Long before Spanish Conquistadors crossed the landscape… Before trappers followed the rivers and streams… Long before pioneering settlements dotted this region… Before anyone else would try to write their history, five principle nations of indigenous people called the Great Basin Region we now know as Utah their homeland.
With their own languages and dress and views of the world, with their own customs and rituals and pathways to survival, they flourished for generations in an area that would one day be called “Utah.” Theirs is the first story of people in this place. For the last two hundred years their story has struggled for survival, their language and histories in danger of being lost forever.
In the Spring of 2009 KUED teams with PBS to celebrate and preserve the words, the stories and the ways of the Ute, the Paiute, the Northwestern Shoshone, the Goshute and the Navajo people.
We Shall Remain…The Utah Voices
UHC is proud to be a community partner on the most ambitious primetime television series and media project on Native history ever produced. Through a collaboration between American Experience and WGBH in Boston, and Utah’s PBS Station, KUED, We Shall Remain presents a multifaceted story of Native ingenuity and perseverance that spans more than three hundred years. The tale of European settlement of North America has been told countless times, but never before from the perspective of the land’s original inhabitants.
At the heart of the project is a five-part television series that shows how Native peoples adapted and fought back—from the Wampanoag of New England in the 1600s, who used their alliance with the English to weaken rival tribes, to the bold leaders of the 1970s who harnessed the momentum of the civil rights movement to forge a Pan-Indian identity. View trailers here.
For other upcoming events related to We Shall Remain, visit www.kued.org/productions/weshallremain/upcomingEvents
Each national episode of We Shall Remain will be paired with a documentary of one of Utah’s five tribes, produced by KUED under the direction of Utah’s tribal leaders. Watch the national and local documentaries (two hours of viewing time) on Channel 7 on consecutive Mondays this spring:
Episode 1: April 13 on KUED
After the Mayflower (8:00 p.m.)
A half-century later, as a brutal war flared between the English colonists and a confederation of New England Indians, the wisdom of Massasoit’s diplomatic gamble seemed less clear. Five decades of English immigration, mistreatment, lethal epidemics, and widespread environmental degradation had brought the Indians and their way of life to the brink of disaster. Led by Metacom, Massasoit’s son, the Wampanoag and their native allies fought back against the English,nearly pushing them into the sea.
The Paiute (9:30 p.m.)
A thriving horticultural society, the Southern Paiute were a peaceful, foraging people whose social ties created a network that spread throughout the Western Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, and the Great Basin. But as different groups and cultures vied for control of the West, the once independent Paiute people faced unfulfilled promises, poverty, dependence and profound loss. Today, the five bands of Paiute -- Shivwits, Koosharem, Kanosh, Cedar and Indian Peaks -- unite to celebrate their restored status at an annual, inter-tribal gathering where youth have the opportunity to learn tribal cultures and traditions.
Episode 2: April 20 on KUED
Tecumseh’s Vision (8:00 p.m.)
The Ute (9:30 p.m.)
Episode 3: April 27 on KUED
Trail of Tears (8:00 p.m.)
The Supreme Court ruling proved no deterrent to President Andrew Jackson’s demands that the Cherokee leave their ancestral lands. A complex debate divided the Cherokee Nation, with Chief Ross fighting for the Cherokee’s right to stay, and Major Ridge, a respected tribal leader, urging the tribe to move West and rebuild, going so far as to sign a removal treaty himself without the authority to do so. Though in the end the Cherokee embrace of “civilization” and their landmark legal victory proved no match for white land hunger and military power, the Cherokee people were able, with characteristic ingenuity, to build a new life in Oklahoma, far from the land that had sustained them for generations.
The Navajo (9:30 p.m.)
Episode 4: May 4 on KUED
Geronimo (8:00 p.m.)
Born around 1820, Geronimo grew into a leading warrior and healer. But after his tribe was relocated to an Arizona reservation in 1872, he became a focus of the fury of terrified white settlers, and of the growing tensions that divided Apaches struggling to survive under almost unendurable pressures. To angry whites, Geronimo became the archfiend, perpetrator of unspeakable savage cruelties. To his supporters, he remained the embodiment of proud resistance, the upholder of the old Chiricahua ways. To other Apaches, especially those who had come to see the white man’s path as the only viable road, Geronimo was a stubborn troublemaker, unbalanced by his unquenchable thirst for vengeance, whose actions needlessly brought the enemy’s wrath down on his own people. At a time when surrender to the reservation and acceptance of the white man’s civilization seemed to be the Indians’ only realistic options, Geronimo and his tiny band of Chiricahuas fought on. The final holdouts, they became the last Native American fighting force to capitulate formally to the government of the United States.
The Goshute (9:30 p.m.)
Episode 5: May 11 on KUED
Wounded Knee (8:00 p.m.)
With heavily armed federal troops tightening a cordon around meagerly supplied, cold, hungry Indians, the event invited media comparisons with the massacre of Indian men, women, and children at Wounded Knee almost a century earlier.
In telling the story of this iconic moment, the final episode of WE SHALL REMAIN will examine the broad political and economic forces that led to the emergence of AIM in the late 1960s as well as the immediate events—a murder and an apparent miscarriage of justice—that triggered the takeover. Though the federal government failed to make good on many of the promises that ended the siege, the event succeeded in bringing the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life to the nation’s attention. Perhaps even more important, it proved that despite centuries of encroachment, warfare, and neglect, Indians remained a vital force in the life of America.
The Northwestern Shoshone (9:30 p.m.)
KUED is making all We Shall Remain films available to the public on DVD for community viewings.
Check back here for a schedule of community discussions focusing on each episode in the series, led by tribal and community leaders and scholars and presented by UHC. If you would like UHC to help you host your own discussion, please contact Jean Cheney, 801.359.9670, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Resources Available Through UHC for We Shall Remain
Free Speakers Through UHC’s Public Square
Through UHC’s Public Square program, you may host a free Native American speaker to lead a discussion in your community. Larry Cesspooch speaks about “Utah History Through Native Eyes” and Lucille Hunt shares her heritage in “The Changing Navajo.” Visit www.utahhumanities.org/PublicSquareTopics.htm for more information about their talks and how to invite them to your community.
Books for Discussions
UHC loans sets of books (15-20 volumes in each set) to groups meeting in libraries, community centers and other public places. We have the following fiction and nonfiction titles available in our Native American Voices collection:
* Ceremony – (Leslie Marmon Silko, 1977) Tells the story of how a young mixed-blood Laguna Indian returning from World War II finds his own identity through a rediscovery of Laguna traditions, his relationship with the land, storytelling, and American Indian values.
Those with an asterisk * have a study guide to accompany the title.
Radio Stories about Utah’s Native Americans