We Shall Remain: American Experience: After the Mayflower

We Shall Remain: American Experience: After the Mayflower

Fri, 11/18/2011 - 7:00pm

Pictured: Re-enactment of meeting of Wampanoag tribesmen and a settler

Credit: American Experience

The first episode in this series explores the polar strategies — peaceful diplomacy and warfare — the Wampanoag people employed in their struggle to maintain their identity.

This groundbreaking mini-series establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. Four 90-minute documentaries spanning 300 years tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native-American perspective. Part 1 of 4, After the Mayflower, airs Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2).

In March of 1621, in what is now southeastern Massachusetts, Massasoit (actor Marcos Akiaten, Chiricauha Apache), the leading sachem of the Wampanoag, sat down to negotiate with a ragged group of English colonists. Hungry, dirty and sick, the pale-skinned foreigners were struggling to stay alive; they were in desperate need of Native help. Massasoit faced problems of his own. His people had lately been ravaged by unexplained sickness, leaving them vulnerable to the rival Narragansett to the west. The Wampanoag sachem calculated that a tactical alliance with the foreigners would provide a way to protect his people and hold his enemies at bay. He agreed to give the English the help they needed. 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 (actor Annowon Weeden, Mashpee Wampanoag), the Wampanoag and their Native allies fought back against the English, nearly pushing them into the sea.

Tune in for all 4 episodes:

Friday, November 18 at 8:30 p.m. - Tucumseh's Vision - Shawnee warrior Tecumseh and his brother, the prophet Tenskwatawa, organized an ambitious pan-Indian resistance movement. This is a story of strength, pride and pronounced courage.

Friday, November 25 at 7 p.m. - Trail of Tears - Despite decades of struggle to keep their land, in 1838 thousands of Cherokee were forced from their homes in the southeastern United States and driven to Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died of disease and starvation along the way.

Friday, November 25 at 8:30 p.m. - Geronimo - 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. 

This program is offered with Descriptive Video (DVi), which provides concise descriptions of the sets, scenery, costumes, action, and other important visual elements between the dialogue of the program.

In honor of Native American History Month, WXXI-TV and Radio will broadcast a variety of programs featuring the men and women who shaped the Native American experience.

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