Voices of the First Peoples

About this series

Voices of the First Peoples showcases films created by American Indian filmmakers, many of them produced through the Native Voices program at the University of Washington, as well as other award-winning PBS films. The films explore themes of identity, survival, racism and exploitation, children, history, community, and activism, opening a window into First People’s issues, culture and history.

Watch on Sundays at 7 p.m.


Episode 1: Forging Identity

Watch films produced by students in the UW’s Department of American Indian Studies, including Half of Anything, America Red & Black: Stories of Afro-Native Identity and Frybread Babies.

Episode 2: Native American Experiences

This program explores the variety of experiences facing American Indians in History Lessons and Without Reservations: Notes on Racism in Montana, produced by the UW’s Department of American Indian Studies.

Episode 3: Standing Silent Nation

In this feature film, a Lakota family tries to make a living off the land in a non-traditional way. When the Oglala Sioux Tribe passed an ordinance separating industrial hemp from its illegal cousin, marijuana, Alex White Plume and his family glimpsed a brighter future.

Episode 4: Inspiration in Adversity

In this episode, the featured documentaries focus on exploitation and survival of Native tribes, and the importance of cultural tolerance. Films include White Shamans & Plastic Medicine Men, Everything Change: Recollections of Ida Nason, An American Elder, Silent Thunder and A Century of Genocide: The Residential School Experience.

Episode 5: From Foster Care to Front Lines

The stories of families broken apart by policies, and the how military service is highly valued in Native communities are presented in Reclaiming our Children: A Story of the Indian Child Welfare Act and Way of the Warrior.

Episode 6: Loss: From Language to Land

A younger generation of Natives discover what has been lost from their culture, possibly forever in the films Transitions: Destruction of a Mother Tongue and the award-winning March Point.

Episode 7: Going Home

Filmmakers broach the complexity of maintaining a way of life on land now claimed by several countries, and how they maintain their cultural identity while living far from their native homelands in The Border Crossed Us and Looking Toward Home.

Episode 8: Trudell

The engaging life story of Native American poet-prophet-activist John Trudell and his heartfelt message of active, personal responsibility to the earth, all of its inhabitants, and our descendants.

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