‘Native America’ Is A Powerful History Of, Tribute To Native Americans

November 29, 2018 by: admin

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

By Philip Sayblack

Native Americans are some of the world’s most important peoples.  If not for them, America today might not have the governmental system that it has today.  If not for Native Americans, the world might not have many of the foods, clothes, medical and even scientific advancements that it has.  That is a massive statement, considering how intelligent Native Americans and their ancestors are and were.  Now thanks to PBS, Native Americans and their ancient ancestors have finally received the recognition that they have deserved for decades (if not eons) in the new docu-series Native America.  The nearly four-hour series (specifically three hours and 40 minutes) is a wonderful lesson on the importance of Native Americans, their ancestors and the importance of their contributions to the world.  It shows unquestionably that Native Americans and their ancestors deserve so much more respect and recognition than they get even today.  That is proven through the stories told in each of the program’s four separate segments.  Speaking of that segmentation, it is its own important part of this two-disc set’s presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  The double-disc set’s average price point makes it a presentation that viewers of every background can afford.  In turn, people of every background should spend the money and purchase this set.  They will be glad they did.  They will agree in watching this set that it is easily one of this year’s best and most important new documentaries.

PBS’ new new docu-series Native America is one of this year’s best and most important new documentaries.  It is a “series” that people of every background must see.  That is because it is one of the most in-depth and respectful presentations of Native American history and culture that has been presented to audiences in recent memory.  That statement is supported primarily through the program’s content.  That content displays, in full depth, all of the contributions and advancements made by Native Americans and their ancestors. One of the four episodes included in the series focuses intensely on the role of Native Americans who lived in what is now New York in the formation of today’s American government.  It openly states that Benjamin Franklin cited those tribes’ governmental establishment as the influence for the system created by the founding fathers.  The docu-series’ opening episode goes into just as much depth to present the incredible level of intelligence of ancient Native Americans, such as the Pueblo and Zuni tribes, living in the American Southwest in their measurements of the solar and lunar cycles.  Audiences will be awed seeing firsthand, the precise calendars etched onto rock walls that tracked those cycles, and the role that said tracking played in the tribes’ planting and harvesting. Just as interesting to learn is how one ancient ruler used corn as the source of his people’s very culture.  “New World Rising,” the “series”’ finale, points out the atrocities committed against the Native Americans and their ancestors by Europeans who came to the Americas, and the result of those atrocities.  Audiences will be shocked to learn of the role of the Catholic Church in those atrocities among other items.  Between all of the items noted here and so much more that is discussed throughout the course of the “series”’ nearly four-hour run time, the whole of the program is certain to keep viewers completely engaged throughout.  What’s more, it is just as certain to be quite enlightening for plenty of audiences, just as it was for this critic.  Keeping this in mind, the content shared throughout the program provides in itself more than enough reason for audiences to watch the program, not just during Native American Heritage Month, but during any time of the year.

The content presented throughout Native America’s four separate segments creates a solid foundation for the double-disc set, and – as already noted – gives viewers more than enough reason to watch the program.  Speaking of the segments, those behind the program’s construction are to be commended for that segmentation.  Each segment is its own presentation, lasting roughly one hour in time.  The segments each have a beginning, middle and end.  Given, there are a few minor transition issues, such as those in the program’s second segment, “Nature to Nations” and in “Cities of the Sky.”  Audiences will note that in both segments, the stories reach some points that feel like random changes of thoughts, almost like they were constructed in a stream of consciousness style.  Luckily though, those transition issues are not enough to derail the viewing experience and, in turn, viewers’ engagement.  Staying on that note, the fact that each segment is its own presentation, audiences are not made to feel that they have to watch the whole thing in one sitting in order to take it in entirely.  This is hugely important to the program’s new DVD presentation as it will add to viewers’ appreciation for the presentation in whole.  When it is considered along with the depth and breadth of the program’s content, the two elements together make the program that much more appealing for viewers.  Even with that in mind, it still is not the least or last of the DVD’s important elements.  Keeping in mind, the appeal of the DVD set’s content and its overall construction through its segmentation, its average price point proves to be its own important part of the whole.

The average price point for Native America – using prices listed at PBS’ online store, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million – is $21.89.  Even adding in shipping and handling, that price increases, obviously.  Regardless, that increase is still not enough that it should dissuade consumers from purchasing the two-disc set.  Prices obviously vary from one outlet to the next, and regardless, each price is still worth the money paid because of the program’s ability to pull in audiences and keep them engaged.  What’s more audiences will find themselves more enlightened by the program’s end, and perhaps even having more appreciation for Native Americans, their ancestors and the cultures of each tribe and peoples.  Keeping this in mind, the whole of Native America proves to be a two-disc presentation that is, again, the best history of Native Americans to be presented in many years.

PBS’ recently released history of Native Americans, aptly titled Native America, is the best presentation of said history to come along in a very long time.  That is proven in part through the content presented over the course of its four separate segments.  The very segmenting of the program makes the program that much more appealing for audiences, as it does not leave them feeling that they have to be so fully committed to watch it in one sitting.  The average price point of the set adds even more appeal for audiences, especially considering the program’s ability to keep audiences engaged from start to finish of each segment with its in-depth history lessons.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Native America.  All things considered, they make the double-disc set a solid, positive new effort from PBS that will appeal to audiences not only during Native American Heritage Month, but throughout the year.  More information on this and other PBS programs is available online now at:

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