Chris Eyre to Direct Indian Country: Native Americans in the 20th Century


Last Updated: 19 years

Chris Eyre will direct “Indian Country: Native Americans in the 20th Century,” a four-part series to air on PBS television stations nationwide.

The “Indian Country” series is the follow-up to the acclaimed 1995 miniseries “500 Nations.” The new series will
chronicle the history of Native American nations over the past 114 years, from the 1890 massacre of 300 Lakota at Wounded Knee to the present.

Celebrated Native American director Chris Eyre is an enrolled member of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.

Eyre’s film “Smoke Signals” was the first feature film directed by a Native American to receive a national theatrical release and it won the Audience Award and the Filmmaker’s Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival. His other films include 2002’s “Skins,” starring Graham Greene and Eric Schweig; the TV movies “Skinwalkers” (2002), “Edge of America” (2003) and “A Thief of Time” (2004); and 2005’s “A Thousand Roads,” a forty-minute widescreen film shown exclusively at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Now in the research and development stage, “Indian Country” is a Katahdin Foundation production that will make extensive use of oral histories, research archives, and outreach to Native American scholars and community leaders.

The series will tell the story of how this land’s original nations have survived and maintained their identities as sovereign peoples against all odds, and in the face of generations of loss and injustice. While the common perception holds that Native peoples and their cultures were crushed in the bloody Indian Wars culminating in Wounded Knee in 1890, “Indian Country” will tell another story.

The series will show how Native American populations have grown eight-fold since Wounded Knee, how they are in the process of reviving their cultural traditions, preserving their languages, prospering in new enterprises and even occasionally forcing the U.S. government to uphold its treaties.

The series, a tribute to the strength and persistence of the Native American nations, is aimed for national broadcast on public television, and for subsequent DVD and video distribution. A companion book and soundtrack CD are also planned, as are extensive educational materials and teaching guides to support and accompany non-theatrical distribution.



Katahdin Foundation Press Release
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