Twin Cities PBS (TPT) launched a new initiative, Twin Cities PBS Honors Native Cultures, celebrating and honoring indigenous cultures by airing original productions that share stories of Native Americans in Minnesota. The initiative also coincides with the larger PBS premiere of the new series “Native America” and kicked off with the series’ premiere on October 23.
The Twin Cities PBS Honors Native Cultures initiative features 11-12 programs including the much-anticipated “The People’s Protectors” and “Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian.”
“The People’s Protectors” documentary is produced by TPT’s very own Leya Hale, an award-winning documentary producer and member of the Dakota nation. The documentary was produced in conjunction with Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit that empowers and engages native people to share their stories through media, with additional funding provided by the Mark and Mary Davis Foundation.
“The People’s Protectors” explores the strong tradition of military service in Native American culture and how the participation of indigenous people in the Vietnam War challenged their values. The premiere of the documentary on November 1 comes just in time to celebrate November as National Native American Heritage Month.
“Ohiyesa: The Soul of an Indian” is also highly anticipated following the journey of Kate Beane, an urban, Dakota scholar, and her family as they retrace the footsteps of the celebrated relative, Ohiyesa, recounting his remarkable life from traditional Dakota boyhood to his role as a physician, author, lecturer and Native American advocate.
A variety of other programming will air, including series – “Skindigenous” and “Growing Up Native,” film – “Dawnland,” and specials – “Reclaiming Sacred Tobacco,” “Art and Life of George Morrison,” “First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language,” “Jingle Dress Traditions,” and “Hunting in Wartime.”
“Dawnland” follows the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission in the U.S., which investigates the devastating impact of Maine’s child welfare practices on Native American communities. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, Dawnland reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.
In “First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language”, viewers learn that a language is lost every fourteen days. One of those endangered tongues is Minnesota’s own Ojibwe language. Now a new generation of Ojibwe scholars and educators are racing against time to save the language.
The variety of programming highlights various issues, traditions, and notable changemakers in the Native American community.
TPT is also hosting several events in tandem with the initiative including screenings of “The People’s Protectors” and a screening of “Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World” – part of the PBS Independent film show called Independent Lens.
For info on “The People’s Protectors”, see: https://www.tpt.org/the-peoples-protectors
For more information about the initiative, the other programs, and related events, see: tpt.org/nativecultures