Sunday, April 05, 2009

American Experience: We Shall Remain

PBS series worth checking out -- American Experience: We Shall Remain. Covers key historical episodes in tribal experiences, with contemporary follow-through. Starting this month, starting now.

Pop culture provides often skewed reminders of Western tribes, but Eastern tribes remain, too. Many are split, with parts relocated to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and parts still in Florida (such as Seminoles) and North Carolina (such as Cherokee). There are small coherent tribes in Virginia (Pamunkey and Mattaponi). In Philadelphia when I was in graduate school in the early 1990s, there was a large gathering commemorating a peaceful meeting with William Penn that was amazing, including peace pipes. In the Midwest, the Chippewa have a significant presence. And even at Macomb Community College, I got to work with Mohawk students whose fathers worked in steel construction. From them, I learned they had passes sort of like passports, allowing them to freely travel back and forth between Canada and the USA. Learn something new every day, and in this case, something vitally new as well as old.

Scene from We Shall Remain. Fill in the blanks.

Today's Rune: Wholeness.


nunya said...

I'm part Huron, way back. The show looks interesting, why no links?

Erik Donald France said...

Ah, good point -- official start of series is April 13. Wesite:

Huron, cool -- Port Huron and Wyandotte are vestiges of the Huron in Michigan.

Charles Gramlich said...

Did you ever read "Bury My Heart at Wounded knee?"

Incredible book.

the walking man said...

Charles...finally you mention a book I have read.

Erik...I wonder if it would still be possible to assimilate the Euro-centric culture into the aboriginal one. Seems to me that was the way it should have been all along.

Johnny Yen said...

There are large populations in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well. A lot of Chicagoans drive up to Chippewa-run casinos in Wisconsin.

It's funny-- the early-80's Supremem Court decision to allow the tribes autonomy along the lines of nationhood is what allowed the tribes to develop gambling. It's been a boon for the tribes, allowing many of them to flourish economically. I can't help chuckling about the white folks handing over their money to Native American casinos.

nunya said...

Johnny Yen,

"I can't help chuckling about the white folks handing over their money to Native American casinos."

Out here it's mostly poor people, some elderly white, but mostly Asians and blacks, who hand their $ over in the casinos.

DNA from US Native Americans links them to Asians.