Introduction: Nature to Nations (02:21)
Native American culture dates back 13,000 years. Tribal members describe ceremonies, connections to nature, and politics; their people formed the nation's first democracy.
Haudenosaunee Confederacy (04:24)
In 1150, five warring tribes come together at Onondaga Lake, creating America's first democracy; descendants still live as a sovereign nation. In the 1740s, Ben Franklin prints Canasatego's speeches. Chief Sid Hill describes Wampum belt repossession struggles, and how it encodes history. (Credits)
Sound Government (09:28)
Approximately 13,000 years ago, native people spread across the Americas. John Rick discusses advanced technologies used on the stone structure at Chavin de Huantar; vented tunnels beneath the temple allow sounds to escape. Tito La Rosa tests Lanzon chamber acoustics
Wampum: Passing On Peace (04:47)
Throughout the Americas, nature symbols are used in rituals; Haudenosaunee students weave white shell beads into wampum belts. The Hiawatha belt symbolizes unity of Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Mohawk tribes. Tadodaho's condolence ceremony is still practiced.
Wampum: Collecting Peaceful Power (03:21)
Marcus Hendricks gathers quahogs from ancestral waters to make Wampum beads. He prays to the Creator while using traditional methods to shape shells for ceremonial belts.
Kwakwaka'wakw Carving (03:02)
In the Pacific Northwest, tribal history is recorded on cedar totem poles; cedar is used for clothing, chests, and ceremonial masks. Beau Dick explains his family's carving traditions and connection to the forest.
Kwakwaka'wakw Legacy (05:19)
At Fort Rupert Bighouse, potlatch preparations are underway for Alan Hunt's induction as chief. The ritual models a living totem pole, illustrating heritage and depicting ancestral stories. A headpiece denotes Hunt as chief; he and Dick discuss his responsibilities.
American Agriculture (02:54)
Haudenosaunee ideals of government are embodied by corn. Angela Ferguson discusses cultural connections to food and traditional farming methods. Roger Cook explains seventh generation practices. Native Americans developed corn from teosinte through selective practices; they domesticated several food plants for cultivation.
Deified King (03:52)
The Mayan writing system records the reign of King Pakal. Mary Miller discusses ancient American architects and artists traveling to Palenque. Pakal's funerary monument is and his sarcophagus depicts his rebirth as Maize God.
Farming Examples (06:58)
Haudenosaunee use the ancient agricultural practice of "the three sisters"; the method models community organization. In Hiawatha legend, Tadodaho refuses to join the tribal confederacy. Jigonhsasee heals the warlord’s mind, anointing him chief of chiefs; clan mothers retain power to appoint and dismiss tribal leaders.
Native Governance (03:46)
Representatives from Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Mohawk nations assemble. The Peacemaker weaves wampum beads into the Hiawatha belt and relays the law of peace. In 1988, the U.S. senate passes the Concurrent Resolution recognizing Native American influence on United States government.
Onondaga Lake (03:14)
Haudenosaunee members express concerns over polluted waters and ecology. In the Constitution. the Founding Fathers omit citizen responsibility for Earth's stewardship. Review sacred natural symbols. (Credits)
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