November is Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The celebration of Indigenous cultures began as a week-long celebration in 1986, when President Reagan proclaimed the week of November 23-30, 1986 as "American Indian Week." Every President since 1995 has issued annual proclamations designating the month of November as the time to celebrate the cultures, accomplishments, and contributions of Native American and Alaska Native communities.
We celebrate by listening and learning to Indigenous and native voices from across the continent. You can learn more about the diverse experiences of Native Americans and Alaska Natives with this collection of documentaries. You can stream these films and shows and more on PBS.org or on the PBS video app.
From American Masters:
Experience the story of the Oscar-winning Indigenous artist from her rise to prominence in New York’s Greenwich Village folk music scene through her six-decade groundbreaking career as a singer-songwriter, social activist, educator and artist.
Watch Episodes of Alter-NATIVE: Kitchen
In this series from Independent Lens, see how cooking connects three Native chefs to their own histories. Watch as they teach others in their communities with mouth-watering delicacies.
What is The Land Back Movement?
A movement that aims to reclaim ancestral lands in order to restore Indigenous governance over them. In other words, it is an effort to get Indigenous land back to Indigenous people. The concept has existed for generations, and current efforts have caught more attention on social media in the last five years, particularly after the No Access Dakota Pipeline protests on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
These three stories explore the Land Back movement in different ways. This episode of Above the Noise explores how can inform environmental and climate change conversations. The documentary Groundworks is a film about some creative practices of California Natives within the movement. In Their Element, from Local, USA, spotlights Indigenous leaders rising up to meet the challenge of the climate crisis. For people whose existence is inseparable from their native land, climate change is not a tale of the future - it is the present.
In the Bay area of San Francisco is an ancient village site where Native peoples long ago lived and prospered. Now, in a once in a lifetime event, the descendants of those people, the Muwekma Ohlone, have partnered with archeologists to conduct one of the most intensive studies ever undertaken at an early pre-contact site in California.
We love this series from New Mexico PBS! Here's the latest episode, but you can stream all of them on PBS app!
Indigi-Genius is devoted to telling the scientific & cultural impact of Indigenous creations & knowledge of the past and present. Written & hosted by Dr. Lee Francis, pueblo & self described Indigi-Nerd, & funded in part by VisionMaker Media. The series covers a range of global Indigenous topics & breaks down the science, culture, history, & “Indigi-Genius” knowledge.
Conscience Point tracks the fractured history of the Shinnecock tribe on Long Island alongside the spirited path of one Native woman determined to make a stand: activist Rebecca Hill-Genia who, together with other determined tribal members and allies, has waged a relentless, years-long battle to protect the land and Shinnecock cultural heritage from the ravages of development and displacement.
Get to know the Sugpiat community as they come home to Kodiak Island in Alaska to learn and build Indigenous knowledge.
Merging Indigenous knowledge with western science, Dr. Sven Haakanson and other Sugpiat people in Akhiok pass along the ingenuity of traditional knowledge in a living context to young Sugpiat while building a kayak from wood gathered on the treeless beaches of Cape Alitak.