On TV: Native American Heritage Month – November 2019

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Learn about the legacy of Wilma Mankiller, who overcame sexism to emerge as the Cherokee Nation's first woman Principal Chief. Mankiller premieres November 2 at 6 pm on KQED 9.

KQED is proud to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November with a special TV programming lineup. Premiere dates are listed below. Please click on each program for additional airdates and information.


Saturday, November 2
6pm Mankiller
Learn about the legacy of Wilma Mankiller, who overcame sexism to emerge as the Cherokee Nation's first woman Principal Chief.

Tuesday, November 5
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.

Saturday, November 9
6pm Art of Home: A Wind River Story (NEW)
From modern art to beading and leatherwork to drumming, and music, we'll follow Native American artists with a connection to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming through their creative process. These artists explain how their art connects them to their tribal past, present, and future.

Monday, November 11
9pm Warrior Tradition (NEW)
Learn the heartbreaking, inspiring and largely untold story of Native Americans in the United States military. This film relates the stories of Native American warriors from their own points of view -- stories of service, pain, courage and fear.


11pm The People’s Protectors (NEW)
Four Native American veterans reflect on their experiences in the military during the divisive Vietnam War and how their communities helped them carry their warrior legacy proudly.

Tuesday, November 12
11pm And Now We Rise: A Portrait of Samuel Johns (NEW)
Meet Samuel Johns, a young Athabaskan hip hop artist, founder of the Forget Me Not Facebook Group for displaced people in Alaska, and activist for a cultural renaissance as he heals from his own legacy of historical trauma.

Scott Momaday, Gus Palmer, and Director/Producer Jeffrey Palmer. Still from "N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear."

Monday, November 18
9pm N. Scott Momaday: American Masters (NEW)
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.

Monday, November 25
11pm POV Shorts: Water Warriors (NEW)
When an energy company begins searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, indigenous and white families unite to drive out the company in a campaign to protect their water and way of life.

Friday, November 29
7pm Overhead with Evan Smith: Tommy Orange, Author
Native American novelist Tommy Orange discusses his transformation from being a poor student to receiving rave reviews on his debut novel "There There," which chronicles the lives of Native Americans living in Oakland, California.


Saturday, November 2
6am Ohiyesa: The Soul of An Indian
This documentary follows Kate Beane, a young Dakota woman, as she examines the extraordinary life of her celebrated relative, Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa).Kate traces Eastman's path-from traditional Dakota boyhood, through education at Dartmouth College, and in later roles as physician, author, lecturer and Native American advocate.

7am POV: Tribal Justice
Follow two Native-American judges who reach back to traditional concepts of justice in order to reduce incarceration rates, foster greater safety for their communities and create a more positive future for their youth.

8:30am Independent Lens: What Was Ours
A tribal elder and Vietnam vet, who hasn't left the Wind River Indian Reservation in over 40 years, visits the underground archives of Chicago's Field Museum with two young Arapaho to explore ancestral objects kept in boxes for many years.

9:30am Independent Lens: Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
Discover how Native American musicians have transformed American blues, jazz and rock in this musical celebration featuring Robbie Robertson, Taj Mahal, Slash, Jackson Browne, Taboo, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and more.

11:30pm Skindigenous: Philippines - Wang Od Oggay and Grace Palica
From a remote mountain village in the Northern Philippines, Wang Od Oggay carries on the tattooing tradition of her ancestors, offering those who come to her the sacred markings that were once reserved for the women and warriors of the Kalinga people.

Sunday, November 3
10pm Will Rogers and American Politics
In the 1930's, with the United States mired in the Great Depression and teetering on the brink of a second World War, millions of Americans turned to a rope-twirling, plain-talking Cherokee cowboy for clarity, comfort and common sense. Watch how Oklahoma native Will Rogers emerged as one of the most powerful political voices in the United States.

Tuesday, November 5
11:34pm Koo-Hoot Kiwat: The Caddo Grass House
A Caddo tribal elder and his apprentice return to their ancestral homeland in East Texas to direct the construction of a traditional grass house.

Wednesday, November 6
10am Hunting in Wartime
The documentary profiles Tlingit veterans from Hoonah, Alaska who saw combat during the Vietnam War. The veterans talk about surviving trauma, relating to Vietnamese communities, readjusting to civilian life, and serving a government that systematically oppresses native people.

11:30pm Our American Family: The Kurowskis
Our American Family: The Kurowskis presents the story of a woman born and raised on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin married to the son of Polish immigrants. At the time, Native Americans had been pressured to forsake their heritage and assimilate into the culture of their white neighbors.

Mussel harvesting to protect the coast. Still from "Tending Nature: Protecting The Coast with the Tolowa Dee-ni."

Thursday, November 7
10am Tending Nature: Protecting The Coast with the Tolowa Dee-ni
This episode journeys to the Smith River near the Oregon border to discover how the Tolowa Dee-Ni' are reviving traditional harvesting of shellfish such as mussels, and in the process, working with state agencies to monitor toxicity levels and redefine the human role in managing marine protected areas.

10:30am Tending Nature: Decolonizing Cuisine with Mak-'amham
Native peoples in rural areas often lack easy access to healthy, affordable food and a younger generation is witnessing the effects of health issues in their community. This episode explores how a new generation is jump-starting several food sovereignty programs across California. The most prominent of these is in Arcata, CA at UIHS' Potowat Community Garden and is serving as an inspiration for other initiatives across California.

Saturday, November 9
6 am Warrior Women
Warrior Women is the untold story of American Indian Movement activists who fought for civil rights in the '70s, anchored by one of the Red Power Movement's most outspoken Lakota leaders, Madonna Thunder Hawk, and her daughter Marcy Gilbert.

7 am 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?

8 am 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.

9 am Native America: Cities of the Sky
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.

Comanche artist Jhane Myers and archaeologist Severin Fowles search Rio Grande Gorge for an ancient Comanche tipi encampment. Still from "Native America: New World Rising."

10 am Native America: New World Rising
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.

11:30 pm Skindigenous: Alberta - Amy Malbeuf
Metis artist Amy Malbeuf's insatiable appetite for new creative outlets has led her to work in many artistic fields, including traditional Indigenous tattooing.

Thursday, November 14
10am Tending Nature: Tribal Hunting with the Pit River Peoples
The industrialized production of our meat products has created numerous health issues: it has separated us from the animals it comes from, it is often inhumanely grown, and it is often filled with chemical additives.

Friday, November 15
6pm Growing Native: Growing Native Northwest: Coast Salish
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. 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.

Thursday, November 21
10am First Language - The Race to Save Cherokee
Around fourteen thousand Cherokee remain in their ancestral homeland in the mountains of North Carolina, but few among them still speak their native language, and no children are learning the language at home. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is now fighting to revitalize the language and come to terms with their native heritage in the context of the modern United States.

Friday, November 22
6pm Growing Native: Growing Native Alaska: People of the North
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.

Monday, November 25
10am Medicine Woman
Medicine Woman interweaves the lives of Native American women healers of today with the story of America's first Native doctor, Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915).

Tuesday, November 26
11:30pm Return to Rainy Mountain (NEW)
N. Scott Momaday, recipient of the first Pulitzer Prize for Fiction awarded to a Native American writer, and his daughter, filmmaker Jill Momaday Gray, take viewers on a modern-day road trip loosely based on his Kiowa nation's ancestral myths and legends, from his bestselling book, "The Way to Rainy Mountain."

Friday, November 29
6pm Growing Native: Growing Native Great Lakes: Turtle Island
Over the Centuries, the Great Lakes have been home to hundreds of tribes for its source of fresh water and food. 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.

Saturday, November 30
11:30pm Skindigenous: Indonesia - Aman Jepri
The Mentawai people inhabit a group of islands west of Sumatra, in Indonesia.


Tuesday, November 12
5pm America ReFramed: 100 Years: One Woman's Fight for Justice
Elouise Cobell is a little known hero whose relentless pursuit of justice led her to find a remedy for over half a million Native American account holders whose funds were held by the U.S. government in trust for a century.

Wednesday, November 13
4pm Red Power Energy
A provocative film from the American Indian perspective that reframes today’s controversial energy debate while the fate of the environment hangs in the balance.

Saturday, November 16
6:30pm Badger Creek
What does it take for a contemporary Native family to thrive on their reservation? 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 reservation in Montana.

Sunday, November 17
4pm Walking in Two Worlds
Walking in Two Worlds journeys to the Tongass to reveal its splendor and shed light on the devastation and division resulting from the Settlement Act. The Tongass is rich with old-growth trees, salmon-filled rivers and wildlife. Alaska’s Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes have depended on this forest for their culture and survival.

Monday, November 18
6pm Local USA: The Seventh Generation River
For the Pokagon, water is sacred. They are intimately tied to the lakes, rivers and streams that run through tribal lands. When the Federal government recognized the Pokagon as a sovereign tribal nation, the tribe launched a series of cultural preservation and environmental restoration efforts. The Pokagon are leading a major cultural preservation and environmental restoration effort in order to pave the way for the next seven generations.

Still from "Independent Lens: Dawnland."

Tuesday, November 19
4pm Independent Lens: Dawnland
They were forced to assimilate into white society: children ripped away from their families, depriving them of their culture and erasing their identities. Can reconciliation help heal the scars from childhoods lost? Dawnland is the untold story of Indigenous child removal in the US through the nation's first-ever government-endorsed truth and reconciliation commission.

Friday, November 22
4pm Ishi’s Return
He was deemed the “last wild Indian,” when Ishi wandered out of the woods in 1911 and became a national sensation. When Ishi died, his brain was removed and sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Eighty years later, his descendants in California fought to have his remains repatriated to his ancestral home.

Saturday, November 23
4pm Unspoken: America's Native American Boarding Schools (NEW)
"Unspoken" looks at a dark chapter of American history, the federal Indian boarding school system. The goal was total assimilation into Anglo civilization at the cost of Native American culture, tradition, and language.

6:30pm Injunuity
Injunuity is a unique mix of animation, music, and real thoughts from real people exploring our world from the Native American perspective.

Sunday, November 24
4pm Tending the Wild
Tending the Wild shines a 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 of developing a deep understanding of plant and animal life.


8pm Growing Native: Growing Native Oklahoma: Red People
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.