What Was Ours

Native American Heritage Month

Throughout the year, NMPBS presents local and national programs exploring the lives, traditions, concerns and issues of Native Americans. This month, NMPBS presents a dynamic line-up of broadcast programs commemorating Native American Heritage Month.


Airing Nov. 4 – 29

INDEPENDENT LENS “What Was Ours”

Saturday November 4 at 10pm on 5.1
Thursday November 30 at 7am and 1pm on 9.1

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. Together they try to learn how these artifacts vanished from their tribe in the first place.
Watch the preview here

METAL ROAD

Monday November 6 at 10 on 5.1pm

For decades, thousands of Navajos worked the railroads, maintaining the trans-continental network. Metal Road explores the dynamics of livelihood, family, and the railroads through the lens of a Navajo trackman. Watch the preview here

BADGER CREEK - New!

Monday November 6 at 10:30pm on 5.1
Tuesday November 7 at 12pm on 9.1

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. The Mombergs are a loving, sober family who run a successful ranch, live a traditional worldview, and are re-learning their language. Learn more here

THE MAYORS OF SHIPROCK

Tuesday November 7 at 7am and 1pm on 9.1
Sunday November 12 at 3am on 9.1

Every Monday in the small community of Shiprock, New Mexico, a group of young Navajo leaders meet to decide how they will help their community. For over seven years, the Northern Dine Youth Committee has worked to give youth opportunities to directly make changes within their community. But while the NDYC works to make changes, many members also consider their own futures, commitments to family and the world outside of the Shiprock. While they love their community, they all must consider their options both on and off the reservation. Learn more here

THE MYSTERY OF CHACO CANYON

Thursday November 9 at 7pm on 5.1
Sunday November 19 at 6pm on 5.1
Monday November 20 at 10pm on 5.1

Robert Redford narrates the story of the northwest New Mexico site, perhaps the only site in the world constructed in an elaborate pattern that mirrors the yearly cycle of the sun and the 19-year cycle of the moon. How did an ancient civilization, with no known written language, arrange its buildings into a virtual celestial calendar, spanning an area roughly the size of Ohio? Join us for a remastered broadcast of the acclaimed 1999 film. Learn more here

DEFENDING THE FIRE - New!

Monday November 13 at 9pm on 5.1

Filmed in New Mexico -- There will always be warriors. This program follows the journey of the Native Warrior as he (and she) continue conflict resolution in order to survive and secure resources and culture. The answer to "Why Fight" requires a complex look at the truth through decades of stereotypes and misperceptions. Remarkably, the answer has stayed the same, whether during the 1500s Tiguex War, the Indian Wars of the 1800s, the World Wars, modern Warfare, or continued modern fights for sovereignty and environment. To Protect and Defend - the cohesive thread that connects generations and tribes. Vietnam war veteran and actor Wes Studi (Geronimo, Last of the Mohicans) narrates and appears in the film. Learn more here

MEDICINE WOMAN

Monday November 13 at 10pm on 5.1
Friday November 24 at 8am and 2pm on 9.1
And online!

This documentary - produced by and about women - interweaves the historic and contemporary lives of Native American female healers, with the story of America's first Native doctor, Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915), of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. Watch here

NAVAJO MATH CIRCLES – New!

Tuesday November 14 at 10pm on 5.1
Wednesday November 29 at 7am and 1pm on 9.1
And online!

This program follows Navajo students in a collaboration with mathematicians. Using a model called “math circles,” the students stay late after school, and assemble over the summer at Dine College in Tsaile, Arizona, to study mathematics. The “math circles” approach emphasizes student-centered learning, by putting children in charge of exploring mathematics to their own joy and satisfaction. Watch here

SURVIVING COLUMBUS

Thursday November 16 at 8pm on 5.1
Sunday November 19 at 8pm on 9.1
Wednesday November 29 at 7am and 1pm on 9.1
And online!

A New Mexico PBS Production – 25th Anniversary broadcast of KNME-TV's Peabody Award-winning documentary looking at the European arrival in the Americas, and the 450-years European contact from the perspective of the Pueblo Peoples. Narrator/Host: Conroy Chino. Learn more here

JOHNNY CASH'S BITTER TEARS – New!

Monday November 20 at 9:30pm on 9.1

Based on Antonino D'Ambrosio's book “A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears,” this film tells the story behind Cash's lost Native American-themed concept album and his unique collaboration with folk artist Peter Lafarge. With the still largely unknown recording, Cash placed himself in the middle of the fervent social upheavals gripping the nation in the mid-1960s; facing censorship and an angry backlash from radio stations, DJs and fans for speaking out on behalf of Native people. Cash decided to fight back. The film also chronicles the reimagining of Cash's highly controversial 1964 record on its 50th anniversary, as recorded at Nashville's historic Sound Emporium Studios by such artists as Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Norman Blake, Nancy Blake, Rhiannon Giddens, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, and The Milk Carton Kids, working with album producer Joe Henry. Watch the trailer here

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