LEWISBURG, Pa. – “Peoples of the Susquehanna,” an original documentary film produced by Bucknell University and WVIA Public Media, will premiere locally on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Campus Theatre, 413 Market Street in a free screening. The one-hour program examines the history, cultures and traditions of the Native Americans of the Susquehanna River watershed.
The half-hour Bucknell student documentary, “The Coopers and Conservation at the Headwaters of the Susquehanna,” will also be shown immediately after the WVIA production.
“Peoples of the Susquehanna” explores nations of the Eastern Woodlands, the Susquehannocks, the Lenni Lenape and the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, as well as findings of varied prehistoric nations whose existence dates back over 1,000 years ago.
“Their influence on arriving European settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries was significant. But the clash of cultures with the settlers drove these indigenous peoples off of the lands of their ancestors. Their contributions to the American society we know today are largely forgotten… unless you know where to look,” said WVIA’s Kris Hendrickson, director and editor of the documentary.
Hendrickson interviewed leaders, artists, teachers and citizens of the Lenni Lenape and Iroquois Confederacy learning of their traditions, their philosophies and how they influence today’s industrial world. The documentary will first air on WVIA-TV on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m.
Since 2010, the Stories of the Susquehanna Valley environmental humanities project at Bucknell has been developing interdisciplinary curriculum, undergraduate work and published scholarly and digital projects, including student-produced documentaries.
“The Coopers and Conservation at the Headwaters of the Susquehanna” documentary focuses on Cooperstown, N.Y. and the writings and influences of James and Susan Fenimore Cooper. Both wrote extensively about nature and the film will explore the way their work inspired others to think and care about nature, and how that is exemplified in Cooperstown. Bucknell students were aided in the project by Hendrickson.
“Our students, faculty and staff have partnered with WVIA on public projects that engage communities in the region, especially with a focus on the Susquehanna watershed,” said Alf Siewers, professor and chair of Bucknell’s English department. “Video storytelling is a natural part of that effort and WVIA is expert at that.”
Siewers says the documentary builds on a book that Stories of the Susquehanna published with the Bucknell University Press, and on curricular and other connections with native communities fostered by Sid Jamieson, former Bucknell men’s lacrosse coach and a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) elder. It also highlights work by Katie Faull, professor of German studies and comparative humanities and co-editor of the Stories of the Susquehanna Valley project, on Moravian accounts of 18th-century interactions with native peoples in the region.
Encores of “Peoples of the Susquehanna” will air on Friday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. on WVIA-TV.
WVIA Public Media is a catalyst, convener and educator, using media, partnerships, powerful ideas and programs to improve lives and advance the best attributes of an enlightened society. Learn more, www.wvia.org.
Founded in 1846 along the banks of the Susquehanna River in historic Lewisburg, Pa., Bucknell University is a selective, highly ranked national university that stands at the intersection of top-ranked liberal arts, engineering and management programs. Students choose from more than 50 majors and 60 minors in the arts, engineering, humanities, management, and natural and social sciences, as well as extensive global study, service-learning and research opportunities. Bucknell’s 3,600 undergraduates enjoy a low 9:1 student-faculty ratio, and exceptional opportunities to collaborate with faculty. Bucknell offers students outstanding leadership opportunities, including through more than 150 students clubs and 27 Division I athletic teams.
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