It’s a great format that you can choose to listen to when you want.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to start their own podcast?
Just start! Start with an idea, narrow it down, figure out an angle on a story that hasn’t already been done. If you have access to a phone, a makerspace or a community radio station, you are well on your way.
This is Blackfoot Territory is on hiatus. When should we expect the podcast to come back? What else are you currently working on?
I’m trying to figure out a new angle that leaves lots of room for what I want to report on. I will likely start the podcast again around October or November with a new team of people.
Check out This Is Blackfood Territory here.