NDN Sports Founders Discuss The Power of Native American Representation

Gabe Zaldivar

Brent Cahwee and John Harjo kind of stumbled upon a passion project that turned into a sports website, one that continues to leave an indelible mark on the Native American community.

NDN Sports is a website that touts itself as being the No. 1 resource for Native American sports news. And it has stayed true to that mission for over two decades.

The two were nice enough to stop by the En Fuego Podcast to talk about the interesting first days of the website and the importance of representation.

The story is a wonderful journey of happenstance and unrelenting diligence to craft. But through the conversation, it’s clear the two would much rather have the spotlight on the athletes who have for far too long been ignored by the national media.

“We do wake up every day and our mission is the same as it was in 2000,” Cahwee said. “We want to highlight and provide information about Native American athletes. And you see a lot of people start something and it's about them. And for John and I, it's never been about us. The focus has always been about the athletes.”

Read More: The Remarkable Story of NDN Sports, A Website Dedicated to The Native American Athlete

We also get to meet Tyler Jones, a morning-show host at KLWN who was one of the first reporters at NDN Sports.

Allowing people like Jones to showcase their skills was important to Cahwee. “We want to give kids an opportunity that we didn't have,” he said.

The website started with Cahwee and Harjo painstakingly going through rosters to find Native American athletes. It’s turned into a website that is not only beloved but has produced successful social media channels that continue to showcase athletes of all ages—athletes that now have the spotlight thanks to NDN Sports.

Just underneath this success is a mantra I rather enjoy. Co-founder Harjo explains, “Don't be afraid to go big, fail so bad that people wonder how the hell you did it. We call it fail-tacular.”

And it’s in trying to go big that big things happen.

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