About the series

Thirteen half-hour programs cover such topics as: government relations; economics and trade, art, language, ceremony, healing, the role of women, land use and sovereignty. Each program includes original interviews, narration, music and ambience.

Program Descriptions

Program #1
California Indian Basketweavers: Weaving the Future
The California Indian basketweaving tradition is one of the most highly developed in the world. Today, weavers young and old are practicing the tradition of basketry and passing on a cultural education to the young.

Program #2
Balancing Life, Dancing in Time
Native spiritual traditions still survive. This award-winning program examines the experience and motivation of individuals who have committed themselves to traditional religious practices that demand much of them.

Program #3
The Politics of Erasure and the Importance of Federal Recognition
Many California Natives are not recognized as Tribes by the Federal government and have not had the same legal status as Indians in other states. "Recognition" would qualify them for the state and federal funds they need to provide for their communities, but even more importantly, it is a matter of pride.

Program #4
Honoring Our Women
California Indian women are often movers and shakers in their communities. This program introduces some women who were leaders in the past and some who have achieved recognition today.

Program #5
Education: The Values in Learning
Since the early part of this century when California's then-segregated school system refused them, Indian students have struggled with education. Now twenty years of effort in recruiting and training Indian teachers is having an impact in public schools, and tribally-operated schools are springing up around the state.

Program #6
Acjachamem Nation: The First People of San Juan Capistrano
Most people know it as the place where the swallows return every year, but to one Native family, it's home. It was their village when the Spanish came, their ancestors built and survived the mission, and their great-great-grandchildren are still living in the town of San Juan Capistrano today.

Program #7
Language, Giving Voice to Our Culture
As a region, California boasts the widest variety of Native languages of any comparable place on earth. Today most are reduced to only a few aged speakers. But many Native communities are working to ensure that their languages donít die with their elders.

Program #8
California Contemporary Indian Artists
California Indian artists have created their own place in the world of art. As distinctly different from the popular Santa Fe school of Indian art as it is from the mainstream, it's Indian Art, California style.

Program #9
Following the Beaten Paths: California Indian Trade Routes
What were the most widely used trade routes? Take a look at a modern highway map. Native traders carried goods and news in a complex and thriving native economy. Today a lively trade continues in the "underground" economy.

Program #10
Fighting for Sovereignity
If dealing with the complexity of Federal Indian policy wasn't enough, California Tribes are often caught in a turf war between Washington and Sacramento. Taxation, law enforcement, gaming, resource management, health and welfare are all effected.

Program #11
Tending the Wild: Native California Land Management
A look at how the Native people of California have worked with plants and wildlife to maintain natural bio-diversity while providing for their needs. Some of their methods may help allay the effects of modern changes in the California ecosystem.

Program #12
Our Heroes Are Often Called Bandits
Sometimes who's a hero and who's an outlaw depends on who tells the story. Can there be equal justice without an understanding of history? Despite who makes the headlines, Native people know the personal qualities that are required to keep communities and cultures intact.

Program #13
Honoring Our Grief; Healing the Wounds
Historically, California Indians experienced trauma so vast and continuous that it could not be fully grieved. Through ceremonies which honor the grieving process and the renewal of life, Native communities are now healing the wounds.