Amended Episode 6: Walking in Two Worlds

Amended, a podcast from our friends at Humanities New York, asks how we tell the story of the (unfinished) struggle for women’s voting rights. Who gave us the dominant suffrage narrative? And who gets left out?

When the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, a large number of Native American women still could not vote. The U.S. government did not recognize them as citizens. And if having U.S. citizenship required them to renounce tribal sovereignty, many Native women didn’t want it. But early-twentieth-century writer, composer, and activist Zitkála-Šá was determined to fight for both.

In this episode, host Laura Free speaks with digital artist Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota) whose art is inspired by Dakota imagery and history, and by Zitkála-Šá’s legacy. Dr. Cathleen Cahill, author of Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement, returns to help tell the story of Zitkála-Šá’s struggle for a “layered” U.S. citizenship that included the acknowledgment of Native American sovereignty.

This final episode of the Amended series demonstrates once again how those who have been marginalized within U.S. democracy have worked, and continue to work, to hold the nation accountable for its promise of liberty and equality for all.

Listen to Amended in full at or in the Humanities New York feed wherever you listen.

And, later this year, join us for The Ohio Country, a forthcoming series from WYSO Public Radio and funded by Ohio Humanities.  Native men and women from different tribes and their allies—plus teachers, artists, scholars, parents, landowners, foresters, young people, and historians, too—will tell their stories about the about the lands above the Ohio River, known as the Ohio Country. You can listen in this feed, at,, and in all those other places where you get podcasts.
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