“Our history is an oral history, not written down,” says Andy Gokee, a member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. “If it is written down, we don’t pay much attention to it.”
A new season of Wisconsin Public Television’s Tribal Histories premieres Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Recorded in the natural settings of the regions that native people have called home for centuries, these films feature tribal members sharing the triumphs, challenges and time-honored traditions that have shaped their vibrant communities across generations.
The series premiered in 2014 with the Menominee, Oneida and Potawatomi stories. In 2015, the Ho-Chunk, Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican and Bad River Ojibwe stories followed. The series continues with stories from the five other sovereign nations within Wisconsin’s modern boundaries, as well as the Brothertown Indian Nation, whose sovereign status is no longer recognized by the federal government.
All premieres air at 7:30 p.m., following Wisconsin Life.
Thursday, Dec. 15: Red Cliff Ojibwe History
Featuring Marvin DeFoe, Red Cliff Ojibwe Tribal Elder, teacher and master canoe maker; and Andy Gokee, director of the Native American Center at UW-Stevens Point
Thursday, Dec. 22: Lac du Flambeau History
Featuring Ernie St. Germaine, Lac du Flambeau Tribal Elder and American Birkebeiner Co-Founder
Thursday, Dec. 29: Brothertown History
Featuring Joan Schadewald, First Nation Brothertown Elder, Cowgirl and Peacemaker
Read on for a Q&A with Andy Gokee.