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AETN, Arkansas Center for the Book schedule Native American film screening in Fort Smith

The screening will held at the Fort Smith Public Library, 3201 Rogers Avenue, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Following the screening will be a discussion with Alice Taylor-Colbert, Ph.D., chair of history, geography, political science, philosophy and religious studies at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

As the centerpiece of a multi-media campaign, “We Shall Remain” presents 300 years of American history from the Native perspective.

Each episode of “We Shall Remain” highlights the complicated and evolving relationship between America’s Native and non-Native peoples. Beginning with the story of the Wampanoag and the English Pilgrims in 17th century New England, the series traces Native history through the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee. From Tecumseh, the inspirational Shawnee strategist, to the controversial Apache leader Geronimo, “We Shall Remain” offers insight into the perspective of several of America’s Native groups and the inspiring personas who led them.

“The tale of European settlement in North America has been told several times, but not from the perspective of the land’s original inhabitants,” Executive Producer Sharon Grimberg said. “‘We Shall Remain’ tells the story, not from the point of view of the white people looking west, but from the Native people looking East.”

Accompanying the series is a blitz of multimedia outreach designed to educate, inform and eliminate stereotypes that have defined Native Americans for centuries. The series’ companion Web site, www.pbs.org/weshallremain, features trailers, biographies, testimonials and behind-the-scenes peeks; also included are clips from ReelNative, a short film project offering amateur filmmakers the chance to highlight the realities of life as a modern Native American.

AETN was one 15 stations chosen to create a community outreach initiative in conjunction with “We Shall Remain.” The network produced “Arkansas’s First People,” a corresponding five-part series that explores the impact Native Americans have had and still have on the Natural State. From the ancient mound cultures to the sovereign nations of neighboring Oklahoma, “Arkansas’s First People” offers the Native perspective as it pertains to Arkansas’s heritage.

In order to promote Native history and culture by actively educating communities, AETN and the Arkansas Department of Education will make episodes of “Arkansas’s First People,” along with other bonus features, available online for educational use.

“We Shall Remain” and “Arkansas’s First People” offer a unique examination of American and Arkansas history. By exploring both the past and present issues of Native Americans, each series illustrates the fundamental role of Native people in the formation of both state and country.

“We Shall Remain” will premiere on AETN Monday, April 13, at 8 p.m. The remaining four episodes will air April 20, April 27, May 4 and May 11 at 8 each night.

The Arkansas Center for the Book, a program of the Arkansas State Library, is an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Arkansas State Library (www.asl.lib.ar.us) provides the resources, services, and leadership necessary to meet the educational, informational and cultural needs of the citizens of Arkansas, and provides guidance and support for the development of local public libraries and library services.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (www.aetn.org) provides lifelong learning opportunities, improves and enhances Arkansans’ lives and celebrates the unique culture of Arkansas through its programming and services. AETN’s digital and analog transmitters and numerous cable system connections give it statewide reach.

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