New Mexico PBS has a dynamic line-up of programs commemorating Native American Heritage Month, airing November 14 – 23, including new and encore presentations.
Many of this month’s programs focus directly on various Native peoples living in New Mexico or the American Southwest.
The various shows below are presented in chronological order:
URBAN REZ – New!
Ch.5.1 – Thursday 11/14 at 7:00 pm
This program explores the controversial legacy and modern-day repercussions of the Urban Relocation Program (1952-1973), the greatest voluntary upheaval of Native Americans during the 20th century. During the documentary, dozens of American Indians representing tribal groups from across the West recall their first-hand experiences with relocation, including the early hardships, struggles with isolation and racism. Interviewees also speak about the challenges of maintaining one’s own tribal traditions — from language to hunting — while assimilating into the larger society. Actor, musician, and Oglala Lakota member Moses Brings Plenty narrates this insightful film about this seldom-told chapter in American history.
KIND HEARTED WOMAN
A special co-presentation of FRONTLINE and INDEPENDENT LENS
Ch.9.1 – Part 1 – Thursday 11/14 at 9:00-11:00 pm
Ch.9.1 – Part 2 – Thursday 11/21 at 8:00-11:00 pm
Follow Robin Charboneau, an Oglala Sioux, on her journey of discovery, heartbreak and redemption.
In a special two-part series, acclaimed filmmaker David Sutherland (“The Farmer’s Wife,” “Country Boys”) creates an unforgettable portrait of Robin Charboneau, a 32-year-old divorced single mother and Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Reservation. Sutherland follows Robin over three years as she struggles to raise her two children, further her education and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Robin’s battles in tribal court with her ex-husband for custody of the children, even after he is convicted of abusive sexual contact with his daughter, illuminates how serious this problem is on the reservation. Her quest to heal her family, find a man worthy of her love, build a career and fulfill her goal of returning to her reservation to help prevent the abuse of women and children, takes her on an intimate and inspiring journey full of heartbreak, discovery and redemption.
POV “Up Heartbreak Hill”
Ch.5.1 – Saturday 11/16 at 10:00 pm
Thomas and Tamara are track stars at their rural New Mexico high school. Like many teenagers, they are torn between the lure of brighter futures elsewhere and the ties that bind them to home. For these teens, however, home is an impoverished town on the Navajo reservation, and leaving means separating from family, tradition and the land that has been theirs for generations. Take a moving look at a new generation of Americans struggling to be both Native and modern. By Erica Scharf.
Ch.5.1 – Saturday 11/16 at 11:00 pm
Observe a Tlingit man’s attempts to navigate the collision between modernity and an ancient culture.
Cory Mann is a quirky Tlingit businessman hustling to make a dollar in Juneau, Alaska. He gets hungry for smoked salmon, nostalgic for his childhood, and decides to spend a summer smoking fish at his family’s traditional fish camp. The unusual story of his life and the untold history of his people interweave with the process of preparing traditional food as he struggles to pay his bills, keep the IRS off his back and keep his business afloat. By turns tragic, bizarre or just plain ridiculous, SMOKIN’ FISH tells the story of one man’s attempts to navigate the messy collision between the modern world and an ancient culture.
INDEPENDENT LENS “Indian Relay” – New!
Ch.5.1 – Saturday 11/23 at 10:00 pm
This program documents the hope and determination of modern-day Native-American life and what it takes to win one of the most exciting and dangerous forms of horse racing. From the bitter cold of winter to the heat of summer championship races, the film follows teams from three different tribes as they compete across a grueling season.
INJUNUITY – New!
Ch.5.1 – Saturday 11/23 at 11:00 pm
Injunuity is a mix of animation, music, and real thoughts from real people, exploring our world from the Native American perspective. This documentary is made up of animated segments created around field recordings of Native American individuals discussing topics such as Native language preservation and education. Every word spoken is verbatim, every thought and opinion is real, told in nine short pieces and covering such topics as language preservation, sacred sites, and the environment. But rather than simply revisit history, the goal of Injunuity is to help define our future, to try and figure out the path that lies before us, to focus on where we are going as well as where we have been.
SOUSA ON THE REZ
Ch.5.1 – Saturday 11/23 at 11:30 pm
A 100 year tradition: Multi-generational, community-based Tribal bands, including Zuni Pueblo Band.
Native American music may not conjure images of tubas, trumpets and John Phillip Sousa marches. Yet this vibrant musical tradition has been a part of Native American culture for more than 100 years. SOUSA ON THE REZ: MARCHING TO THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM traces the origins of the four remaining multi-generational, community-based tribal bands: the Iroquois Indian Band from upstate New York, the Fort Mojave Tribal Band from Needles, Calif., the Zuni Pueblo Band from northwestern New Mexico and the Navajo Nation Band from Arizona. Combining profiles of contemporary bands with fresh historical research, SOUSA ON THE REZ offers an unexpected and engaging picture of this little-known aspect of the Native music scene.