Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Start Spreading the News

Over the past 11 years that WBAI-FM 99.5 in New York City has been airing “First Voices Indigenous Radio” (FVIR), the show's host and executive producer Tiokasin Ghosthorse has slowly turned his weekly live one-hour radio show into an international broadcast with re-airings of this program on 45 stations in 15 states and one Canadian province.

Tiokasin has built a following of loyal listeners and set a standard for what could and should be expected when a Native voice is given an opportunity to be heard. He strove to provide a platform and a voice to Indigenous issues globally and has, indeed, accomplished his mission.

But 2014 has provided other opportunities for Tiokasin and he has decided to step away from hosting for a bit. Last week I traveled to New York to appear as Tiokasin's guest on FVIR. There it was announced that I would be stepping in as Interim Host for Tiokasin while he goes on a sabbatical to pursue various projects including work with children. A media release was issued immediately following the show by Liz Hill Public Relations, Ltd., in Washington, D.C. My appearance on the show did not come as a surprise or anything new to the FVIR audience since I have been one of the few guest hosts that Tiokasin has relied on over the last few years. This was yet another chance for Tiokasin and me to share the microphone.

Tiokasin will remain FVIR's executive producer and will be no stranger to the show while he pursues his year away as full-time host. Liz Hill, who has produced several Native radio shows in various markets, including producing for FVIR, will also serve as one of the show's producers. Ms. Hill has worked as my publicist over much of the last year and brings her more than 30 years of experience in public relations and media to this valuable media resource.

I will continue to produce and host my own show, “Let's Talk Native...with John Kane” (LTN) airing Sundays at 9-11 p.m. on ESPN Sports Radio WWKB- 1520 AM in Buffalo, N.Y. and streaming on-line everywhere (on the TuneIn app or at and transition from my home on commercial radio to listener-supported radio of WBAI in New York each week. The shows will be distinct from one other with LTN maintaining its two hours of free-form style and its live, call-in talk radio format while FVIR will make efficient use of the one hour with a little more structure in one of the greatest media markets on the planet.

LTN will naturally continue to have a strong focus on Haudenosaunee issues but never shy away from Native issues from all over Turtle Island or Indigenous issues globally. Sovereignty, autonomy, distinction and identity will always be an undercurrent of “Let's Talk Native...”

“First Voices Indigenous Radio” will address Native and Indigenous peoples’ issues in a global context. Even as local and regional issues are tackled on the show and guests that will span the spectrum from activism to the arts and politics to other topics so, too, will there always be cognizance of the United Nations and the international community it represents just in the background. FVIR will continue to provide an opportunity to bring relevant Indigenous voices to the audiences of more than 40 radio markets and everywhere the Internet reaches for its live stream and archived shows access.

Of course, the style and brand of radio that I bring will offer a new look and sound to FVIR. A Haudenosaunee and, dare I say it, Mohawk (Kanienkehaka) perspective will also be ever present. My direct, unscripted, leaving little to interpretation style will leave listeners knowing that Native voices and Native thoughts do more than just linger in the Plains and the Woodlands or in desolate little known corners of the globe, and that our voices matter and that our thoughts and concepts resonate far beyond lines drawn in the sand or on a map.

If you are already a listener of “First Voices Indigenous Radio” then you have likely heard me as a host. Please don't view me as a replacement or substitute for Tiokasin but rather as a brother carrying the torch for him for awhile. I'll likely shine the light in a few different places but know that we are both looking for and illuminating the same things. And when we finish this trip around the Sun, the light will be squarely back in the hands of the man who built this program.

If you are a listener of “Let's Talk Native...” and have never heard FVIR, check it out and start spreading the news. I am heading to New York each week. I have plenty to say there and I'll have plenty to say it with.

If two hours of LTN each week is too much for you then catch one hour of FVIR. If two hours of LTN on Sunday night leaves you wanting more, hang on till Thursday morning from 9-10.

Listen at And check out the FVIR website at You will always find links and shows on my Native Pride blog and on the “Let's Talk Native...with John Kane Facebook” group page.

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