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History

Celebrate Native American History

Indigenous People’s Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October and November is National Native American Heritage Month.
Explore this collection of national and local programs honoring key historical events and cultural contributions of Native Americans.


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logo for The American Buffalo by Ken Burns with a stylized buffalo image

The American Buffalo

This new two-part, four-hour series, takes viewers on a journey through more than 10,000 years of North American history and across some of the continent’s most iconic landscapes, tracing the animal’s evolution, its significance to the Indigenous people and landscape of the Great Plains, its near extinction, and the efforts to bring the magnificent mammals back from the brink.

Native America

This four-part PBS series challenges everything we thought we knew about the Americas before and since contact with Europe. It travels through 15,000 years to showcase massive cities, unique systems of science, art, and writing, and 100 million people connected by social networks and spiritual beliefs spanning two continents. The series reveals some of the most advanced cultures in human history and the Native American people who created it and whose legacy continues, unbroken, to this day.

The logo for Native America featuring a collage of people's faces in a star pattern
Two women standing next to each other in a field

Little Bird
Bezhig Little Bird was adopted at the age of five, was stripped of her identity and was renamed Esther Rosenblum. Now in her 20s, Bezhig longs for the family she lost and to fill in the missing pieces. In her quest, she discovers that she is one of the generation of children forcibly apprehended by the Canadian government.

Native Ball: Legacy of a Trailblazer
Each year in the U.S., nearly 5,000 high-school girls’ basketball players earn a full-ride Division I scholarship. In 1992, only one was Native American: Blackfeet Nation’s Malia Kipp. Living in two worlds presented challenges, but Kipp carried the burden with grace and grit. She blazed a heroic and inspiring trail for other Native girls to follow.

NEXT at the Kennedy Center: Embracing Diversity: Modern Indigenous Cultures
In partnership with electronic music pioneers The Halluci Nation, R&B artist Martha Redbone, and performance artist Ty Defoe, The Kennedy Center explores the impact and evolution of indigenous performing arts cultures.


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A woman sewing on a canvas printed with a Native American person

The Art of Home: A Wind River Story
Two indigenous artists create works reflecting on their tribal homelands. Ken Williams (Arapaho), a Santa Fe art celebrity, and Sarah Ortegon (Shoshone), an actress in Denver, travel to Wind River Reservation to reconnect with their ancestors and present their artwork.

A collage of images forming a woman's face with the logo BRINGHERHOME superimposed

Bring Her Home
Learn about three indigenous women who fight to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives who have fallen victim to a growing epidemic across the country. Despite the lasting effects of historical trauma, each woman searches for healing while navigating the racist systems that brought about this crisis.

POV: Uýra – The Rising Forest
Traveling through the Amazon, Uýra shares ancestral knowledge with Indigenous youth about the significance of identity and place, threatened by Brazil’s oppressive political regime. Through dance, poetry, and characterization, Uýra confronts prejudices and environmental destruction, while emphasizing the interdependence of humans and the environment.


Kentucky Life Quick Takes


For Kids

An adult in a wolf mask leans toward a group of children sitting nearby while another child plays violin

Art to Heart: Drama and the Literary Arts
Inspired by a painting, third graders in Louisville take on roles of explorers and Native Americans. A neuroscientist explains the connection between reading and brain development; artists use books and puppets to bring stories to life; kids use artifacts and storytelling to connect science and history.

a close-up of a fossil

Kentucky Field Trip: Falls of the Ohio
Explore one of the world’s largest exposed Devonian-Age fossil beds on the Ohio River near downtown Louisville. See how the fossils were formed and later uncovered by glaciers. Learn about the importance of the falls to Native Americans of the region and to the settlement and growth of Louisville.

A painting of a Native American woman

Learn about Native American Heritage Month
Take a look at Indigenous art, history, and culture as told through the historians, artists, students, and scientists in this featured resource collection.

Logo for Molly of Denali

Molly of Denali
Follow the adventures of Molly, a resourceful Alaska Native girl, as she helps her parents run the trading post in their village. Learn about the rich history and modern-day experience of family life in the Alaskan tundra.

A woman reading to kids in a circle on the floor at her feet with library book on shelves behind her

TELLING TALES: Rising Fawn and the Fire Mystery
A tale about cultural identity from Choctaw history, told by Native American storyteller Marilou Awiakta.

A plant marker that says THE THREE SISTERS NATIVE AMERICAN FOODS stuck in the ground with plants all around it

Think Garden: The History of Food
This video introduces a brief history of cultivated food. Take a trip through the woods as a hunter-gatherer; see how Native Americans used companion crops like the three sisters; and get a closer look at where the tomato got its start.


Featured Passport Programs

The Passport member benefit allows you to watch your favorite programs anytime, on any screen. Learn more about Passport.

Mabel Dodge Luhan standing outside at a gate

Awakening in Taos: The Mabel Dodge Luhan Story
Mabel Dodge Luhan was a trailblazing feminist 100 years ahead of her time. She was a champion for Women’s and Native Americans’ rights. In 1917, she moved from Greenwich Village to Taos, New Mexico. There she married Tony Lujan, a Tiwa Indian from Taos Pueblo.

A black-and-white photo of three men in suits, one with headphones, and one woman speaking into a microphone.

Chasing Voices: The Story of John Peabody Harrington
Harrington crisscrossed the U.S. finding the speakers of Native America’s dying languages. Understanding languages was his gift. From one tribal community to the next, he worked with the last speakers documenting the details of the language before it was lost forever.

Logo for RETURN RECLAIMING FOODWAYS FOR HEALTH & SPIRIT over an illustration of people in native clothes dancing

Return: Reclaiming Foodways for Health & Spirit
A return to ancestral food sources can strengthen cultural ties to each other and to one’s heritage.

Logo for Searching for Sequoyah and a person writing with a feather pen.

Searching for Sequoyah
This program spans two countries and three Cherokee nations and details Sequoyah’s life and mysterious death.


PBS LearningMedia for Teachers

This collection of multimedia resources focuses on educating students about the Native American experience.