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We Shall Remain

Charlo/Kalispel Nation

They were charismatic and forward thinking, imaginative and courageous, compassionate and resolute, and, at times, arrogant, vengeful, and reckless. For hundreds of years, Native American leaders from Massasoit, Tecumseh, and Tenskwatawa, to Major Ridge, Geronimo, and Fools Crow valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture.

Sometimes, their strategies were militaristic, but more often they were diplomatic, spiritual, legal, and political. From PBS’s acclaimed history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, in association with Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), comes WE SHALL REMAIN, a provocative five-part mini-series and multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history.

More on this ground breaking series:


  • Go behind the scenes
  • Watch the series preview
  • Resources for American Indians
  • Reel Native: Sharing stories


    © Webb Chappell

    Beginning in the 1620s, the Wampanoags and white settlers lived in relative peace in what is now southeastern Massachusetts. But five decades of English immigration, mistreatment, lethal epidemics, and widespread environmental degradation brought the Indians and their way of life to the brink of disaster.

    After the Mayflower, the first episode of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s five-part miniseries WE SHALL REMAIN, explores the polar strategies—peaceful diplomacy and warfare— the Wampanoag people employed in their struggle to maintain their identity. The film premieres Monday, April 13, 2009 on PBS

     © Larry Gus

    Shawnee warrior Tecumseh rose to become one of the greatest American leaders of all time. With his brother, the prophet Tenskwatawa, Tecumseh organized the most ambitious pan-Indian resistance movement ever mounted to defend the American Indian way of life.

    The second episode of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s five-part miniseries, WE SHALL REMAIN, Tecumseh’s Vision is a story of strength, pride, and pronounced courage premiering Monday, April 20, 2009 on PBS.

    © Billy Weeks

    The Cherokee would call it Nu-No-Du-Na-Tlo-Hi-Lu, “The Trail Where They Cried.” Despite decades of struggle to keep their land, in 1838, thousands of Cherokee were forced from their homes in the Southeastern United States, driving them toward Indian Territory in Eastern Oklahoma.

    More than 4,000 died of disease and starvation along the way.

    Trail of Tears, the third episode in AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s five-part miniseries, WE SHALL REMAIN, premieres Monday, April 27, 2009 on PBS.

    Courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society / Tucson

    In February of 1909, the indomitable Chiricahua Apache medicine man Geronimo lay on his deathbed. To his supporters, he was the face of proud resistance and defender of traditional Chiricahua ways, but to his detractors–including other Apaches–Geronimo was a vengeful troublemaker whose murderous raids invited violent reprisals against his own people.

    The fourth episode of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’S five-part miniseries WE SHALL REMAIN, Geronimo premires Monday, May 4, 2009 on PBS.


    © Bettman/Corbis

    On the night of February 27, 1973, fifty-four cars rolled, horns blaring, into a small hamlet on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Within hours, some 200 Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement (AIM) activists, had seized the few major buildings in town and police had cordoned off the area.

    Demanding redress for grievances—some going back more than 100 years—the protesters captured the world’s attention for 71 gripping days.

    The final episode of WE SHALL REMAIN, Wounded Knee, premieres Monday, May 11, 2009 on PBS.

    More on this project here