Respecting and Celebrating Indigenous Cultures and Spaces in the U.S.: 'Let's Go Together' Season 2, Episode 25

"In the indigenous community, if we don't speak up, if we don't fight, we die. We become erased."

Corinne Rice
Photo: Courtesy of Corinne Rice

The travel landscape may be changing, but our collective love of adventure will never waiver.

Through the events of the last few years, we've remained committed to helping you make the most of your journeys. Be it staycations, a visit to a nearby city, or a trip around the globe, we're here to serve you.

We still believe in the power of experiencing new things and celebrating what makes us all unique. We're honoring that love of travel with new episodes of our podcast, Let's Go Together, which highlights how travel changes the way we see ourselves and the world.

In the first season, our pilot and adventurer host, Kellee Edwards, introduced listeners to diverse globe-trotters who showed us that travelers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. From the first Black woman to travel to every country on Earth to a man who trekked to Machu Picchu in a wheelchair, we met some incredible folks. And now, in our second season, we are back to introduce you to new people, new places, and new perspectives.

On this episode of Let's Go Together, Edwards sits down with Corinne Rice-Grey Cloud, an educator, activist, and journalist, to talk about her work in diversity and inclusion for indigenous voices as well as what to keep in mind when traveling to indigenous spaces.

"In the indigenous community, if we don't speak up, if we don't fight, we die. We become erased. Our voice is easily dismissed," Rice-Grey Cloud told Travel + Leisure. "I can't tell you how many times I will go into a workplace to talk about whatever issue I've been asked to speak on, and I have to start with, 'We are still here.' I have to start with, 'No, we're not all gone.' They like to say, 'Oh, we thought we killed you all,' and I've had someone say that to me before."

When asked for some of the ways non-indigenous people can be more mindful about how we interact with indigenous culture, Rice-Grey Cloud explained: "The first thing I tell people is you have to recognize that there's no such pan-indigenous culture as native culture. There are 573 federally recognized tribes and additional state-recognized tribes. Then there are tribal nations who never had 'paperwork' submitted to the federal government where they recognize them as a tribal nation, but still hold cultural teachings, creation stories, languages that are all different from each other." She added, "I think that in itself is sometimes eye-opening to people who lacked that understanding in their early education."

And, perhaps most importantly, Rice-Grey Cloud noted, there are some locations that just aren't meant for travelers. "It's also important to remember what is sacred is sometimes not meant to be seen," she said.

Ready to hear more advice from Corinne Rice-Grey Cloud? Listen as she shares it all on Let's Go Together, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Player.FM, and everywhere podcasts are available.

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