American History Explored – From a Native Perspective

Press Release – Maori Television Service

A ground-breaking mini-series about Native American history, WE SHALL REMAIN, premieres on Maori Television on Tuesday, 25 October at 8.30pm.PUBLICITY RELEASE

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


A ground-breaking mini-series about Native American history, WE SHALL REMAIN, premieres on Maori Television on Tuesday, 25 October at 8.30pm.

Told from an indigenous perspective, the five-part documentary series is the product of collaboration between Native and non-Native filmmakers, advisors, historians, and community leaders.

Executive producer Sharon Grimberg says the story of European settlement of North America has never been told from the perspective of the land’s original inhabitants.

WE SHALL REMAIN tells the story, not from the point of view of the white people looking west, but of Native people looking east,” she says.

The five, 90-minute documentaries span 300 years and tell the story of pivotal moments in US history from a Native American perspective.

The series starts in the 1600s with the Wampanoags, who used their alliance with the English to strengthen their position in Southern New England, and ends with the new leaders of the 1970s, who harnessed the momentum of the Civil Rights Movement to forge a pan-Indian identity.

Chris Eyre, who directed the first three episodes of the mini-series, says “you can’t understand America in the 21st century if you don’t understand the Native experience”.

“What connects these films is the resolve of their characters. This country is founded on people striving, being tenacious and moving forward… this is a look at that, through native eyes.”

WE SHALL REMAIN upends two-dimensional stereotypes of American Indians as simply ferocious warriors or peaceable lovers of the land and establishes Native history as part of American history.


New international documentary mini-series WE SHALL REMAIN premieres on Tuesday, 25 October at 8.30pm and runs until November 22.


Episode one: After the Mayflower

In 1621, Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag, negotiated a diplomatic alliance with English settlers for the benefit of his people, but half a century later the wisdom of his choice seemed less clear.

Episode two: Tecumseh’s Vision

Shawnee leader Tecumseh came closer than anyone since to creating an independent Indian state, while his brother Tenskwatawa led a spiritual revival movement that drew thousands of followers from tribes across the Midwest

Episode three: Trail of Tears

This episode explores the resolve and resilience of the Cherokee Nation, who resisted removal from their homelands in the Southeast in every way they knew.

Episode four: Geronimo,

Desperate times catapulted a controversial character to the leadership of an Apache band who led the last Native American fighting force to surrender to the US Government

Episode five: Wounded Knee

Episode five tells the gripping story of the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee, examining the

broad political and economic forces that led to the emergence of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in the 1960s.

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