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The People - To 1806
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
The West begins as the whole world to the people who live there. It becomes a New World when Europeans arrive, a world shaken by incompatible visions. And almost three centuries later, when Lewis and Clark venture west to find…
Who Owns the Past?
The final decades of the twentieth century brought unprecedented changes for American Indians, especially in the areas of human rights and tribal sovereignty. In 1990, after a long struggle between Indian rights groups and the scientific establishment, the Native American…
Zapatista
January 1, 1994. The day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect. A few minutes after midnight in Southeastern Mexico, several thousand Mayan soldiers take over half the state of Chiapas, declaring a war against the global…
The Return of Navajo Boy
The Return of Navajo Boy, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and PBS, is an internationally acclaimed documentary that reunited a Navajo family and triggered a federal investigation into uranium contamination. It tells the story of Elsie Mae…
2 videos
Across the Americas - Indigenous Perspectives
In this compilation, award-winning independent documentary filmmaker Robbie Leppzer chronicles indigenous people from North, South, and Central America speaking out about their common legacies of survival and contemporary struggles over land, human rights, and the environment. Columbus Didn't Discover Us…
2 videos
Empire Upon the Trails - 1806 to 1848
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
The American realizes that 'Progress is God.' The destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent -- to rush over this vast field to the Pacific Ocean... to change darkness into light and confirm the destiny of the…
Death Runs Riot - 1856 to 1868
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
"Time after time, Congress and the people in the East saw the West as a safety valve, a place where you could go and escape the problems of where you were, it was part of the whole myth of the…
The Grandest Enterprise Under God - 1868 to 1874
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
I see over my own continent the Pacific railroad surmounting every barrier. I see continual trains of cars winding along the Platte, carrying freight and passengers. I hear the locomotives rushing and roaring... - Walt Whitman It had taken the…
Speck of the Future - 1848 to 1856
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
There are all kinds of people on earth that you will meet some day... They will be looking for a certain stone. They will be people who do not get tired, but who will keep pushing forward, going, going all…
California's Lost Tribes
The 1987 Supreme Court decision to open up Indian gaming nationwide had a dramatic economic impact on the lives of California's Indian tribes much like the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island had on their cultural identities. In a few short…
6 Generations
Ernestine De Soto is a Chumash Native American whose mother Mary Yee was the last speaker of her native Barbareno language. In 6 Generations, her family reaches back to the days the Spanish arrived in Santa Barbara and made first…
Native American Influence On The US
Part of the Series: Native-American History & Cultural Series
Discover the fascinating ways in which the U.S. was profoundly affected by the native cultures that were here thousands of years before the Europeans. Explore the ways in which our government, economy, agriculture, medicine, language & legal system are still…
Up Heartbreak Hill
PBS
Up Heartbreak Hill chronicles the lives of three Native American teenagers in Navajo, New Mexico-Thomas, an elite runner; Tamara, an academic superstar; and Gabby, an aspiring photographer-as they navigate their senior year at a reservation high school. As graduation nears,…
Fight No More Forever - 1874 to 1877
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white men....He said: "My son...when I am gone...you are the chief of these people....Always remember that your father never sold his country....This country holds your father's body. Never…
The Geography of Hope - 1877 to 1887
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
"Americans aren't wrong in seeing the West as a land of the future, a land in which astonishing things are possible. What they often are wrong about is that there's no price to be paid for that, that everybody can…
Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience
This exciting and compelling one hour documentary invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the U.S. Midwest. It dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon, and reveals how they…
King Philip's War - The History & Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict
An educational documentary examining the causes & effects of the America's first great Indian War. ABOUT THE PROGRAM: King Philip's War, took place between June 1675 and August 1676 between the colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colonies of New England…
One Sky Above Us - 1887 to 1914
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The West
PBS
By 1887, the West was changing faster than ever before. Americans were moved by the same impulses that had always moved them, to better their own lives and transform the region in the process. Now their numbers soared, and they…
William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe
In William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe , filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler explore the life of their father, the late radical civil rights lawyer. In the 1960s and 70s, William Kunstler fought for civil rights with Martin Luther King…
Holy Man - A Wrongly Imprisoned Native American Man
This is the story of Douglas White, an 89 year old Lakota Sioux medicine man from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, who spent 17 years in federal prison for a crime he did not commit. During the making…