Starting today (November 1st), PBS station WYCC will host a Native American-focused channel, FNX, on 20-2. FNX which stands for First Nations Experience is an excellent addition to the WYCC channels which already feature one of the best sources of education and cultural diversity on television.
Chicago’s history was entirely that of Native Americans up until the end of the 18th century. Even the names of our fair city and state are derived from those original inhabitants. However, I believe the bigger positive is that we cannot forget that these First Nations continue on. Chicago’s urban tribal members are so rich and numerous that they are an integral feature of a permanent exhibit of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. It is very necessary that we do not ignore these original Americans – especially as we might not even know who they are as we pass them in Oglevie or on Rush Street!
Several programming highlights caught my eye. The first is a documentary called “Dakota 38”. Generally unknown to the general population, 38 Dakota Indians were hanged in 1862 in the largest mass execution in American History. Rather than focusing on the execution itself, the program focuses on a group of Native Americans today who want to raise awareness about the drugs and violence that are being perpetrated by their own people by taking a pilgrimage on horseback to site of the execution. Also of interest is “Fish out of Water” which teaches non-Native Americans traditional skills.