Downstream Podcast

Downstream Podcast features the voices of prominent indigenous leaders as they critically engage with what conservation looks like in a modern world.  Throughout the podcast episodes you will learn about the history of the upper Coosa River basin, the legacy of forced removal of indigenous people and what leaders of the Cherokee, Muskogee, and Choctaw tribes have to teach us about how to care for our natural landscape.

Learn about our guests below.

Listen on your favorite platform:

Featured Guests

Find them here:

Rebecca Jim, Cherokee, Executive Director of LEAD Agency and Tar Creekkeeper in Oklahoma

Rebecca is a lifelong activist dedicated to holding organizations accountable for the environmental and health impacts of unchecked industrial practices.  As a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance she is the Creekeeper for Tar Creek in Oklahoma.  Tar Creek is considered a Superfund site due to the extensive damage caused to the creek from mining operations.  She has worked diligently to find ways to remediate the creek that runs orange from contamination. She is a co-founder of LEAD agency which is a grassroots environmental justice organization dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of the people living in Miami, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas in Ottawa County. 

Dr. Allen Bryant, Cherokee, Faculty Director of Indigenous Communities at Appalachian State University in Cherokee, North Carolina

Dr. Bryant is an Associate Professor in the Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum and the founder and director of Appalachian State’s Gadugi Partnership. The partnership is a dual enrollment program between Appalachian State University and Cherokee High School. He received his B.A. in American History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.A. in American Indian History from the College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D.  in History Education from the University of North Dakota. His research is in American Indian history and the history of American Indian education, with a focus on the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

LeAnne Howe, Choctaw, Eidson Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia

LeAnne Howe, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is an acclaimed poet, novelist, playwright, and scholar.  Howe’s work is deeply rooted in Native American culture and history. 

As the Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature at the University of Georgia, she enriches both literary and academic fields. Her numerous accolades, such as the United States Artists Ford Fellowship and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, underscore her significant impact on contemporary literature and Native American representation.

Rev. Chebon Kernell, Muskogee, ordained Elder in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

Reverend Glenn Chebon Kernell, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is a respected leader, advocate, and spiritual guide within the Native American community. He has dedicated his life to serving Indigenous peoples and promoting justice, reconciliation, and cultural preservation.

As an ordained minister, Reverend Kernell has worked with the World Council of Churches, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops assisting in a denominationally mandated effort to improve relationships with Indigenous communities through dialogue, study and local or regional acts of repentance acknowledging harms inflicted upon Indigenous communities. His leadership extends to his role as the Executive Secretary of Native American and Indigenous Ministries for the General Board of Global Ministries, where he advocates for the rights and well-being of Native communities.

Mary Crowe, Eastern Band Cherokee, Activist and Community Leader

Mary Crowe, an Elder of the Eastern Band of Cherokee is a breast cancer survivor and mother who is renowned for her leadership and advocacy.  Mary is committed to preserving Cherokee culture and language and enhancing community well-being. 

She actively participates in cultural preservation by organizing events and programs celebrating Cherokee traditions and language. Crowe also serves on various tribal councils and committees, ensuring her people’s voices are heard.

In addition to her local work, Crowe collaborates with the Indigenous Environmental Network, promoting a transition to environmental justice and sustainability.

Marcus, Briggs-Cloud, Makoke, Co-Founder of Ekvn-Yefolecv

Marcus Briggs-Cloud, an indigenous Maskoke is the co-founder of Ekvn-Yefolecv, an ecovillage dedicated to Maskoke language and cultural revitalization. With degrees from Harvard and the University of Oklahoma, he integrates traditional knowledge with contemporary environmental practices. A respected speaker and educator, Briggs-Cloud’s work in environmental advocacy and cultural preservation inspires resilience within Indigenous communities.

5 Broad St. Rome,
GA 30161
(706) 232-2724