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Celebrate and explore Native American Heritage Month with WKAR!

The Warrior Tradition

The Warrior Tradition
PBS / The Warrior Tradition

Mon. Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on WKAR WORLD 23.2 & STREAMING | Learn the heartbreaking, inspiring and largely untold story of Native Americans in the United States military.

Why would Indian men and women put their lives on the line for the very government that took their homelands?

This film relates the stories of Native American warriors from their own points of view—stories of service, pain, courage and fear.

The old duality of the Noble Savage/helpless victim has dominated our cultural portrait of Native Americans for fifty years. But it's a more complicated story. Indian warriors have a wide mix of emotions and motives—patriotism, pride, rage, courage, practicality, and spirituality all mingle with an abiding respect for tribal, familial, and national traditions.

Even the numbers tell a story. During World War I, not all Native Americans were even citizens of the United States and couldn't be drafted; yet more than 12,000 Indian men volunteered. Even in an unpopular war in Vietnam, 90 percent of the 42,000 Native people who served were volunteers.

The roll call of valor is endless. But there's more to the story than heroism, and more than one way to be a warrior.

Watch the special at video.wkar.org during or after the air date.

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