About the Show
At the intersection of Native knowledge and modern scholarship is a new vision of America and its people.
NATIVE AMERICA is a four-part PBS series that challenges everything we thought we knew about the Americas before and since contact with Europe. It travels through 15,000-years to showcase massive cities, unique systems of science, art, and writing, and 100 million people connected by social networks and spiritual beliefs spanning two continents. The series reveals some of the most advanced cultures in human history and the Native American people who created it and whose legacy continues, unbroken, to this day.
The series explores this extraordinary world through an unprecedented combination of cutting edge science and traditional indigenous knowledge. It is NATIVE AMERICA as never seen before—featuring sacred rituals filmed for the first time, history changing scientific discoveries, and rarely heard voices from the living legacy of Native American culture.
Emmy-award winning cinematographers bring NATIVE AMERICA to life through filming across two continents - from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from northern Canada to southern Peru. Academy Award nominated animators tell Native stories in a whole new light by drawing upon powerful imagery and little known legends. Native American scholars, Faithkeepers, and chiefs make the story intimate by sharing some of their most private, traditions, knowledge, histories and ceremonies. And Native American rock legend Robbie Robertson of The Band, brings the story to life through his special connection to the content.
Each hour of NATIVE AMERICA explores Great Nations and reveals cities, sacred stories, and history that has long been hidden in plain sight. In America’s Southwest, First People emerge from the earth to build stone skyscrapers with untold spiritual power, and transform deserts to fertile fields. In New York, warriors renounce war and found America’s first democracy five hundred years before the Declaration of Independence – and later inspire a young Benjamin Franklin. On the banks of the Mississippi, rulers raise a metropolis of pyramids from swampland and draw thousands of pilgrims to their new city to worship the sky. And in the American West, nomads transform a weapon of conquest into a new way of life, turning the tables on European Invaders, and building an empire.
Each hour traverses continents and millennia to weave together strands of this untold story. These are only some of the stories told across four hours of NATIVE AMERICA. The sum of the hours reveals a belief that is shared by the diverse cultures of NATIVE AMERICA — people are deeply connected to earth, sky, water, and all living things. It is a belief rooted in over ten thousand years of living on this land and continues to resonate in the lives of Native Americans to this day.