Explore the world created by America’s First Peoples with PBS’ Native America. The four-part series reaches back 15,000 years, revealing massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents.
In this collection, you will find the program in full, along with stand-alone clips and classroom activities. The video clips and associated support materials bring the value of sacred origin stories and the complexity of early Native city planning to life, and culminate in hands-on activities designed to help students better understand both.
Resources from the program include:
Watch the Full Program Series (4 Parts) from Native American Season 1
About the Native America Series (Season 1) Weaving history and science with living Indigenous traditions, the series brings to life a land of massive cities connected by social networks spanning two continents, with unique and sophisticated systems of science, art and writing. Made with the active participation of Native American communities and filmed in some of the most spectacular locations in the hemisphere, Native America illuminates the splendor of a past whose story has for too long remained untold.
Informed by Native American oral histories have led to a bold new perspective on North and South America – that through social networks spanning two continents ancient people shared a foundational belief system with a diversity of cultural expressions. This and other research is leading to revelations that will forever change how we understand Native America. The series highlights intimate Native American traditions and follows field archaeologists using 21st century tools such as multispectral imaging and DNA analysis to uncover incredible narratives of America’s past, venturing into Amazonian caves containing the Americas’ earliest art and interactive solar calendar, exploring a massive tunnel beneath a pyramid at the center of one of ancient America’s largest cities, and mapping the heavens in celestially aligned cities.
Narrated by Robbie Robertson (Mohawk and member of the famed rock group The Band), each hour of Native America explores Great Nations and reveals cities, sacred stories and history long hidden in plain sight. In what is now America’s Southwest, indigenous people built stone skyscrapers with untold spiritual power and transformed deserts into fertile fields. In upstate New York, warriors renounced war and formed America’s first democracy 500 years before the Declaration of Independence, later inspiring Benjamin Franklin. Just outside Mexico City, the ancient city of Teotihuacan is home to massive pyramids built to align with the sun and moon. On the banks of the Mississippi, rulers also raised a metropolis of pyramids and drew thousands to their new city to worship the sky. And in the American West, nomadic tribes transformed a weapon of conquest — the horse — into a new way of life, turning the tables on European invaders and building a mobile empire.