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Grant number: GN-10023-70

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GN-10023-70

WNET/Thirteen (New York, NY 10019-7416)
Curtis W. Davis (Project Director: September 1968 to present)

The Cherokee: Trail of Tears

Production of a one-hour documentary on Indian-White relations in the U.S., focusing on the Cherokee nation. ABSTRACT: Production of a one-hour documentary on Indian-White relations in the U.S., focusing on the Cherokee nation. the program explored the white man's dispossession of this Indian nation, his justification of the partitions and removals, the clashes between the values of the two cultures and the reciprocities which have occured since then. One goal of the film was to examine the stereotypes of the Indians perpetuated in the American consciousness and to reveal the high level of Cherokee civilization and its institutions before their destruction. The Cherokee nation was chosen as the focus because their story best exemplifies this facet of American history. "Trail of Tears," as the film is called, deals with the dispossession and forced removal of the Cherokee nation from their homeland in Georgia to the Oklahoma Territory in 1838-39, which resulted in the death of over one-third of the Cherokee nation. Using documentary and narrative techniques, the film dealt with the attitudes and decisions of white men directly involved with American Indian policy, such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Chief Justice John Marshall and with Indian leaders at the time, such as Chief John Ross. Visual essays recorded the development of the Cherokee to its high state of civilization and the subsequent White policy which destroyed it. The program was broadcast over 150 NET stations in April, 1970; an excellent cast and relevant subject treatment made the production a successful one.

Project fields:
History, General

Program:
Media, Humanities Projects in

Division:
Public Programs

Total amounts:
$3,500 (approved)
$3,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/1968 – 8/31/1970