Through original performance footage and the artists’ own words For the Generations examines the efforts of contemporary Native performers to recast themselves in the 21st Century.

Airs Sunday, May 16 at 8pm on OPB Plus

Watch a Preview

Robert Mirabal Segment Painted Sky Segment


Program Previews

Robert MirabalRobert Mirabal
Rocker Robert Mirabal performs the tracks Things are Different Now and Holding up the Sky at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort on the Siletz Indian Reservation in Lincoln City, Ore. while discussing the relationship between his artistry and his roots as a farmer on the Taos Pueblo.
Painted SkyPainted Sky
The Northstar Dancers are a dance troupe comprised of young Native Americans whose collaborations with the contemporary dance company Moveo delivers a surprisingly modern take on traditional dance styles. Painted Sky’s co-president Arlie Neskahi discusses the importance of Native youth embracing both the modern and traditional worlds.
The Enlightened Time
Jana Mashonee InterviewJana Mashonee Interview
Pop star Jana Mashonee reveals her motivations for "mixing things up" and sites the importance of self-confidence and familial support in her successful effort at breaking through in the recording industry.
Jana - From A TightRopeJana – From A Tightrope
Jana performs the single From a Tightrope at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. with Moveo choreographers Lorena Aranda and Damon Keller.
Jana - Kiss and TellJana – Kiss and Tell
Jana performs the Grammy-nominated track Kiss and Tell co-written with contemporary Christian artist Crystal Lewis.
The Threshing Floor
Santee Smith InterviewSantee Smith Interview
Choreographer Santee Smith discusses her background in ballet, her time away from dance and what she hopes to convey through her work at the Vancouver International Dance in British Columbia.
Michael Greyeyes InterviewMichael Greyeyes Interview
Actor Michael Greyeyes explores the relationship between his expanded casting opportunities and the uncharted territory of Native contemporary dance.
The Last Stand
Bill Miller InterviewBill Miller Interview
Back at his alma mater in La Crosse, Wisconsin for a bootleg album release, Bill Miller talks about the inspiration for his music and his connection to the natural world.
Bill Miller - Reservation RoadBill Miller – Reservation Road
Bill Miller performs the haunting single Reservation Road on the campus of University of Wisconsin, La Crosse as part of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
Bill Miller - PraisesBill Miller – Praises
The UW – La Crosse choir joins Bill Miller on stage with a vocal adaptation of his song Praises.
Painted Sky
Painted SkyArtist Interview
Choreographer Damon Keller and the Northstar Dancers discuss the cultural challenges presented by fusing Native and contemporary dance styles.
Artist InterviewArlie Neskahi
Painted Sky co-president and Grammy-winning recording artist Arlie Neskahi reveals the genus of the non-profit Painted Sky and traces his involvement with the musical arts.
Jaynez – In the SkJaynez – In the Sky
R–and–B crooner Jaynez performs In the Sky with a little help from Painted Sky choreographers Damon Keller and Lorena Aranda at Washington Park in Portland, Ore.
Women of The Four Winds
Wayquay InterviewWayquay Interview
Hip-hop poetess Wayquay discusses the barrier breaking nature of the Women of the Four Winds tour.
Martha Redbone InterviewMartha Redbone Interview
Funky songstress Martha Redbone reflects on her favorite aspect of the all-woman tour.
Tracy Bone InterviewTracy Bone Interview
Pop Country singer/songwriter Tracy Bone recounts her visit with Tiwa children and tour of the Taos Pueblo.
Davidica InterviewDavidica Interview
Up-and-coming artist Davidica discusses the impetus for launching the Women of the Four Winds tour.
Wayquay – Too Soon MadeWayquay – Too Soon Made
Wayquay performs her song Too Soon Made at the KTAO Solar Center in Taos, New Mexico.
Tracy Bone – No LiesTracy Bone – No Lies
Tracy Bone and fiancé J.C. Campbell perform their collaborative duet No Lies.
Martha Redbone – Medicine ManMartha Redbone – Medicine Man
Martha Redbone enlivens the crowd with her performance of the single Medicine Man from the album Skintalk.
In the Blood
Robert Mirabal Interview
Robert Mirabal explores the artistic differences between creating flutes and creating music as he reveals his formative encounter with personal hero R. Carlos Nakai.
Robert Mirabal – Indian Johnny
Robert Mirabal performs the track Indian Johnny at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, Ore.
Robert Mirabal – In the Blood
Mirabal‘s title track In the Blood highlights the background visuals of filmmaker Bill Mitchell.

A co-production of OPB and Painted Sky, For the Generations: Native Story & Performance examines the efforts of contemporary Native performers to recast themselves in the 21st Century. Told through original performance footage and the artists’ own words, the one-hour documentary explores health and fitness issues that plague young Natives Americans on and off the reservations.

Artists profiled in the documentary include pop-diva, “Urban Indian,” Jana Mashonee; classically trained ballet dancers Michael Greyeyes and Santee Smith, Grammy winners Robert Mirabal and Bill Miller, funky R&B songstress Martha Redbone, Painted Sky's own Northstar dancers and a host of others.

Part performance, part behind-the-scenes footage and interviews, the documentary profiles the personal stories of the artists in their own words -- weaving a narrative through the performances that lends grit and personality to the beautiful artistry showcased.

FOR THE GENERATIONS travels to locations across the country and in Canada to capture the artists’ performances. The documentary will be released to a national audience of public broadcasting affiliates in Spring of 2010.

Much of its focus centers on the outreach these performers do and their work with native youth. An examination of challenges facing American Indians on and off the reservation includes health and fitness issues such as diabetes, alcoholism and suicide.

Artist Bill Miller reveals the healing that music has brought to his life as he returns to his alma mater at University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse to debut his latest release, “I’ve been through so much trauma in my life, I need to move on too. And I took this music, not knowing where it would go, but now I see the affect. It’s a very healing piece of music.”

A grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund has made the documentary possible. The Regional Arts Culture Council provided additional funding.