Northland Morning Interviews

Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

©Derek Jennings

Wellness is more than just an absence of disease.

It's physical and mental health, and as Native people are moving forward in their journey toward that health, they're doing so by looking backwards: back to the cultural and natural landscape that kept them well long before the time of frybread.

Judy Baxter/Flickr

Fire seasons now are about two and a half months longer than they were in 1970.

The average number of acres burned in wildfires each year has doubled in 1980.

The effects of climate change are showing up in our forest fires, says the USDA. 

Sharon Brogan/Flickr

Real stuff matters.

So says Lisa McKhann, the founding director of Project Lulu and an offshoot, Reflecting Pool, free online journaling for people experiencing a health crisis or their caregivers.

Cultural pressure to present a cheerful optimistic face to the world can drown people struggling with fear, anger, sorrow and other difficult feelings.

Reflecting Pool gives them a place to validate what they're really feeling.


KUMD 103.3 FM is celebrating the 30th anniversary of “For the Birds,” a radio program by Duluthian bird expert Laura Erickson, tomorrow Tuesday, May 24 at 12noon, in front of UMD Bohannon Hall 83 at (next to the Tweed Museum). The event is free and open to the public.

Center of American Indian and Minority Health

Health care for Native people isn't a handout - or even optional, for that matter.  Treaty rights guaranteed health care for Native people ... but the Indian Health Service is chronically underfunded.

Dr. Mary Owen, the director of UMD's Center of American Indian and Minority Health says teaching aspiring doctors about health care disparities in Indian Country needs to be part of the national curriculum.  And even if they don't go on to practice medicine on reservations, they will be positioned to advocate for policy changes.

Deb Holman

Deb Holman calls it "an awesome little thing."

A landowner wanted to have a friendly relationship with the homeless person camping on their land, and called the Outreach Line to extend an offer: tell the person he could put a bag of his trash in their garbage can every week. 

Quin Brown @quinlanbrown/

Chances are, every politician you've ever heard run for a local office has talked about big plans, big dreams and big projects.

But Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns says the secret to building a wealthy city isn't big, isn't sexy and in fact, it's small.  And probably one of the last things you'd think.


Ever since May 12, 1986, Laura Erickson has been our "pocket field guide" to the birds of the Northland.

Witness for Peace delegates

In February of this year, a 20-member delegation from Witness for Peace left for Honduras, on a trip called Women Leading the Way to Justice and Peace.

They met with one of the most well-known representatives of that group:  influential environmental activist and indigenous leader of the Lenca people, Berta Cáceres, 

Ten days after the delegation returned home to Minnesota, Berta Cáceres was dead, shot in her home by armed intruders.


Here's the way UMD journalism prof Chris Julin described the project:

These are "short docs." Mini documentary stories. They have to be true and they have to satisfy these simple rules. The story must:

Dr. Melissa Walls

When Mike Connor agreed to conduct some interviews with doctors, families and people who have diabetes in the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, he knew the information he was helping to gather for the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth was going to be important.

So many people on the reservation near Nett Lake have diabetes that it's one of the things ambulance drivers are required to ask about when they arrive to help someone.

But he didn't expect the "side effects" of the research: helping people with diabetes feel less isolated and alone.

UMD Center for Economic Development

You've got to hand it to the Northland - we know how to handle hard economic times.

©lisa johnson/Thorsburg Photography

45 years after Iron Eyes Cody famously wept a single tear in a Keep America Beautiful public service announcement, do we finally "get it" when it comes to keeping the earth clean?

Michael Newton/Flickr

Despite the sad stories we all heard about parents and grandparents who had to walk to school - uphill both ways and in a blizzard - back when kids walked or biked to school, they were a lot better off.

Concerned about everything from childhood obesity to  air quality, the federal government funded the Safe Routes to School program eleven years ago.