We discuss a dark chapter in New England history that is rarely discussed, but has relevance today: "The Great Dying." Just prior to the Pilgrims’ arrival at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, a mysterious plague killed more than 90 percent of the indigenous population. It is a story of death, but also of survival, especially in the face of centuries of plague, deceitful medical experimentation, and vaccine hesitancy. This show airs on the broadcast premiere date of the new film “Surviving the Great Dying,” which airs Nov. 18th on Maine Public Television, NHPBS and WGBH.
Lisa Sockabasin, co-director, Wabanaki Public Health
Jim Smith, filmmaker, "Surviving New England's Great Dying"
Harald Prins, distinguished professor of anthropology, University Distinguished Teaching Scholar; Kansas State University
Paula Peters, journalist, educator, activist; member of Wampanoag tribe
Support for Surviving New England's Great Dying is provided by The Butler Foundation
It's been more than 400 years since the first Thanksgiving.
A moderated a conversation with documentary producers.
Paula Peters reminds us that indigenous people are still strong and thriving.
Owen Stanwood explains why it's important to know the full story of Thanksgiving.
David Weeden describes how indigenous history was taught to him.
Owen Stanwood explains how colonialism affected the plague.
Paula Peters explains the history of the Mashpee plantation.
Jade Luiz reflects on how dealing with COVID helps us understand history of disease better
Owen Stanwood explains the scope of the Great Dying by comparing it to COVID.
Chris Parsons explains how some communities are affected differently by pandemics.
Paula Peters describes how colonialism might have been altered by the Great Dying.
Just prior to the Pilgrims' arrival, a plague decimated coastal Native American population