Return to Rainy Mountain

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."

Saturday October 21st at 4:30pm on 5.1

NOVA: Death Dive to Saturn

October Science Café:


Saturday, October 21
10:00am -12 noon
1701 Mountain Rd NW

Note: this event is now SOLD OUT

Almost everything we know today about the beautiful giant ringed planet comes from Cassini, the NASA mission that launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. Since then, the spacecraft has been beaming home remarkable images and scientific data, revealing countless wonders about the planet, its breathtaking rings, and 62 moons—including some that could be hospitable to life.

Come to the October New Mexico PBS Science Café, watch a segment of NOVA Death Dive to Saturn and join a discussion with Leonard Duda, Ph.D., retired Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque after 37 years as a principal member of technical staff. Dr. Duda will review some of the results from the Cassini mission showing images of Saturn’s diverse moons and the fascinating rings. Results from the Grand Finale orbits will also be shown and discussed.

Admission to the café is free, but a reservation is required. RSVP to Rose Poston at 505-277-2396 or Seats are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Be more curious…be more amazed…come to the New Mexico PBS Science Café
New Mexico PBS Science Cafes are presented with support from Sandia National Lab/Lockheed Martin.


Return to Rainy Mountain

Return to Rainy Mountain

Feed Date/Schedule:

Thursday October 26, 2017
1230 – 1300 ET

Press Materials:

Photos are for editorial use only in conjunction with the direct publicity or promotion of this program, for a period of three years from the program's original program offer date, unless otherwise noted. No other rights are granted. All rights reserved. -- All images are .jpgs unless indicated.

Return to Rainy Mountain: Scott Momaday

Dr. N Scott Momaday holding his literary work, The Way To Rainy Mountain

Filmmaker Jill Momaday Gray & her father Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. N. Scott Momaday take viewers on a modern-day road trip loosely based on his Kiowa nation’s ancestral myths, legends & collective identity in RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN
Photo: Jill Momaday Gray

View / download here

Jill Momaday Gray and Dr. N. Scott Momaday (1)
Filmmaker Jill Momaday Gray & her father Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. N. Scott Momaday take viewers on a modern-day road trip loosely based on his Kiowa nation’s ancestral myths, legends & collective identity in RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN
Photo: Jill Momaday Gray

View / download here

Jill Momaday Gray and Dr. N. Scott Momaday (2)
Filmmaker Jill Momaday Gray & her father Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. N. Scott Momaday take viewers on a modern-day road trip loosely based on his Kiowa nation’s ancestral myths, legends & collective identity in RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN
Photo: Jill Momaday Gray

View / download here

30-second promo:

Download the promo video (.mov format) here

Program Title/NOLA:
Return to Rainy Mountain 

# of Episodes:


Unlimited 3 years

Short Program Description:
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."

Long Program Description:
Return to Rainy Mountain is a one-hour documentary celebrating “Living Legend,” author N. Scott Momaday. It’s loosely based on his Kiowa nation’s ancestral myths and legends conveyed in his bestselling book, The Way to Rainy Mountain (UNM Press, 1969). His legacy includes winning the only Pulitzer Prize for Literature awarded  to a Native American writer, for his 1969 novel, House Made of Dawn. Momaday earned a Masters and a PhD in English from Stanford University and has 20 honorary doctorates from esteemed universities. He was featured in the 2005 award-winning PBS documentary Remembered Earth: New Mexico’s High Desert and narrated the 1978 documentary More Than Bows and Arrow, which also aired on PBS and Discovery Channel. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2007 by President Bush "for his writings and his work that celebrates and preserves Native American art and oral tradition." Among his other notable honors are the Oklahoma Centennial State Poet Laureate in 2007, a Guggenheim Fellowship and UNESCO's Artist for Peace Award.

The film features Momaday and his filmmaker daughter, Director Jill Momaday Gray, as they take their viewers on a modern-day road trip. They retrace the Kiowa’s sacred journey to Devil’s Tower, Wyoming and Rainy Mountain in Southwestern Oklahoma, landmarks that inform the Kiowa myths, legends and oral traditions passed along for generations. As early as 1971, Momaday was recognized as a pioneer of environmental education, authoring "The American Land Ethic" which conveyed the tradition of respect for nature practiced by America’s native people.

Director, Jill Momaday Gray steps into the role of a modern spokesperson for this tradition of respect. The 2015 annual honoree for New Mexico Women in the Arts says, “In addition to sharing the Kiowa history and oral tradition, the film gave me time with my father and a chance to really know him. He was absent much of my life as he carved out his brilliant career and legacy. We’ve been fitting the pieces of a puzzle together to tell one big story which is also the bigger story of Humanity: Man’s relationship to nature, animals, the universe, the Creator and each other.” The story follows two arcs of the cultural legends and their family reconciliation.

In November, 2014, Momaday Gray recognized the urgency and importance of capturing the Kiowa oral tradition on film when her Aunt Christine passed away at the age of 95. “She was a powerful and amazing woman, great granddaughter of Sitting Bear, and the keeper of stories. “I realized with her passing, that many stories would be lost. It made a profound impression on the importance of preserving them, as my father has also done with his writing.”

Serving as a mentor to the film is Kirk Ellis, an Emmy award winning writer and producer for the 2008 HBO mini-series, John Adams. Ellis also received a Western Heritage Award and the two Humanitas Prizes.  He was nominated for a Producers Guild of America Award for Into the West in 2005.

Producing and creative partner, Lisa K. Condon, is an Entertainment Attorney with years of experience in Tribal Law and a history of representing the underdog.  Previously an Environmental Attorney, Condon worked high profile cases in consultation with Cesar Chavez and on behalf of Tribal Councils. Her dedication lies in promoting tribal filmmakers and informative, culturally significant films.

The visual/sound team includes Emmy and Peabody Award winning Cinematographers and Editors: Doug Crawford (Surviving Columbus: The Story of the Pueblo People, PBS, 120 mins., 1992) also Director of Photography for The Native Americans (TBS, 1994); and David Aubrey, nominated for the Best Edited Documentary (Baraka, 1993); plus Blackhorse Lowe, Native cinematographer (Among Ravens, 2014); Royce Sharp, Sound(This May Be The Last Time, 2014) Sheila Seclearr, a professional screenwriter and founder of Filmarado (show business strategies) acts as Co-Producer.

Return to Rainy Mountain has a partnership with Vision Maker Media, a PBS presenter of American Indian projects. Vision Maker Media will supervise, distribute and broadcast through PBS and CPB to a potential audience of 122 million viewers in the U.S.  The filmmakers anticipate broad International distribution due of the scope and breadth of N. Scott Momaday’s acclaimed global contribution.

Production Format:
HD Base
Closed Captioned

Vision Maker Media, Return To Rainy Mountain LLC

Nature of Producing Organization:

Presenting Station/Group:
New Mexico PBS/KNME

Broadcast History:

Content Alert:

Tag Language:

Promotional Contact:
Michael Privett
New Mexico PBS Marketing Manager
(505) 277-1230

Press Contact:
Evy Todd
New Mexico PBS Publicist
(505) 277-1218
Promotional Material:
1 x :30 promo

Press release
Download the press release here

Suggested social media posts:

Pulitzer Prize winning Native American Author N. Scott Momaday take viewers on a modern-day road trip loosely based on the Kiowa nation’s ancestral myths, legends and collective identity in the documentary RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN.

RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN retraces the sacred journey of the Kiowa people to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, and Rainy Mountain in southwestern Oklahoma -- landmarks that inform the Kiowa oral traditions passed along for generations. Based on the bestselling book by Pulitzer Prize winning Native American Author N. Scott Momaday.

RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN celebrates the life and legacy of Pulitzer Prize winning Native American Author N. Scott Momaday and the rich cultural history of the Kiowa people. His daughter, Producer/Director Jill Momaday Gray takes the viewers on a visual and poetic journey based on his bestselling book “The Way To Rainy Mountain.”

Filmmaker Jill Momaday Gray celebrates the life of her father, Native American Author N. Scott Momaday, in RETURN TO RAINY MOUNTAIN.

Local Underwriting Cleared:

Underwriting Language:
Major funding provided by: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Additional funding provided by Vision Maker Media, the Chickasaw Nation and the Frost Foundation

Free upon notification of intent to carry.

FNX technical dificulties

FNX service has been restored to broadcast channel 5.3 and is no longer available on channel 35.5.

Some viewers may have to rescan their television or device to receive FNX on 5.3. Comcast cable viewers will be unaffected by this change.

Thanks very much for your patience as we replaced the equipment which caused the lapse in 5.3 service.

National Estate Planning Week 2017

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Everyone needs a personal estate plan. Let us help you get started today.

Whatever your stage in life, it is a good idea to think about and plan for how your affairs will be handled. A few simple steps today can give you peace of mind tomorrow by ensuring that you and your loved ones are well protected.

Your estate planning can have a ripple effect that continues for generations to come. For more detailed information on how public television can be part of your estate planning, request our FREE booklet A Personal and Charitable Financial Record. This booklet is a great place to organize all of your most important information. It’s perfect for sharing information with your attorney or executor and includes a few key ideas to help your estate plan make a splash in your community. You may also find simple ways to secure our future as well.

Use the booklet to organize your:

  • Friends and family contact and dates of birth
  • Advisors and medical contacts
  • Banking accounts and retirement assets information
  • Life and medical insurance information
  • Estate planning and charitable intentions

  • Join other loyal New Mexico PBS supporters by requesting your FREE organizer, then get your estate plan off the ground during National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2017. Contact Theresa Spencer at or (505) 277-1225, or use the form below, to request A Personal and Charitable Financial Record and other tools, and get information on our next Estate Planning Workshop!

    YES, please send me information on how to support the future of this station through a planned gift.

    I have already included KNME in my will or other estate plans.

    Please click the box below, next to where it says "I am not a robot" (unless of course you are a robot):

    Hispanic Heritage Month

    Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15– Oct 15, 2017)
    New Mexico PBS Programs & National Specials / Series

    Airing Thru October 24

    Year-round, New Mexico PBS presents a cross-section of local, regional and national stories exploring the lives, culture and history of Hispanic Americans. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, NM PBS features new and encore episodes listed below, in chronological order, airing thru October 24

    THE VIETNAM WAR - A Film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick

    A 10 part, 18-hour documentary film series -- This epic story of THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides

    Ch.5.1 - Sunday, Sept 17 – Thursday, Sept. 21
    Continues Sunday, Sept. 24 – Thursday, Sept. 28
    At 7:00 pm & repeats at 8:30 pm or 9:00 pm.
    (Running times vary.  Please check for that night’s airtimes.)

    Also viewable online (in English and Spanish) here:

    POV “Don't Tell Anyone”

    Meet immigrant activist Angy Rivera, the country's only advice columnist for undocumented youth. In a community where silence is often seen as necessary for survival, she steps out of the shadows to share her own parallel experiences of being undocumented and sexually abused.

    Watch the preview here

    Saturday 9/23 at 10pm on 5.1
    Monday 9/25 at 9pm on 5.1
    Thursday 9/28 at 1pm on 5.1
    Saturday 9/30 at 10am on 5.1

    CRAFT IN AMERICA “Borders” – New

    Explore the relationships and influences Mexican and American craft artists have on each other and on our cultures. The program features traditional weaving, the creation of paper jewelry, and the creation of altars for “Dia de los Muertos.”

    Watch the preview here

    Friday 9/29 at 9pm on 5.1

    CRAFT IN AMERICA “Neighbors” – New

    Travel to and from the U.S. and Mexico to explore the people, history, traditions and crafts, noting how aesthetics cross from one country to another and back again in an organic and ongoing cultural exchange.

    Watch the preview here

    Friday 9/29 at 10pm on 5.1

    VISA DREAM  – New

    The touching story of one family's experience gaining tourist visa entry into the United States. Representatives from the U.S. Consulate demystify the visa process and illuminate the reasons why they approve some applications - and deny others. Ramon and Aurora Chavez, an elderly couple living in Jalisco, Mexico, have not seen their children in 16 years. They are a family divided, connected only by photo albums and phone calls. A camera crew follows them step-by-step through the tourist visa application process, which begins at the U.S. Consulate two hours away in Guadalajara. There, visa document specialists and a U.S. Consulate officer describe their roles. VISA DREAM captures the tension as the family eagerly awaits the results of the interview. Jubilant scenes follow as the family responds with shock, tears and excitement when they hear the decision.

    Watch the preview here

    Saturday 9/30 at 9:30pm on 9.1

    INDEPENDENT LENS “East of Salinas”

    This is a story about immigration, childhood, and circumstance. With little support at home, Salinas, California 3rd-grader Jose Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, once a migrant farm kid himself. Oscar helps Jose imagine a future beyond the lettuce fields where his parents work. But Jose was born in Mexico - and he's on the cusp of understanding the implications of that. As we watch this play out, we begin to understand the cruelty of circumstance - for Jose and many millions of migrant kids like him. This program asks: What is lost when kids like Jose are denied opportunities?

    Watch the preview here

    Saturday 9/30 at 10pm on 5.1

    VOCES “Now En Espanol”

    VOCES is PBS’ signature Latino arts and culture documentary showcase. In this episode, explore the ups and downs of being a Latina actress in Hollywood, through the lives of the five dynamic women who dub "Desperate Housewives" into Spanish for American audiences.

    Watch the preview here

    Monday 10/2 at 2pm on 9.1
    Tuesday 10/17 at 10pm on 9.1

    INDEPENDENT LENS “Ovarian Psycos” 

    Based in the heart of Los Angeles' Eastside, and building upon the legacy of the Chicano/a and civil rights movement, the irreverently named Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade are a ferocious and unapologetic group of young women of color, cycling through the barrios and boulevards of the Eastside, committed to collectively confronting racism and violence, and demanding and creating safe spaces for women.

    Watch the preview here

    Wednesday 10/4 at 8am and 2pm on 9.1

    GREAT PERFORMANCES “Havana Time Machine” – New!

    Take an intoxicating musical journey to today's Cuba where past, present and future collide in joyful celebration. This performance-documentary also features evocative performance segments hosted by the Grammy-winning Raul Malo of The Mavericks.

    Watch the preview here

    Friday 10/6 at 9pm on 5.1


    Join the country’s highest tribute to Latinos by Latinos with the 30th annual Hispanic Heritage Awards. Honorees include Luis Fonsi, Gael García Bernal, The Latin Recording Academy, NASCAR’s Alba Colón, Rudy Beserra and the nation’s “DREAMER” community. The program includes performances and appearances by celebrated Hispanic artists.

    Watch the preview here

    Friday 10/6 at 10pm on 5.1

    VOCES “Children of Giant”

    In 1955, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean and a massive crew descended on the Texas town of Marfa to begin production on Giant. Now, 60 years later, "Children of Giant" explores the film's still timely examination of racial prejudice.

    Watch the preview here

    Saturday 10/7 at 12pm on 9.1


    Broadcast Premiere- A film about land, memory and story, set in the ghost towns of New Mexico.  Acclaimed folklorist Nasario García returns to the now abandoned villages of his youth in New Mexico’s Río Puerco valley to revive stories and ghosts - recuerdos tales of his youth when the ranching villages thrived and viejitos elders told stories beside a river that once ran.

    Learn more here

    Thursday 10/12 at 7pm on 5.1

    VOCES “El Poeta”

    Meet renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who ignited an international movement for peace after the brutal murder of his 24-year old son - collateral damage in a drug war that has left more than 70,000 dead since 2006.

    Watch the preview here

    Tuesday 10/24 at 10pm on 9.1

    Recognizing the 2017 American Graduate champions

    2017 American Graduate Champions

    NM PBS General Manager Franz Joachim poses with American Graduate Champions Marvin Procter and Angela Reed Padilla at the 2017 Awards Luncheon held on September 8, 2017 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

    An American Graduate Champion commits their time, skills and resources to make sure that young people succeed. He or she is an individual who plays an active role in improving educational outcomes for students. A champion is a parent who is active in the lives of young people or a volunteer who creates a positive environment daily for youth in their community. Here are our 2017 Champions.

    Marvin Procter
    CEO, The Improve Group
    Marv collaborated with the New Mexico Center for School Leadership to place six students from Health Leadership and Technology Leadership High Schools in paid internships with his company. These schools serve students with great potential who have dropped out or find themselves off track to graduation.  He has hired two of these interns at his company. Two others (both young parents) have been placed in paid professional positions in other organizations.  He has shown students a way to stop trading off their future with dead end jobs.  Marvin is committed to helping recruit more companies into the project and scale it to serve all 250 graduates from the Leadership High Schools.  Marv is a true American Graduate Champion.

    Angela Reed Padilla
    CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico
    During her tenure, Angela has increased the number of children who have an adult mentor from 300 to over 1,200. Four years ago she launched a pilot mentoring program at two Albuquerque high schools. In both these schools, every student is matched with a mentor who is there to help them acquire life skills that prepare them for college and career. The mentor 2.0 program that she piloted is now being replicated in 10 other Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies throughout the country. Now her agency has launched mentor 3.0 which is designed to provide mentors for high school graduates through their first couple of years of college. Angela also finds time to mentor high school students herself. She is truly an American Graduate champion.

    American Graduate Champion Nominees

    Charles L. Ashley III is President & Founder of Cultivating Coders, a New Mexico based nonprofit that provides technical training in web application development to rural, tribal, inner-city and underserved urban areas that lack resources in coding education.  The coding “boot camps” empower traditionally underserved young people with the skills necessary to gain employment in the technology sector.

    Antonia Roybal-Mack  provides internship opportunities to recent high school graduates and college graduates, later employing several as full time employees at her law firm Roybal-Mack & Cordova, P.C. Ms. Roybal-Mack is an active participant in the Program for Empowerment of Girls, an intensive juvenile probation and therapeutic program, offered by Children's Court in Bernalillo County, serving girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen who have a history of trauma or violence as a victim, witness, or offender. 

    Cindy O'niell is our RFK Charter High School’s student and family support officer.  She mentors students as well as parents to support changes that leads to growth, graduation and success.  Although she focuses on attendance her work runs so much deeper.  She works closely with probation and juvenile justice to teach, model and mentor student through difficult times in their lives. 

    Cabinet Secretary Celina Bussey developed a partnership between New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Program at Rio Grande High School. JAG students participate in a range of career exploration activities leading to internships and job placement. Secretary Bussey provides opportunities for students to practice their skills at a real workplace in the Tewa Building in Albuquerque. 

    Desiree Beltran has a deep commitment to first generation college bound, LGBTQ and immigrant youth. She is the Community Engagement Director and 21st Century Community Learning Center program manager at Working Classroom, a 30 year old organization that cultivates the artistic, civic and academic minds of youth by providing access to in-depth art, theater and new media training.

    Kristine Moore is a Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) Specialist at Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque.  Kristine provides guidance as her students make significant career and life decisions and connects them to other social and education services in the community.  Kristine is in contact with her former students to ensure they are reaching their individual goals for success.

    Kimberly Chase was nominated by her student Lily Heuertz. She wrote this about her teacher, “This person was my 10th Grade English Teacher and she is a champion because of her dedication and commitment to insuring all her students become proficient writers in a world where we seem to value quick texts, sound bites and ideas captured in 140 characters or less.”  “Ms. Chase encourages us to attend college and career fairs and will even give us advice on what kinds of questions to ask, when we have no idea what to say to a college recruiter.”

    Kathy Mirr Gonzales voluntarily works with high school seniors on their FAFSA paperwork and invests time to review their applications and essays. She also helps parents understand what financial aid is available for their child's college education. She also works with college students through reviewing their resumes and coaching them for interviews as they pursue careers, medical school, or graduate school.

    CNM Associate vice President, Eugene Padilla mentors students and pays special attention to Hispanic students who are older than traditional college students. He helps students leverage scholarship money to start and complete their education and his work has significantly increased CNM's graduation rates and degree awards.

    Ezra Spitzer is Executive Director of New Mexico Child Advocacy Networks (NMCAN).  He is champions the educational rights for youth involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Ezra and NMCAN have a huge impact on the graduation prospects for these youth.

    Although Cindy Nava is an undocumented immigrant she interned for 7 years without any pay at the NM state legislature where she became a leader and champion, defending the accessibility of the NM lottery scholarship for primarily minority low-income students. Through ENLACE NM, she trains legislative interns on the political and legislative process during their one-week internships in Santa Fe.