Tribal Histories | Wisconsin Public Television

Tribal Histories

Recorded in the natural settings of the regions that native people have called home for centuries, these films feature tribal members sharing the challenges, triumphs and time-honored traditions that have shaped their vibrant communities across generations.

Films in this Collection: 

By the Kagagon and Bad Rivers, Mary Bigboy, Thomas O’Connor Sr. and Robert Powless Sr. share stories of the Bad River Ojibwe, from their early migration to the Lake Superior shores to a once-thriving lumbering community to the present day honoring of traditions through the drum, ceremonies, and harvesting the wild rice.

Joan Schadewald shares the oral tradition of the Brothertown Indian Nation.

By the banks of the Lemonweir River in what for ages had been Ho-Chunk territory, Andy Thundercloud shares the oral tradition of his people. 

Ernie St. Germaine shares the oral tradition of the Lac Du Flambeau Ojibwe.

Tribal elder David Grignon shares the oral tradition of the Menominee people.

Eddie Benton-Benai shares the legacy of Ojibwe prophecies, including one that led Ojibwe from the East Coast to Wisconsin.

Eddie Benton-Benai describes the roles that instruments such as the shaker, flute and drum play in Ojibwe life, and tribal members perform traditional music.

Tribal elder Randy Cornelius shares the oral tradition of the Oneida people.

Jim Thunder and Mike Alloway, Sr. share the oral tradition of the Potawatomi.

Tribal elder Marvin DeFoe (pictured) and tribal member Andrew Gokee share the oral tradition of the Red Cliff Ojibwe.

By the rapids of the Red River, Kimberly Vele tells of Mohican life in the Hudson Valley of New York before their move to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, followed by their forced removal to Indiana where they joined with the Munsee tribe before their final relocation to Wisconsin.

Learn the history of the Ho-Chunk Eagle Dance in Wisconsin Dells.

"Way of the Warrior" uses personal stories of heroes and soldiers to examine the warrior ethic in Indian Country and to try to answer the question why military service is so highly valued in Native communities.

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