The Warrior Tradition

Explore the complicated ways the culture and traditions of Native Americans have impacted their participation in the United States military when The Warrior Tradition airs Nov. 11 at 9pm ET.


A co-Production of

The Warrior Tradition tells the astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring, and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military. Why would Indian men and women put their lives on the line for the very government that took their homelands? The film relates the stories of Native American warriors from their own points of view – stories of service and pain, of courage and fear.

There’s more to the story than heroism. And there’s more than one way to be a warrior.

The astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring, and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military.


The Warrior Tradition premiered
Nov. 11, 2019 on PBS



Watch the Trailer

The Warrior Tradition Community & Educators Discussion Guide
Native American filmmakers explore the warrior tradition
  • Disqualified Warriors, a film by Jeffrey Palmer
  • The Protector, a film by Diné filmmaker Ramona Emerson
  • Art, Honor & Service, A film by Seneca filmmaker Caleb G. Abrams
  • Minnie's War Bonnet, a film by Lakota Filmmaker Yvonne Russo

For thousands of years, Native American warriors have been the first line of defense in a hostile situation. Indian warriors have a wide mix of emotions and motives – patriotism, pride, rage, courage, practicality, and spirituality, all mingling with an abiding respect for tribal, familial, and national traditions. Being a warrior involves more than fighting enemies, it is about service to the community and protection of their homeland. These are key points that are explored in the PBS program The Warrior Tradition. To complement the film, WNED-TV commissioned a series of original digital video essays by Native American producers. Each of these short films provides additional insight into the warrior tradition.