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Throughout November, PBS North Carolina celebrates Native American Heritage Month with new film premieres and returning favorite programs. Learn more about history, culture, the modern veteran experience of Native American service members and more. Select programs are featured below and more shows are available in our TV Schedule listings.
"Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.” This was the guiding principle that removed thousands of Native American children and placed them in Indian boarding schools. Among the many who died at Carlisle Indian Industrial School were three Northern Arapaho boys. Now, more than a century later, tribal members journey from Wyoming to Pennsylvania to help them finally come home.
By the late 1800s, forced assimilation — in the form of compulsory boarding schools — had become another tool the U.S. government used to address what mainstream America considered the “Indian problem.”
Hollywood war stories mostly end with the hero’s return. In reality, the road back to civilian life is less certain. For some, there were ticker-tape parades; for others, protests, anger and silence. Some veterans return home full of confidence, while others think, “What am I going to do now?” Hosted by actor Wes Studi, Vietnam War Veteran (National Guard) and Native American (Cherokee) activist.
American Veteran: Keep It Close
Harvey Pratt is a member of the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux Tribes, who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. Lessons from his elders, such as putting a pebble in his mouth to help stave off thirst, helped him thrive and look after his fellow soldiers in Vietnam. These teachings benefited him throughout his successful career in law enforcement, giving him strength and support.
The Innovators celebrates stories of impact at North Carolina’s Historically Minority-Serving Institutions. Situated in a community that is 40% American Indian, UNC Pembroke is NC’s only Historically American Indian University. The university offers unique pathways for students to enhance the lives of their neighbors through advancements in health care, agri-business and agricultural sciences and Alzheimer’s/Traumatic Brain Injury research.
Learn more about UNC Pembroke's mobile clinics meeting local needs and giving students "real world" experience in The Clinic on Wheels: Meeting Local Health Care Challenges.
Delve into the enigmatic life and mind of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet N. Scott Momaday, best known for “House Made of Dawn” and a formative voice of the Native American Renaissance in art and literature.
Telling the astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military. Why would Indian men and women put their lives on the line for the very government that took their homelands? The film relates the stories of Native American warriors from their own points of view – stories of service and pain, of courage and fear.
Dawnland reveals the untold story of Indigenous child removal in the United States through the first government-endorsed truth and reconciliation commission in the nation, tasked with investigating the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on Native American communities.
Native America explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. The four part series reaches back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents.
Combine ancient wisdom and modern science to answer a 15,000-year-old question: who were America’s First Peoples? The answer hides in Amazonian cave paintings, Mexican burial chambers, New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon and waves off California’s coast.