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Native American Heritage Month Special Programming
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Words from a Bear
Blood Memory

Blood Memory follows the journey of Sandy White Hawk, a Sicangu Lakota adoptee from the Rosebud Reservation, including the first gathering for Adopted and Fostered Relatives of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Featuring Jerry Dearly’s (Oglala Lakota) “Song for Adoptees,” as well as Lynn Castaway Eagle Feather, Marlies White Hat, Conrad Eagle Feather, Archie Little, (Sicangu Lakota), and Senator James Abourezk, who passed several laws boosting tribal sovereignty.

SDPB2: Tuesday, November 17, 7pm (6 MT); Saturday, November 21, 9pm (8 MT) & Sunday, November 22, 4pm (3 MT)

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 with radical ideas, hopes to defeat the incumbent president. Moroni for President follows the political newcomer’s grueling, lonely campaign against the “old guard,” and the monumental effort it takes to change the narrative and inspire people to move in new directions.

SDPB2: Tuesday, November 3, 7pm (6 MT); Saturday November 7, 9pm (8 MT) & Sunday, November 8, 4pm (3 MT)

Unspoken: America’s Native American Boarding Schools takes a moving and insightful look into the history, operation, and legacy of the federal Indian Boarding School system, whose goal was total assimilation of Native Americans at the cost of stripping away Native culture, tradition, and language.

SDPB2: Tuesday, November 17, 8pm (7 MT)

American Masters N. Scott Momaday examines the enigmatic life and mind of National Medal of Arts-winner Navarro Scott Momaday, the Kiowa novelist, short-story writer, essayist and poet. His Pulitzer Prize-winning novel House Made of Dawn led to the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream.

SDPB2: Sunday, November 22, 9pm (8 MT)

We’re Still Here focuses on two communities often overlooked in discussions about race: Native Americans and Native Hawaiians. On the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, three generations of Lakotas consider the ways their past affects the present and shapes their future. On the islands of Hawaii, Native Hawaiians reflect on a series of lawsuits that have challenged federal programs designed to redress past injustices.

SDPB2: Monday, November 2, 7pm (6 MT) & Saturday, November 21, 10pm (9 MT)

What would lead approximately 675 volunteer soldiers to attack a peaceful settlement of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians in southeastern Colorado Territory? On November 29, 1864, Colonel John Chivington led a group to do just that, resulting in the deaths of over one hundred men, women and children. The Sand Creek Massacre revisits the horrific events and uncovers the history 150 years later.

SDPB2: Friday, November 20, 6pm (5 MT), 11pm (10 MT) & Saturday, November 21, 1pm (Noon MT)

The Horse Relative

In The Horse Relative, artists James Star Comes Out and Keith Braveheart (Oglala Lakota) share stories of Native lives intertwined with the sacred horse and centuries-old tradition of dressing horses in regalia for ceremonies and celebrations.

SDPB1: Sunday, November 22, 10pm (9 MT)

SDPB2: Monday, November 16, 7pm (6 MT)

Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian

Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian follows Kate Beane, a young Dakota woman, as she examines the extraordinary life of her celebrated relative, Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa). Biography and journey come together as 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.

SDPB2: Tuesday, November 24, 6pm (5 MT)

Warrior Women is the story of Madonna Thunder Hawk, an AIM leader who shaped a kindred group of activists’ children, including her daughter Marcy, into the “We Will Remember” Survival School as a Native alternative to government-run education. Together, Madonna and Marcy fought for Native rights in an environment that made them more comrades than mother-daughter. Today, with Marcy now a mother herself, both are still at the forefront of Native issues, fighting against the environmental devastation of the Dakota Access Pipeline and for Indigenous cultural values.

SDPB1: Sunday, November 22, 11pm (10 MT)

SDPB2: Friday, November 13, 6pm (5 MT) & Saturday, November 14, 1pm (Noon MT)

Five years in the making, Rising Voices/Hóthaninpi tells the story of a powerful threat to a Native culture. The menace is the English language, and the victim seemingly marked for extinction is the Lakota language itself – the language of the Lakota nation, once usually called the Sioux. For the Lakota people, it’s a local problem, but it’s just one instance of a massive global one – a worldwide epidemic of language extinction.

SDPB2: Friday, November 6, 6pm (5 MT) & 11pm (10 MT)

The Warrior Tradition

Warrior Tradition tells the inspiring, complicated stories of Native Americans in the United States military. The documentary features interviews with local warriors Dewey Bad Warrior (Cheyenne River Sioux, Itazico Band), Geri Opsal (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) and Robert Dunsmore (Lakota).

SDPB1: Sunday, November 15, 11pm (10 MT)

SDPB2: Friday, November 13, 8pm (7 MT)

Through conversations between different episode hosts and local guides, viewers get a glimpse of modern and traditional reservation life, and learn how native people pass on their experience and wisdom to others in a positive way. Growing Native highlights these shared experiences to help bridge a better understanding of native people. Viewers also learn how Native communities are working toward sustainable food sovereignty and renewable energy sources, and how they are adapting to impacts from climate change.

SDPB2: Sundays, 6pm (5 MT)

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. From the Marine Corps to the Navy to the US Army, veterans Valerie Barber, Art Owen, Sandy White Hawk, Vince Beyl, and civilian eyapaha (announcer) Jerry Dearly recall their memories of one of the most controversial wars in United States history in The People’s Protectors.

SDPB1: Sunday, November 8, 11pm (10 MT)

SDPB2: Friday, November 13, 7pm (6 MT)

In these videos, students follow five teens living on the Navajo and Hopi reservations 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 personal 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. Racing the Rez unfolds over two years of careful, patient observation, and offers a rare view into the surprising complexity and diversity of contemporary reservation life.

SDPB2: Sunday, November 1, 8pm (7 MT)

Dawnland, Credit: University of South Carolina

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, which investigated the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on the Wabanaki people.

SDPB2: Tuesday, November 3, 6pm (5 MT)

In Tribal Justice, two Native American judges 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 youth. By addressing the root causes of crime, they are modeling restorative systems that are working. Mainstream courts across the country begin to take notice.

SDPB2: Wednesday, November 4, 6pm (5 MT), 11pm (10 MT)

Find local educational materials on Native American Studies at sdpb.org/learn/nativeamerican