On TV: Native American Heritage Month

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Zuni tribal member Jim Enote returns to the Grand Canyon, place of his people's emergence from the earth. (Native America - From Caves to Cosmos) (Courtesy of Providence Pictures)

November is Native American Heritage Month, and KQED is celebrating with a special TV programming lineup!

Premiere dates are listed below. Please click on each program for additional airdates and information.


Thursday, 11/1
11:02pm Skindigenous: Hawaii - Keone Nunes (NEW)
If Keone Nunes had never picked up the tools and answered the call to master of kakau, there would likely be no traditional tattooing in Hawaii today.

Monday, 11/5

Denise Altvater (Passamaquoddy), a leader in the effort to create the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Independent Lens: Dawnland) (Courtesy of Jeremy Dennis)

10pm Independent Lens: Dawnland (NEW)
See how a group of Native and non-Native leaders in Maine came together to acknowledge and address the abuses suffered by Native children in the hands of the child welfare system, illuminating the ongoing crisis of indigenous child removal.


Wednesday, 11/7
11pm Navajo Math Circles
Navajo students collaborate with mathematicians in math circles, which emphasize student-centered learning by putting children in charge of exploring math to their own joy and satisfaction.

Tuesday, 11/13
9pm Native America: Cities of the Sky (NEW)
Discover the cosmological secrets behind America's ancient cities. Scientists explore some of the world's largest pyramids and 3D-scan a lost city of monumental mounds on the Mississippi River; native elders reveal ancient powers of the sky.

10pm Native America: New World Rising (NEW)
Discover how resistance, survival and revival are revealed through an empire of horse-mounted Comanche warriors, secret messages encoded in Aztec manuscript and a grass bridge in the Andes that spans mountains and centuries of time.

11pm Keep Talking
Follow four Alaska Native women fighting to save Kodiak Alutiiq, an endangered language spoken by fewer than 40 remaining fluent Native elders. On remote Afognak Island, they inspire young people to learn the language and dances of their ancestors.

Wednesday, 11/14
11pm Growing Native: Northwest: Coast Salish (NEW)
Venture to the Pacific Northwest to capture the stories of ongoing traditions and perseverance of its original inhabitants.

Wednesday, 11/21
11pm Growing Native: Alaska: People of the North (NEW)
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. Growing Native explores how the people who have relied on them for centuries have to find new ways to adapt.

Thursday, 11/22
11:02pm Skindigenous: Seattle: Nahaan (NEW)
Seattle-born artist Nahaan sees tattoo, like many other forms of artistic expression, as a political act and a form of resistance.

Monday, 11/26
11:30pm Tending Nature: Protecting the Coast with the Tolowa Dee-Ni (NEW)
This episode journeys to the Smith River near the Oregon border to discover how the Tolowa Dee-Ni' are reviving traditional harvesting of shellfish and working with state agencies to monitor toxicity levels and redefine the human role in managing marine protected areas.


Monday, 11/5

Onondaga tribal member Angela Ferguson keeps her people fed through a mastery of maize cultivation that goes back to time immemorial. (Native America - Nature to Nations) (Courtesy of Providence Pictures)

3pm Native America: Nature to Nations
Explore the rise of great American nations. Investigate lost cities in Mexico, a temple in Peru, a potlatch ceremony in the Pacific Northwest and a tapestry of shell beads in upstate New York whose story inspired our own democracy.

Monday, 11/12
3pm Native Art Now!
This documentary examines the evolution of Native contemporary art over the last 25 years, presenting personal perspectives from internationally acclaimed Native modern artists.

Thursday, 11/15
3pm Genealogy Roadshow: Albuquerque
Trace a woman's connection to a Native-American code talker; a man's deep New Mexican roots; an ancestor whose life resembles a Wild West tale; queries about a tie to the explosive Trinity Test; and a man's link to a famous comic book heroine.

Wednesday, 11/28
9am Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions: On the Road in America, Part 1
On the Road in America Part 1 retraces the big relocations of the 19th century, including when Native Americans were relocated and their ancestral lands turned over to European settlers.

Friday, 11/30
11:30am Tending Nature: Decolonizing Cuisine with Mak-‘amham (NEW)
This episode explores how a new generation of Native peoples is jump starting several food sovereignty programs across California, the most prominent of these being in Arcata, CA at UIHS' Potowat Community Garden and is serving as an inspiration for other initiatives across California.


Thursday, 11/1
6pm Medicine Woman
Produced by and about women, this documentary interweaves the lives of Native American women healers of today with the story of America's first Native doctor, Susan La Flesche Picotte.

Friday, 11/2
4pm Indians Like Us
A sincere admiration of Native culture gives way to this charming documentary about a small group of French citizens-called "Savy Western"-who share a passion for everything Native American. When they travel to the Midwest, they discover that the reality of contemporary Native Americans is quite different from their portrayed envisioning.

5pm Road to Andersonville: Michigan Native American Sharpshooters
The Road to Andersonville is the first film to document the story of Michigan's Native Americans in the Civil War who served in Company K of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters.

Saturday, 11/3
4pm Skindigenous: Newfoundland – Jordan Bennet
Jordan Bennett is an artist of Mi'kmaq descent whose work blends pop culture and traditional teachings into work that connects the past, the present and the future.

Sunday, 11/4
8pm Crying Earth Rise Up
A Lakota mother studying geology seeks the source of the water contamination that caused her daughter's critical health problems. This documentary exposes the human cost of uranium mining and its impact on Great Plains drinking water.

10pm Native America: From Caves to Cosmos
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.

11pm Red Power Energy
This provocative film told from the American Indian perspective 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?

Tuesday, 11/6

5pm America ReFramed: On a Knife Edge
On a Knife Edge is the coming-of-age story of George Dull Knife, a Lakota teenager growing up on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation. The film traces George's path to activism, inspired by his family's long history of fighting for justice for Native Americans.

Monday, 11/12

Wilma reads to students. (Courtesy of Wilma Mankiller Foundation)

4pm Mankiller
This is the story of an American legend, Wilma Mankiller, who overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation's first woman Principal Chief in 1985.

5pm Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian (NEW)
This documentary follows Kate Beane, a young Dakota woman, as she examines the extraordinary life of her celebrated relative, Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa).

Tuesday, 11/13
4pm Walking in Two Worlds
This documentary journeys to the Tongass to reveal its splendor and shed light on the devastation and division resulting from the Settlement Act.

Wednesday, 11/14
3pm Smokin’ Fish
Cory Mann, a businessman in Juneau, Alaska, rediscovers the art of preparing a traditional Tlingit dish, smoked salmon.

4pm POV: Tribal Justice
Follow two Native-American judges who reach back to traditional concepts of justice in order to reduce incarceration rates and create a more positive future for their youth.

Friday, 11/16
4pm Sand Creek Massacre
This documentary revisits the horrific acts of the Sand Creek Massacre and uncovers the history 150 years later.

6pm The Forgotten War: The Struggle for North America
This documentary recounts the little-known story of how the Indian nations of the Northeast controlled the outcome of the French and Indian War (1755-1760).

Sunday, 11/18
8:30pm Ishi’s Return
Billed in 1911 as the "last wild Indian" when he wandered out of the woods in Oroville, CA, Ishi became a national sensation. When he died, his brain was removed and sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. 80 years later, his descendants in California fight to have his remains repatriated to his ancestral home.

Monday, 11/19
4pm Urban Rez
This program explores the controversial legacy and modern-day repercussions of the Urban Relocation Program (1952-1973), the greatest voluntary upheaval of Native Americans during the 20th century.

5pm Local USA: The Mayors of Shiprock
Meet the Northern Dine 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.

6pm Badger Creek
Badger Creek is a portrait of Native resilience as seen through a year in the life of three generations of a Blackfeet family living on the rez in Montana.

Tuesday, 11/20
3pm Racing the Rez
 In the rugged canyon lands of Northern Arizona, Navajo and Hopi cross-country runners from two rival high schools vie for the state championship while striving to find their place among their native people and the larger American culture.

4pm Medicine Game
This 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.

5pm America ReFramed: Moroni for President (NEW)
Every four years, the Navajo Nation elects its president, whom many consider the most powerful Native American in the country. Frustrated about the lack of progress in the reservation, Moroni Benally, a witty academic LGBTQ candidate with radical ideas, hopes to defeat the incumbent president.

6pm Growing Native: Great Lakes: Turtle Island (NEW)
Over the Centuries, the Great Lakes have been home to hundreds tribes and a source of fresh water, food, and health. 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.

Wednesday, 11/21
3pm Injunuity
Injunuity is a collage of reflections on the Native American world, our shared past, our turbulent present, and our undiscovered future.

Thursday, 11/22

Luis Alvarez embarks on a trail. (Tending Nature: Tribal Hunting with the Pit River Peoples) (Courtesy of KCET)

3pm Tending Nature: Tribal Hunting with the Pit River Peoples (NEW)
This episode explores how the Pit River Tribe in Northeast California are reviving traditional hunting practices, embracing Community Science initiatives to preserve and monitor wild elk and deer populations; as well as developing statewide intertribal trading networks for the distribution of humanely sourced and sustainable Native foods.

3:30pm Tending Nature: Healing the Body with United Indian Health Service (NEW)
This episode explores how two Ohlone chefs Louis Trevino and Vincent Medina are revitalizing Ohlone language, food practices and adapting them for a modernist palate.

Friday, 11/23
3pm Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War, Part 1
This two-part program presents a balanced view of events, underlying causes, consequences and legacy of the Pequot War – a pivotal event in early American history that set the stage for the ultimate domination of all Native Americans by Europeans.

Monday, 11/26
3pm Finding Refuge
The efforts of one dying woman to preserve her Native culture prompt a renewal in finding pride in that culture.

4pm First Language - The Race to Save Cherokee
Get a look at how the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are fighting to revitalize their native language and come to terms with their native heritage in the context of the modern United States.

Tuesday, 11/27
4pm My Louisiana Love
This program journeys with filmmaker Monique Verdin on a quest to connect with her ancestral roots within the Houma Nation, a Native American community reeling from decades of environmental degradation and natural disasters.

5pm America ReFramed: We Breathe Again
This documentary introduces four Alaska Natives who are trying to break free from histories of trauma and suicide, creating a new, more positive trail for their communities.

6pm Growing Native: Oklahoma: Red People (NEW)
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.

Wednesday, 11/28
3pm Independent Lens: What Was Ours
A tribal elder and Vietnam vet visit the underground archives of Chicago's Field Museum with two young Arapaho to explore ancestral objects kept in boxes for many years.

4pm Ohero: Kon - Under the Husk
Follow the challenging journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women.

Thursday, 11/29
3pm Tending the Wild
Tending the Wild shines light on the environmental knowledge of indigenous peoples across California by exploring how they have actively shaped and tended the land for millennia, in the process developing a deep understanding of plant and animal life.

Friday, 11/30
3pm Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War, Part 2
This two-part program presents a balanced view of events, underlying causes, consequences and legacy of the Pequot War – a pivotal event in early American history that set the stage for the ultimate domination of all Native Americans by Europeans.

4pm Blackfeet Encounter
In July 1806, Meriwether Lewis and another member of the Corps of Discovery killed two Blackfeet warriors and marked the only deadly clash between American Indians and the otherwise peaceful Lewis and Clark Expedition. This documentary skillfully pieces together this confrontation through accounts by tribal elders, Lewis' journal and interviews with historians reflecting both sides of the story. It also depicts the tragedies and challenges endured by the Blackfeet people during the 19th and 20th centuries.

KQED 9 is available over the air on DT9.1, 54.2 and 25.1 and via most cable systems on Channel 9. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 9 SD and 709 HD) and on Wave (Channels 9 SD and 164 HD). It can also be found on DIRECTV and DISH satellite systems (Channels 9 SD and HD).

KQED Plus is available over the air on Channels 54, DT54.1, 9.2 and 25.2, and via many cable and satellite systems on either channel 10 or 54. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 10 SD, and 710 HD) and on DIRECTV (Channel 54 SD and HD) and DISH (Channel 54, SD only) satellite systems.

This schedule also lists programs airing on KQED World (XFINITY 190, Channel 9.3 & 54.5).