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Native American Heritage Month Programming on WETA World

Native American Heritage MonthWETA proudly celebrates Native American Heritage Month with special programming that highlights the rich culture and history of Native Americans. Schedule subject to change; visit our schedule page for complete listings.

 

Growing Native: Growing Native Northwest—Coast Salish

Growing Native Northwest

Sunday, November 1

Venture to the Pacific Northwest to capture the stories of ongoing traditions and perseverance of its original inhabitants. For the tribes of this region, water is life. The rivers that crisscross this land were the highways for trade and fresh water grocery stores for thousands of years. Today, tribes celebrate their cultures by participating in a yearly canoe journey, an opportunity for people to gather and travel to all the places their ancestors once inhabited. From totem poles, to language preservation to traditional crafts, host Chris Eyre (Cheyenne Arapaho) discovers the wilds of the North. 

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Racing the Rez

Racing the Rez

Sunday, November 1

In the rugged canyon lands of Northern Arizona, Navajo and Hopi cross-country runners from two rival high schools put it all on the line for Tribal pride, triumph over adversity and state championship glory. Win or lose, what they learn in the course of their seasons will have a dramatic effect on the rest of their lives.

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Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum

Sousa on the Rez

Sunday, November 1

Native American music may not conjure images of tubas, trumpets and John Phillip Sousa marches. Yet this vibrant musical tradition has been a part of Native American culture for more than 100 years. Combining profiles of contemporary bands with fresh historical research, Sousa On The Rez offers an unexpected and engaging picture of this little-known aspect of the Native music scene.

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Local, USA: The Seven Generation River

Local, USA: The Seven Generation River

Monday, November 2

In a time when America’s natural resources are caught in the crossfire of deep divisions between Americans, the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians from the southwest corner of the Great Lakes might hold the key to healing our divisions, healing nature and healing ourselves.

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Independent Lens: Dawnland

Navajo Children - Independent Lens: Dawnland

Tuesday, November 3

Follow the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission in the U.S., which investigates the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on Native American communities. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.

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America ReFramed: Moroni for President

Moroni Benally - America ReFramed: Moroni for President

Tuesday, November 3

Every four years, the Navajo Nation elects its president, whom many consider the most powerful Native American. Moroni Benally, a witty LGBTQ candidate with radical ideas, hopes to defeat the incumbent president. Fraught with challenges, Moroni soon discovers that theory and a platform does not necessarily prepare you for the daily dirt of politics and the unpredictability of voter’s choice.

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Local, USA: The Mayors of Shiprock

Local, USA: The Mayors of Shiprock

Tuesday, November 3

Meet The Mayors of Shiprock – that’s what some people call The Northern Diné Youth Committee. These young Navajo leaders meet every week to learn about their Native culture, discuss community improvements, and work to bridge divides within their community. Some on the reservation say they don’t have the traditional knowledge and language needed to be real leaders…but the Mayors are not stopping.

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Independent Lens: Conscience Point

Shane Weeks - Independent Lens: Conscience Point

Wednesday, November 4

Explore how the onslaught of development in Long Island's wealthy Hamptons has triggered a clash of values. Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, farmers and fishing communities seek to stop the building boom and preserve the environment.

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Rising Voices: Hothaninpi

Kyylyn Eagle Shield - Rising Voices

Friday, November 6

Before Christopher Columbus and his fellow Europeans arrived in North America, there were nearly 300 Native languages spoken north of Mexico. Today only half of those languages remain and experts say that by the year 2050, just 20 indigenous American languages will exist. Rising Voices/Hotȟaninpi is a one-hour documentary about how languages die – and how speaking them again can spark cultural and community restoration.

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Growing Native: Growing Native Alaska—People of the North

Chris Eyre - Growing Native Alaska

Sunday, November 8

All across Alaska, Native cultures have depended on the abundant natural resources found there to support their families, cultures and ways of life. Now, however, those resources are growing scarce, and the people who have relied on them for centuries have to find new ways to adapt. Growing Native visits some of the many communities engaged in this familiar struggle - the struggle to maintain their traditions and ways of life, while continuing to thrive in a constantly changing world. Host Chris Eyre (Cheyenne Arapaho) meets Alaska Natives who thrive and survive in this complex environment. 

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Medicine Game

Medicine Game - Jerome Hiana and Jeremy Thompson

Sunday, November 8

The Medicine Game, a film six years in the making, shares the remarkable journey of two brothers from the Onondoga Nation driven by a single goal-to beat the odds and play the sport of lacrosse for national powerhouse Syracuse University.

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Growing Native: Growing Native Great Lakes: Turtle Island

Growing Native Great Lakes

Sunday, November 15

Over the Centuries, the Great Lakes have been home to hundreds tribes and a source of fresh water, food, and health. Indigenous creation stories describe the world came into being on a back of a turtle shell, and today they know the earth as Turtle Island. Growing Native host Stacey Thunder (Red Lake and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) guides this journey by engaging tribal voices while touring Indian country with those who still devote their lives to care for the land. 

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Red Power Energy

Red Power Energy - Apsaalooke-Warriors-Park

Sunday, November 15

Red Power Energy is a provocative film told from the American Indian perspective that reframes today's complex energy debate. Can energy development on tribal lands empower a people while powering the nation? And what impact will it have on their culture, economy and the environment? These Native-told energy stories offer a rare insight into the ideological battle shaping modern Indian country and further advances a deeper understanding of American Indian culture, which is too often under-reported, misunderstood or overlooked.

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The Horse Relative

The Horse Relative

Monday, November 16

The Horse Relative explores the historic art of horse regalia and how the tradition is being revived and reinterpreted by Dakota communities for a new generation. Interviewees discuss the sacred relationship between the horse and the Dakota people, and the centuries-old tradition of dressing horses for ceremonies and celebrations.

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America ReFramed: Blood Memory

America ReFramed: Blood Memory

Tuesday, November 17

From contemporary life on Native reservations to stories of recovery on the Gulf, from hardships and revitalization in towns big and small to stories from city streets across the country, these independent, personal and opinionated films document the times in which we live.

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Sand Creek Massacre

Sand Creek Massacre

Friday, November 20

What led approximately 600-plus volunteer soldiers to attack a peaceful settlement of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in the Southeastern Colorado Territory? On November 29, 1864, Colonel John Chivington led an unprovoked attack that resulted in the deaths of more than 150 women, children and the elderly. Sand Creek Massacre revisits the horrific acts of that day and uncovers the history 150 years later.

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La Loche

La Loche - Les Stroud

Friday, November 20

In January 2016, a school shooting in the remote Canadian aboriginal community of La Loche, Saskatchewan took the lives of four students and injured seven others. In the aftermath, a caring teacher, worried about eight boys directly affected by the shooting, contacted a TV celebrity the students admired. She hoped that Survivormanstar Les Stroud might spend time with the students. La Loche follows Stroud, the eight young Dené men, and several community and school elders on a wilderness adventure, in which they canoe down a 100-mile river path that their ancestors used to traverse.

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Growing Native: Growing Native Oklahoma—Red People

Growing Native Oklahoma - Moses Brings Plenty

Sunday, November 22

Oklahoma is home to thirty-nine federally recognized tribes. Nowhere in North America will you find such diversity among Native Peoples, and nowhere will you find a more tragic history. Host Moses Brings Plenty (Oglala Lakota) guides this episode of Growing Native, on a journey to Oklahoma’s past and present. What he discovers among the many faces of Oklahoma culture is the determination, values and respect that tribes have brought to this land, once called Indian Territory.

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Local, USA: The Blackfeet Flood

Local, USA: The Blackfeet Flood

Monday, November 23

More than fifty years after a devastating flood, Butch New Breast returns home to face the ghosts of his past. In 1964, Swift Dam broke and swept through Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation - uprooting homes, killing dozens, and signaling the end of a way of life for many Native families. It is the worst disaster in the history of the state. Half a century later, Butch confronts the tragedy that left him orphaned at 14, and tries to remember “what it means to be Blackfeet.”

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America ReFramed: The Blessing

America ReFramed: The Blessing

Tuesday, November 24

The Blessing – follows a Navajo coal miner raising his secretive daughter as a single father, struggling with his part in the irreversible destruction of their sacred mountain at the hands of America's largest coal producer. 

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