‘The Warrior Tradition’ tells story of Native Americans in U.S. military

Explore the complicated ways the culture and traditions of Native Americans have affected their participation in the United States military on “The Warrior Tradition,” which airs Monday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. on Arizona PBS. The one-hour documentary tells the stories of Native American warriors from their own points of view – stories of service, pain, courage and fear.

“The Warrior Tradition” dispels the old duality of the noble savage and helpless victim that has dominated the cultural portrait of Native Americans for more than a century. Indian warriors have a wide mix of emotions and motives – patriotism, pride, rage, courage, practicality and spirituality, with an abiding respect for tribal, familial and national traditions.

WATCH: “The Warrior Tradition”

Even the numbers tell a story. During World War I, not all Native Americans were even citizens of the United States and couldn’t be drafted, yet more than 12,000 Indian men volunteered. Even in Vietnam, 90% of the 42,000 Native people who served were volunteers.

More than a dozen Native American veterans appear in the film, having served in Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army National Guard. They each have their own reasons for having served and for how the warrior tradition played a role in their lives. Among those who share their stories are veterans of wars and conflicts ranging from World War II to ongoing deployments in the Middle East. They are members of tribes from all over the United States, including the Comanche and Apache Tribes of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Choctaw, Navajo Nation and the Menominee, among many others.

Sponsor message:

Sponsor message:

Sign up to receive the Arizona PBS Insider

Get up-to-the-minute information about your favorite programs and learn more about Arizona PBS news and events.

'Nature' explores the wild on Wednesday nights

From the remarkable octopus to a river of dreams, experience compelling stories of the natural world as "Nature" returns to Arizona PBS Wednesday nights at 7 p.m.

'America's Test Kitchen' counts down most popular recipes for 20th anniversary

To celebrate 20 years of the most-watched cooking show on public television, "America's Test Kitchen" fans around the country voted for their all-time favorite recipes from the series. The results are presented now as Bridget Lancaster, Julia Collin Davison and their fellow cast members count down the series’ 20 most popular recipes and look back on the show's best moments.

'Frontline' examines controversial newsmakers

Investigate news and newsmakers Tuesday nights on Arizona PBS. Tonight: See how the state governments and Wall Street led America’s public pensions into a $4 trillion hole.