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Say Brother; Incident at Cass Lake

Part of Say Brother.


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Say Brother
Incident at Cass Lake
Program Number


Series Description

Say Brother is WGBH's longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, and is now known as Basic Black. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Henry Hampton, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Series release date: 7/15/1968

Program Description

Intended to air 6/14/1977, "Incident at Cass Lake" was not broadcast to rebroadcast Program 701, "Modification of Phase Two: What Does It Really Mean?" Program 728 consisted of the film Incident at Cass Lake in its entirety, which was a production of KTCA TV, St. Paul, Minnesota, distributed through the Public Television Library. The film focuses on the confrontation between Native Americans and whites in Cass Lake, Minnesota, particularly the May 1972 American Indian Movement (AIM) blockade of public portions of the Chippewa Leech Lake Reservation. With the blockade, AIM members sought to enforce their court-ordered rights to reservation lands after the state decided to appeal the decision. Native Americans were then faced with a potentially violent situation when whites insisted on coming to the reservation waters for recreational purposes. Following a clash at the lake, the appeal was dropped. Entwined with this story is a discussion of the reduced Native populations in the United States, the goals of AIM, the Minnesota enforcement of aboriginal rights, Native cultures and community goals (e.g., "Operation Image"), and "tradition" versus "survival."



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Ojibwa Indians
Civil rights
Indigenous people
Indian reservations--Minnesota
Race and Ethnicity
Barbara Barrow (Producer)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Incident at Cass Lake,” 04/15/1977, GBH Archives, accessed June 22, 2024,
MLA: “Say Brother; Incident at Cass Lake.” 04/15/1977. GBH Archives. Web. June 22, 2024. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Incident at Cass Lake. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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