PBS Mini-Series on Native American History

PBS Mini-Series on Native American History

April 13, April 20, April 27, May 4, May 11

We Shall Remain is a groundbreaking mini-series and provocative

multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part

of American history. Five 90-minute documentaries spanning three hundred

years tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native

American perspective.

Episode 1 After the Mayflower

In 1621, the Wampanoag of New England negotiated a treaty with Pilgrim

settlers. A half-century later, as a brutal war flared between the English

and a confederation of Indians, this diplomatic gamble seemed to have been

a grave miscalculation.


Episode 2 Tecumseh’s Vision

In the course of his brief and meteoric career, Tecumseh would become one

of the greatest Native American leaders of all time, orchestrating the

most ambitious pan-Indian resistance movement ever mounted on the North

American continent.


Episode 3 Trail of Tears

Though the Cherokee embraced “civilization” and won recognition of tribal

sovereignty in the U.S. Supreme Court, their resistance to

removal from their homeland failed. Thousands were forced on a perilous

march to Oklahoma.


Episode 4 Geronimo

As the leader of the last Native American fighting force to capitulate to

the U.S. government, Geronimo was seen by some as the perpetrator of

unspeakable savage cruelties, while to others he was the embodiment of

proud resistance.


Episode 5 Wounded Knee

American Indian Movement activists and residents of the Pine

In 1973, American Indian Movement activists and residents of the Pine

Ridge Reservation occupied the town of Wounded Knee, demanding redress for

grievances. As a result of the siege, Indians across the country forged a

new path into the future.

PBS Television Series

At the heart of the project is a five-part television series that shows

how Native peoples valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and

fought the extinction of their culture — from the Wampanoags of New

England in the 1600s who used their alliance with the English to weaken

rival trib

es, to the bold new leaders of the 1970s who harnessed the

momentum of the civil rights movement to forge a pan-Indian identity. We

Shall Remain represents an unprecedented collaboration between Native and

non-Native filmmakers and involves Native advisors and scholars at all

levels of the project.

Web & New Media

An in-depth Web site will serve the general public, educators, and

students, offering educational resources and several hours of streaming

video. Part of PBS Online, one of the leading dot-org sites on the

Internet, the We Shall Remain site will feature Web-exclusive videos

exploring contemporary topics such as language revitalization efforts,

Native enterprise and tribal sovereignty. The site will also host

behind-the-scenes production stories, streaming of the ReelNative films,

and information about upcoming events across the nation.


This unique project offers Native Americans a venue to share their stories

with a national audience. At workshops in Arizona,

Massachusetts, and Oklahoma, participants ranging in age from fourteen to

fifty-five were taught to produce short films. Quirky, touching, funny,

and profound, the films reveal the diversity of the contemporary Native

experience and testify to the resilience of Native people and culture.

Community Engagement Campaign

A nationwide community outreach campaign is engaging Native communities

and organizations, Native radio, public television stations,

universities, museums, schools, and libraries. The events, activities, and

dialogue that come out of these relationships will extend We Shall

Remain’s crucial message to invite audiences to tune in to the


Educator Resources

The We Shall Remain Web site will launch an extensive Teacher’s Guide

< http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/w…

earn>  for social studies educators. The guide will incorporate video

segments from the five documentaries into social studies resources,

offering both viewing and comprehension aids and classroom activities. T

his resource will inspire and support teachers to integrate Native history

and issues into their curricula and encourage them to present Native

history as an integral part of American history.

National Library Initiative

WGBH is working closely with the American Library Association (ALA) and

its 2007-2008 President Loriene Roy (White Earth Anishinabe) to build

awareness of the series among librarians, Native organizations,

scholars, and writers. Ms. Roy is also collaborating with WGBH to

develop innovative ideas for how to use We Shall Remain materials to serve

the unique needs of local communities and tribal libraries. A library

event kit developed specifically for public, college, school, and tribal

libraries will be distributed to 17,000 public libraries, as well as to

all tribal libraries. The kit offers programming ideas and resources to

help libraries organize and deliver engaging events related to We Shall

Remain. Features include storytelling days, Native

literature reading circles, cross-cultural art projects for youth,

discussion forums, guidelines for evaluating media about Native peoples,

and an extensive bibliography of book, film, and Internet resources.


  1. I did a couple of interviews for this series but my sister and Richard Whitman saw it up at the Sundance Festival and didn’t like it much. Plus I feel they lied to me to get the interview, they  promised they would interview the actual participants and not concentrate on AIM leaders. Now I see the ads are full of Dennis Banks, we’ll see but I’m not hopeful.

  2. Okay, here’s Rounds’s press release:

       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 24, 2010

       CONTACT: Terry Woster at 605-773-3178

       Governor Seeks Presidential Disaster Declarations

       PIERRE, S.D. -* Gov. Mike Rounds has requested two Presidential

       Disaster Declarations to help South Dakota recover from a Christmas

       blizzard and a January ice storm.*

       One request is for public assistance in 12 counties and two tribal

       reservations hardest hit by the Christmas blizzard. _Public

       assistance damages from that storm are estimated at slightly more

       than $1 million for such activities as removing snow and repairing

       rural electric systems._

       _The second request is for both public and individual assistance for

       damages estimated at nearly $22.5 million as a result of the January

       ice storm. Public assistance is being requested for 29 counties and

       three reservations, while private assistance is being requested for

       seven counties and two reservations. The Governor’s request said 29

       counties suffered severe damage to power lines and poles, while

       seven counties had substantial home damage caused by broken water

       pipes after utilities were restored._

       [Aji’s note: Remember Regina’s written response from Daugaard’s

       office? He tried to imply that the damage wasn’t equal to $1

       million+. Carter made the point that the downed utility poles alone

       would cost more than that to repair, and we included both Daugaard’s

       response and Carter’s points in subsequent diaries.]

       _”I have further determined that this severe winter storm is of such

       severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the

       capabilities of the state and the affected local governments, and

       supplemental federal assistance is necessary,”_ Gov. Rounds wrote

       in each request for presidential action.

       [Aji’s note: This goes directly to my point about how he was using

       S.D. state law to weasel out of the disaster declaration – i.e.,

       word choice. He’s now changed to the statutory wording that

       justifies a “disaster” (v. “emergency”) declaration.]

       The governor’s request for help with costs associated with the ice

       storm included _a special mention of the need for assistance for

       individual homes on the affected reservations__. Gov. Rounds noted

       that the preliminary assessment classified those damages as minor._

       _ _

       _”Many of us would view broken pipes as an irritating

       inconvenience,” he wrote. “I assure you, Mr. President, __these wet

       homes are not merely an inconvenience to members of the __Cheyenne

       River and Standing Rock Sioux Tribes. With high unemployment rates

       in these areas, impacted individuals do not have the means to

       complete necessary repairs in a timely manner.”_

       [Aji’s note: We all made these point in every diary, whether about

       the disaster declaration or about donations – particularly hammering

       at the unemployment rate and its impact on the ability to cope with

       the weather.]

       That could mean homeowners would only be able to fix water pipes and

       would be forced to delay replacement of wet sheetrock, studs and

       insulation, the governor said. _With warmer temperatures, mold could

       grow rapidly and homes could become health hazards,_ he said.

       [Aji’s note: Someone – SarahLee, maybe? – specifically mentioned the

       mold issue.]

       “Mr. President, let’s do what we can to at least put these South

       Dakota citizens into homes repaired to their pre-disaster

       condition,” the governor wrote.

       _The requests are necessary for federal disaster funds to be made

       available to South Dakota__. _If the president grants the

       declarations, up to 75 percent of eligible costs could be reimbursed

       by the federal government. The governor’s request does not guarantee

       federal funding will be made available in South Dakota.

       [Aji’s note: This is CYA on his part, but we made that point

       repeatedly, so I think he kind of had to acknowledge it anyway.]

       There is no deadline for the White House to either accept or deny

       the declaration requests.

       The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management, Federal Emergency

       Management Agency (FEMA) and local officials conducted preliminary

       damage assessments following each storm. The state received an

       extension to file its request from the Christmas blizzard because

       the preliminary damage assessment from that storm was interrupted by

       the January ice storm.


       *The following counties and tribes are listed in the requests for

       presidential disaster declarations:*

       Christmas blizzard:

           * Public assistance requested for: Campbell, Clay, Gregory,

             Jones, Lyman, Mellette, Perkins, Shannon, Todd, Tripp, Turner

             and Yankton counties and the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian


           * Snow assistance requested for Campbell, Clay, Jones, Lyman,

             Perkins, Shannon, Todd, Turner and Yankton counties and the

             Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations.

       January ice storm:

           * Public assistance requested for: Aurora, Brule, Buffalo,

             Campbell, Corson, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Faulk,

             Grant, Gregory, Hand, Harding, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde,

             Jerauld, McCook, McPherson, Meade, Perkins, Potter, Roberts,

             Sully, Turner, Walworth and Ziebach counties and the Cheyenne

             River Sioux Tribe, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and the

             Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

           * _Individual assistance programs and Small Business

             Administration disaster loans_ requested in Campbell, Corson,

             Dewey, Hyde, Potter, McPherson and Ziebach counties and the

             Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

           [Aji’s note: My original disaster declaration diary broke down

           the kinds of assistane that a declaration could get for folks on

           the rez, and asked people to note that specifically in

           contacting public officials and the media. These are some of the

           kinds of assistance that were mentioned.]

    The whole announcement smacks of CYA to me. I honestly think that all

    the e-mails and phone calls, being so specific, triggered this – in part

    because I think it got the Sen. Indian Affairs cmte. off its collective

    ass to lean on Rounds. And, yes, we need to watch him like a hawk to

    make sure 1) he gets the aid, and 2) he disburses it properly. But it’s

    the first step, and without it, we wouldn’t even have to worry about

    watchdogging any payouts.

    Let me know if you need anything else.

    ~ A

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