ABC Owned Television Stations Honor Native Sovereignty in New Documentary in Partnership with National Geographic, ‘Our America: Reclaiming Turtle Island’
Diversity & Inclusion
November 3, 2022
To raise awareness and elevate the conversation around Native American sovereignty, ABC Owned Television Stations have produced Our America: Reclaiming Turtle Island, commemorating Native American Heritage Month in November 2022. The documentary is available at reclaimingturtleisland.abc and on Hulu, beginning November 25, 2022 — Native American Heritage Day.
Our America: Reclaiming Turtle Island is an hour-long documentary special that will inform viewers about Native sovereignty, the inherent authority of Native American tribes to govern themselves, and honor and preserve their cultures and traditions. Told through the lens and imagery of National Geographic Explorer and photographer Kiliii Yüyan, the special is produced by Nzinga Blake, Race and Culture executive producer at ABC Owned Television Stations, and edited by Tracey Quezada.
The documentary brings to life the July 2022 cover story for National Geographic magazine, “We Are Here,” with text by Charles C. Mann and photography by Yüyan, and features powerful individuals discussing the strides their nations and communities are taking to reclaim Turtle Island – a common Indigenous name for North America. Featured in the documentary are Taboo, a cultural activist, Marvel comic creator, writer, and global music icon known for being 1/3 of the pop group Black Eyed Peas; Quannah Rose Chasinghorse, a model and activist known for appearing on the 2020 Teen Vogue list of Top 21 under 21 and more; Jody Potts-Joseph, traditional tattoo practitioner and subject of the National Geographic series, Life Below Zero: First Alaskans; historian and Native American artist G. Peter Jemison, whose art is featured in the documentary; and traditional corn grower Angela Ferguson.
The special will begin with Taboo reading the creation story about the origin of how and why North America is referred to as Turtle Island. Viewers will then journey from Minnesota to Southern California and then Western New York, connecting with tribes and Native American changemakers as they define what Native Sovereignty means to them and share how they are contributing to the movement through their platforms and activism.
The ABC Owned Television Stations, which collectively reach approximately 23% of households across all U.S. television, have made a commitment to produce high-impact content representing various voices within communities and newsrooms across the country. Our America: Reclaiming Turtle Island will aim to inform and serve those underrepresented in the United States today by amplifying the voices of the Indigenous activists featured in the documentary.
“We hope that with this special event, we will continue the elevation of the Native American culture, and both educate and inspire current and future generations to come, including those audiences unfamiliar with the history and culture of Native indigenous communities,” said Chad Matthews, President, ABC Owned Television Stations.
In addition, ABC Owned Television Stations has partnered with the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) to make Our America: Reclaiming Turtle Island accessible to blind and deaf audiences through audio description and captions. The DCMP has been committed to making quality educational programming accessible through audio description for over 30 years.
To learn more about Native American sovereignty and view the preview for Our America: Reclaiming Turtle Island, visit natgeo.com/nahm.