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PBS OBSERVES NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
WITH A LINEUP OF SPECIAL PROGRAMMING ON AIR AND ONLINE
November 2009

ARLINGTON, VA — October 30, 2009 — Throughout the month of November, PBS observes Native American Heritage Month on air and online with content that examines and celebrates the many aspects of Native American life and history.

New programs on PBS stations include INDEPENDENT LENS “Power Paths,” demonstrating that traditional values regarding conservation and the earth offer real solutions to America’s energy crisis; PLAYING FOR THE WORLD: THE 1904 FORT INDIAN GIRLS’ BASKETBALL TEAM, the story of a renowned girl’s basketball team at a Montana boarding school; SUMMER SUN, WINTER MOON, a symphonic collaboration between composer Rob Kapilow and Darrell Robes Kipp, a Blackfeet Indian poet; and TO BROOKLYN AND BACK: A MOHAWK JOURNEY, filmmaker Reaghan Tarbell’s exploration of her family connections to the Mohawk community in Brooklyn, New York.

In addition, WE SHALL REMAIN, which premiered in April 2009 and establishes Native history as an essential part of American history, is featured in its entirety on pbs.org – on THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE site (click here) and as part of a special collection about Native Americans (click here) on the PBS Video Portal. The critically acclaimed five-part series is a popular choice on the portal and has been streamed nearly 120,000 times since its debut this spring. WE SHALL REMAIN was honored in August by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) with an American Scene Award, recognizing excellence in programming that portrays diversity in a positive and realistic light.

Also featured online are Reel Native (click here), which lets Native Americans share their video stories with a national audience, and a teacher’s guide that offers resources for social studies educators to integrate Native American history into school curricula (click here). The guide includes five film-specific sections with post-viewing questions, as well as activities designed to foster student understanding of the important themes and issues in Native-American history.

Press Preview Copies of Programs Available Upon Request

NEW PROGRAMMING:

INDEPENDENT LENS “Power Paths” *available on the PBS Video Portal 11/10
Tuesday, November 3, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET

Native-American tribes turn to solar and wind sources to provide clean sustainable energy for cities across the west. Their traditional values regarding conservation and the earth offer real solutions to America’s energy crisis.

PLAYING FOR THE WORLD: THE 1904 FORT INDIAN GIRLS’ BASKETBALL TEAM
November 2009 (check local listings)
In 1904, a unique combination of Native women came together at a boarding school in Montana. They used the new sport of basketball to help them adjust to a rapidly changing world. Their travels and experiences led them to places they never imagined. Ultimately, these women played for something much larger than themselves.

SUMMER SUN, WINTER MOON
November 2009 (check local listings)
A symphony inspired by the Lewis and Clark expedition brings together two individuals from different worlds: Rob Kapilow, a celebrated composer trying to breathe new life into classical music, and Darrell Robes Kipp, a Blackfeet Indian poet fighting to save his language from extinction. Their unexpected collaboration creates a unique work of art from the perspective of American Indians today.

TO BROOKLYN AND BACK: A MOHAWK JOURNEY
November 2009 (check local listings)
Mohawk filmmaker Reaghan Tarbell of Kahnawake, Quebec, explores her roots and traces the connections of her family to the Mohawk community in Brooklyn, New York.


ENCORE PROGRAMMING:

INDEPENDENT LENS “Miss Navajo”
November 2009 (check local listings)
Following contestants in their quest for the crown in the Miss Navajo Nation beauty pageant and featuring personal stories of recent winners, “Miss Navajo” is a celebration of womanhood.

INDEPENDENT LENS “March Point”
November 2009 (check local listings)
Three teens from the Swinomish Tribe make a film about the threat their people face from two local oil refineries.

POV “Standing Silent Nation”
November 2009 (check local listings)
Lakota tribal sovereignty collides with government policy over growing hemp, a relative of marijuana.

TRUE WHISPERS: THE STORY OF THE NAVJO CODE TALKERS
November 2009 (check local listings)
Exploring the personal and heartfelt story of the Navajo code talkers, this documentary tells the stories of the young Navajo men recruited from harsh government boarding schools into the Marines during World War II. From 1942-1945, the code talkers devised an unbreakable code in their native language and transmitted vital messages in the midst of combat against the Japanese.

WAY OF THE WARRIOR
November 2009 (check local listings)
This documentary examines the bravery of Native-American veterans who served in the United States military during the wars of the 20th century and explores the paradox of these veterans who chose to fight for a country that considered them outside the American mainstream.

Find more information and high-resolution images from these programs on PBS PressRoom at http://pressroom.pbs.org/programs/native_american_heritage_month_2009

About PBS
PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans – from every walk of life – the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 115 million people on-air and online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.



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CONTACTS: Clare Bender, PBS, 703-739-8681; cmbender@pbs.org




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