‘Native America Calling’ receives National Humanities Medal

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Koahnic Broadcast Corp. CEO Jaclyn Sallee receives the National Humanities Medal from President Joe Biden Tuesday on behalf of "Native America Calling" during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Native America Calling, a long-running live call-in show on public radio, received a National Humanities Medal at a White House event Tuesday.

Native America Calling captures “the vastness of the Native American life and its profound impact on the country,” said President Joe Biden during the ceremony.  

Jaclyn Sallee, CEO of Koahnic Broadcast Corp. in Anchorage, Alaska, accepted the award on behalf of the show. Koahnic produces the show, which has been on the air since 1995. 

“We are grateful and humbled to receive this recognition for Native America Calling’s service to listeners across the nation, and for Native communities in particular,” Sallee said in a press release.

The program received the award “for connecting tribal and non-tribal communities across the United States,” according to the White House citation. “Through its interactive shows on the radio and online, Native America Calling educates the American public about Indigenous issues while preserving Indigenous history and culture to honor their contributions that strengthen the sacred Nation-to-Nation relationship.” 

Native America Calling provides a vital connection to Native communities celebrating culture and addressing and elevating Native voices,” said CPB CEO Patricia Harrison in a press release. “CPB is proud to be a longtime supporter of Native America Calling and we congratulate everyone involved in producing the show on winning this prestigious award.”

The National Humanities Medal is presented each year to up to 12 individuals or groups “whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects,” according to the National Endowment for the Humanities

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