Earlier this week, Indigenous Peoples’ Day commemorated the histories and cultures of Native American peoples. It is recognized across the United States on the second Monday in October and is an official city and state holiday in various localities. To honor this important holiday and the First Nations and peoples which it celebrates, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) would like to share digitized collections of Native American produced public radio and television programs. These programs document and share the experiences of individuals who identify with the tribes and First Nations of the Americas, sharing their experience through documentaries, event coverage, commentary programs, and local meetings.
1. Vision Maker Media Documentaries Special Collection includes 40 documentary films featuring Native voices from Native producers, created between 1982 and 2012. These films, created by independent Native producers and broadcast on PBS, inspire people to look at the world through Indigenous eyes and encourage youth to embrace their rich culture as part of their identity.
The films document the people, society and culture of Native tribes including, but not limited to, the Navajo (Dine), Lakota, Choctaw and various other tribes. Topics include art, music, language and many others.
Available online, access the Vision Maker Media Documentaries Special Collection to search for more topics of interest.
2. KYUK from Bethel, Alaska has produced and preserved the world’s largest selection of Yup’ik and Cup’ik videos available online (article reference). Access their contributed programs online, such as Mountain Village, Yup’ik Dance & Culture, Waves of Wisdom, and more!
3. Koahnic Broadcasting Corporation from Anchorage, Alaska was created as a non-profit media corporation in 1992 by Alaska Native leaders to preserve culture and languages, combat widespread misconceptions and prejudices against Alaska Natives, and create cross-cultural bridges.
Since their creation, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation has been a national leader in Native American radio broadcasting, media production, and training. Their organization currently serves 400 public radio stations and repeaters, including 50 Native stations in rural communities. Many more listeners access the NV1 and KNBA webstreams on mobile devices to hear these shows that are engaging Native America.
Access programs from their National Native Special Features series in the AAPB!
4. KWSO 91.9 FM from Central Oregon is a non-commercial community radio station owned and operated by three tribes of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS). These tribes include the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute Tribes, of which began broadcasting in September 1986 and now broadcasts 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
The mission of KWSO radio is to provide quality radio programming that delivers local news and information; promotes education, cultural knowledge and language preservation; and increases awareness of social, health and safety issues with a primary focus on the residents of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a national effort to preserve at-risk public media and provide a central web portal for access to the programming that public stations and producers have created over the past 70 years. To date, over 100,000 hours of television and radio programming contributed by more than 100 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized, and the Archive aims to grow by up to 25,000 additional hours per year. The entire collection is available for research on location at WGBH and the Library, and currently more than 50,000 programs are available in the AAPB’s Online Reading Room at americanarchive.org to anyone in the United States.