Native American Heritage Month Programming 2015

Native American Heritage Month has been recognized in many states for almost a hundred years, and has been nationally recognized with proclamations every year since 1994. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with special programming and online shows with KLRU.

Ladonna Harris: Indian 101 profiles Comanche activist LaDonna Harris, who led an extensive life of political and social activism. Her national work began when President Lyndon Johnson tapped her to educate the executive and legislative branches on the unique role of American Indian Tribes and their relationship to the U.S. government. The course was called “Indian 101” and was taught to members of Congress and other agencies for more than 35 years. In addition to her work in civil rights, world peace, the environment and women’s rights, Harris is best known for introducing landmark legislation, such as land return claims to the Taos Pueblo Tribe and Native tribes of Alaska, as well as returning federal recognition for the Menominee Tribe. LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 was produced by independent filmmaker Julieanna Brannum. It airs Monday, Nov. 2 at 10 p.m.

Then, Monday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 p.m., Warriors Return follows the story of Navajo veterans of beautiful Canyon de Chelly, AZ who have served as Code Talkers in WWII, Army Rangers in Viet Nam and most recently in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their dedication and courage in battle has not protected them from the formidable challenges facing them when they return home. Viewers will see how strong women, traditional healing and western talk therapy are helping these warriors return.

In POV Up Heartbreak Hill, 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. Erica Scharf’s “Up Heartbreak Hill” is a look at a new generation of Americans struggling to be both Native and modern. This POV airs Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. and repeats Monday, Nov. 16 at 10 p.m.

The hope and determination of American Indian life is revealed in Independent Lens Indian Relay, about what it takes to win one of the most exciting and dangerous forms of horseracing in the world today. This film follows teams from three different communities as they prepare for and compete across a grueling Indian Relay season — all hearts set on the glory and honor of winning this year’s National Championships.

In False Traditions, False Idols, artist Charlene Teeters shines a light on the stereotypical images of Native Americans used in mainstream America. Using the “media of popular culture” as her medium, she works with installation art. Teeters hopes to bring a voice to the silence” and “visibility to invisible” people. She uses art as a forum to raise the level of debate about stereotyping and racism in modern America.

PBS Newshour reports on Native American communities preparing for climate change. Native Americans from Maine to Washington state convened for a conference in 2012 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Their goal: To discuss the effects of climate change on tribal communities.

Independent Lens Are You An Indian? is a companion piece to the documentary We Still Live Here. As Nutayunean, Wampanoag tribal members discuss how their multicultural heritage both complicates and enriches their identities as Native American people.

In Between the Lines: Native American Poetry blurs the lines between tradition & culture, through the art of poetry. Their words are rich with a youthful spirit and without hesitation they honestly pour out their fears, humor and realizations. Each poem is an answer to a problem and an act of self-discovery. Perhaps most importantly through poetry they find their soul.

Then, watch With Each Turn of the Wheel: The Santa Fe Trail 1821-1996. Consumed with Manifest Destiny, a young United States rolled westward into foreign lands, changing lives and fortunes forever. Celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail, this program reexamines the history of this great American event from the point of view of the Hispanic and Native Americans residents of the New Mexican territory.

Finally, brush up on the history of Native Americans and the U.S. with some Crash Course lessons with John Green.