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PBS Programming Honors Native Americans and Veterans October-November 2019
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Native American author N. Scott Momaday attends a reading in Santa Fe,
Younsun Palmer

Highlights Include Military Specials and an All-New AMERICAN MASTERS Profile


ARLINGTON, VA; OCTOBER 1, 2019 – In recognition of Veterans Day and Native American Heritage Month, PBS programming airing later this fall will honor and celebrate the many contributions made to our country by both Native Americans and veterans, and explore issues impacting the lives of these communities.

On Friday, October 25 at 10:00 p.m. ET, SONGWRITING WITH SOLDIERS reveals the power of music to salve the wounds of war for returning veterans and their families. A unique collaborative of professional artists works with vets to tell their stories of war and the return home through song.

On Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, PBS presents two new documentaries. THE WARRIOR TRADITION at 9:00 p.m. ET, tells the largely unknown story of Native Americans who served in the U.S. military. Learn about their service, pain, courage and fear, as shared in their own words. At 10:00 p.m. ET, INDEPENDENT LENS “The Interpreters” profiles three of the more than 50,000 local interpreters who helped protect U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, now struggling for safety in the aftermath of war.

Monday, November 18 features two back-to-back programs about Native Americans. The life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet N. Scott Momaday are chronicled in AMERICAN MASTERS “N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear” at 9:00 p.m. ET. Momaday, best known for the novel House Made of Dawn, is considered a formative voice of the Native American Renaissance in art and literature. INDEPENDENT LENS “Conscience Point” premieres at 10:30 p.m. ET. The film explores how the onslaught of development in Long Island’s wealthy Hamptons has triggered a clash of values. Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, farmers and fishing communities seek to stop over-development and preserve the environment.

Throughout October and November, kids can tune in to PBS stations (check local listings), the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms to see MOLLY OF DENALI. The first nationally distributed children’s series to feature a Native American lead character, MOLLY OF DENALI is about Alaska Native Molly Mabray, a feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Athabascan girl who takes viewers ages 4 to 8 along with her on adventures, from fishing to seeing the Northern Lights to attending a totem pole raising, all while fostering literacy skills along the way.

Additional Programming (check local listings):


Trace the work of Native American artists and the various forms that can be called “Native American art,” from beadwork to dancing, painting, singing, drumming and storytelling.


Follow four Alaska Native women fighting to save Kodiak Alutiiq, an endangered language now spoken by fewer than 40 remaining fluent Native Elders. Their small community travels to remote Afognak Island to start teaching the language to children.


Learn about the legacy of Wilma Mankiller, who overcame sexism to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief. Through archival footage and interviews, the film examines the life of one of the country’s most important woman leaders.


View historic and contemporary profiles of Native female healers, including Susan La Flesche Picotte of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, America’s first Native doctor.


Follow Navajo students in a lively collaboration with mathematicians, using a model called math circles that emphasizes student-centered learning by putting children in charge of exploring mathematics to their own joy and satisfaction.


Meet four Native American veterans who reflect on their experiences in the military during the Vietnam War and how their communities helped them carry their warrior legacy, even as they struggled with their relationship to the U.S. government.

These programs are available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).

About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to 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. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.


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