Blends interviews with historians, the stories told by descendents of homesteaders, and dramatic readings from pioneer diaries & letters to paint a picture of the people who struggled with daily life enduring hardships & successes they celebrated.

Production funding provided by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the North Dakota Humanities Council, and by the members of Prairie Public

About the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund
In 2008, Minnesota voters passed a landmark piece of legislation — the Minnesota Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment — which provided funding to public television stations serving audiences in Minnesota. Its mission is to help preserve and document the treasures of culture, history, and heritage that make Minnesota special, and to increase access to the natural and cultural resources we all share.


  1. @janejones5362 on December 30, 2023 at 8:41 am

    I am Norwegian and Celtic. One grandmother farmed on her own. Her husband was a sheepherder, and gone a lot. She was this generation and lived to her 90s. Another grandmother raised, alone, raised cattle and lived to her 90s.

    West side of North Dakota is cattle and wheat. Not much else in farming on any large scale. ND farming was on the east side of the state.

    You HAVE to deal with Winters -40°F, and colder. Animals have to eat year round. I lived in the Northwest part of the state for 7 years. I have asthma. I adjusted. Only sick twice.

    The cattle breed now, mainly black angus. Unpredictable temperaments, but very cold hardy.

    Mostly Lakota Sioux in this area. Very handsome people.

  2. @tilesetter1953 on December 30, 2023 at 8:44 am

    This is how a documentary should be done, bravo!!! Very little music and TURNED DOWN when people are talking, not like so called "history channel" (no caps) and the like.

  3. @terinn7115 on December 30, 2023 at 8:45 am

    Anyone watching this might enjoy the book ‘Land of the Burnt Thigh’ by Edith Eudora Kohl. It’s a really terrific account of this very subject, at this very time, in this very location. Very comprehensive, quite funny at times.

  4. @patienceboafo1998 on December 30, 2023 at 8:45 am

    You claim it gave everybody the opportunity, did it include the blacks Too?

  5. @nurscathwill on December 30, 2023 at 8:45 am

    Better talk to relatives soon…..the history is dying as we watch!

  6. @areguapiri on December 30, 2023 at 8:45 am

    All black people were banned by the United States government from obtaining this land and therefore, from future wealth.

  7. @DS-nv8bi on December 30, 2023 at 8:46 am

    the murder of the natives of this land made it so you can live on the stolen ground while the natives are denied their treaty rights and are still being starved out to this day. shame on us we live on the blood of children that were taken by the catholic church to their schools that murdered the children in the name of god

  8. @janareed1107 on December 30, 2023 at 8:46 am

    I’m reminded of Willa cather’s “my Antonia.”

  9. @stevehartman1730 on December 30, 2023 at 8:51 am

    My God if our ancestors could c us now they’d puke n cry

  10. @capecod50s on December 30, 2023 at 8:52 am

    But what about the betrayal of the first citizens; doesn’t that bother anyone? What about the dust bowl and what caused it?

  11. @MegaLivingIt on December 30, 2023 at 8:52 am

    Yes, now nobody can afford a home anymore unless they inherit money. People are desperate living on streets. Wish there was still homesteading.

  12. @lorensickles1990 on December 30, 2023 at 8:52 am

    Sure glossed over the full extent of atrocities committed against the original inhabitants.😮

  13. @shirleybalinski4535 on December 30, 2023 at 8:53 am

    We homesteaded in Alaska before it became a state. We were covered under Lincoln’s Homestead Act. Our papers had his picture & a scroll on the top. Most people do not realize Alaska was covered under the Act up until the late 1950’s when a statehood happened. It was the " Last Frontier ". We lived similiar to the Homesteaders talked about in this video.

  14. @gregrak9389 on December 30, 2023 at 8:54 am

    I was quite disgusted and offended, to see the "Marquarts" refer to Ukraine as "Russia" very ignorant and insulting. many "German Americans" who came to North Dakota often do this. One of the professors in this video appears to be a Lesbian.

  15. @user-yz6bf6ch8q on December 30, 2023 at 8:55 am

    I watch these videos because I want to know how USA stole our Lands and resources Violations of international laws 😅

  16. @tundrawomansays694 on December 30, 2023 at 8:57 am

    We’re all eating Monsanto and ConAgra. Period.

  17. @rumaldodominguez3000 on December 30, 2023 at 8:57 am

    I do very nice video and info thank for your effort

  18. @RB-im5mk on December 30, 2023 at 8:58 am

    I watch this when I stop appreciating in how hard life was and how ignorant we are today.

  19. @raynonabohrer5624 on December 30, 2023 at 8:59 am

    This is my family History. From Russia

  20. @shazza160 on December 30, 2023 at 9:00 am

    What the heck is wrong with you offended Americans. You stole the land. Accept the truth.

  21. @donald7212 on December 30, 2023 at 9:01 am

    Imagine the heartache people felt loosing there so hard fought for homestead due to reason beyond there control (crop prices, banks) that we’ve done all we can do but we must leave all that we’ve known and worked and died for imagine if you can, that beaten down man finally having to say "it’s going to be okay my family we’ll find something else never loose faith in us"…….

  22. @sharonwillis993 on December 30, 2023 at 9:01 am

    Wonderful to be able to see and hear the struggles and understand what they these people endured

  23. @youtubelearning2990 on December 30, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Native American people

  24. @evansquires727 on December 30, 2023 at 9:04 am

    Dr. W. Thomas White (8:01) sounds like Dr. Phil!! (No lie, close ur eyes)

  25. @terrysellers6712 on December 30, 2023 at 9:04 am

    Please don’t post these videos if you have a 13 year old voice!!🤬

  26. @donq2957 on December 30, 2023 at 9:06 am

    These guys detest communism.

  27. @victorgriffith9943 on December 30, 2023 at 9:07 am

    A whole bunch of FOREIGHN THIEVES, came here and stole heritages in the process..came and took over the farms..mechanized our farms..provided, teachings for FOREIGNORS to take the hard earned wealth from the ppl yall call BLACK today, which they are the real land owners..this is sad, if yall gonna tell the story tell it all..
    It was a dream for yall..but a NIGHTMARE for them !! Was a bunch of POOR squatters..and still to this day SQUATTIN

  28. @russell9206 on December 30, 2023 at 9:07 am

    My G-Granddad was a sod buster in North Platte, Nebraska from 1879-1900. My grandmother born 1899. In 1900 he sold out 4 farm and an ice house and moved to San Diego, California, died 1937.
    Edis family

  29. @FarmsteadForge on December 30, 2023 at 9:11 am

    Very interesting… you would have had to of been a tough cookie to homestead in North Dakota. I grew up 5th generation on a homestead in Montana and am proud of it. Thanks for the video.

  30. @rosemariejoy4578 on December 30, 2023 at 9:11 am

    Although I do love the nostalgia of days gone by, I know that I would not have survived medically…I have overcome many illnesses throughout my life..and now at age 60, I am fighting lung cancer,….NEURO ENDO CRINE LUNG CANCER does not have a cure to this day. But with GODS help I have made it past the yrs thought to be the small amt to live with this desease…

  31. @stevehartman1730 on December 30, 2023 at 9:16 am

    I have a beautiful cousin but all guys wanted to do was use her n not marry. Her grandma was richest n co. They only wanted the money bu theyre a good family i think she married well i hope

  32. @leanordials8008 on December 30, 2023 at 9:16 am

    That only 40% where able to make a go of it is so sad.

  33. @o.g.wakanobie5612 on December 30, 2023 at 9:17 am

    In Nebraska, we have a saying. "There is no such thing as a poor farmer".

  34. @earllutz2663 on December 30, 2023 at 9:20 am

    What an epoch story of grit and tenacity, of our ancestors and our County. Thank you for bringing the story to us.

  35. @begonebegone7825 on December 30, 2023 at 9:23 am


  36. @mlackey9812 on December 30, 2023 at 9:26 am

    I too am the progeny of 1872 North Dakota German Homesteaders as well as 1889 Oklahoma Homesteaders. Wonderful stories from my Great Grandparents and their children, my Grandparents ( dob 1902, 03, 04, 05) Indians in TP’s on the 4th of July, the sound of drums and chanting deep into the night alarming the children. Native Americans coming to their doors and such. Runaway ‘teams’ of horses, plowing 640 acres by horse and plow, loading and taking to town 5 tall wagons of wheat in the morning and then in the afternoon for days upon end to silo their grain and on and on.

  37. @robertstack2144 on December 30, 2023 at 9:27 am

    President Lincoln…a White Racist

  38. @shopsshire9282 on December 30, 2023 at 9:28 am

    At 23 minutes and 37 seconds, when she mentions how they built the house on the border of their quarter sections, I I immediately thought, " Little House on the Border".

  39. @jacintabyline on December 30, 2023 at 9:29 am

    Greetings (Kia ora) from New Zealand. What a wonderful documentary. I have been fascinated with the US homesteading act since I first read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a young girl (and have since re-read many times including to my children). I was interested to see that one of the homestead claims shown was actually that of Almanzo Wilder (Laura’s husband). New Zealand had the same hardy settlers, mainly British, Scots, and Irish – but also Europeans to a lesser degree, who helped to make our country and land what it is today. Thankfully though, being a more temperate climate, and no natural predators, they didn’t have quite such a hard time. I so admire those good people who worked their fingers to the bone, just to have a place to call their own on what were then, very hostile plains.

  40. @rogersimpson9725 on December 30, 2023 at 9:29 am

    Because the Indians didn’t have a government like we do they didn’t have police and they didn’t have military, we took their land by force. Wasn’t that sweet

  41. @Robert-mf6bw on December 30, 2023 at 9:32 am

    All of these white people are so friendly sounding unless they want to enslave you, or recently take your 55 million acres.

  42. @krystingrant6292 on December 30, 2023 at 9:32 am

    Omg home for me!!!! ❤️

  43. @bossman1974 on December 30, 2023 at 9:32 am

    Volume is to low 😊

  44. @hazelhughes1002 on December 30, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Try Jami’ s way first . She is coming up to you and following so maybe lots of combing and touching would help. She’s a beautiful horse

  45. @41sandybeach on December 30, 2023 at 9:34 am

    It was not free land….it was STOLEN land!! Those poor Indians were push off their own land by greedy people who had no care for others. Such a shame.

  46. @myamericans1112 on December 30, 2023 at 9:35 am

    still telling lies

  47. @mawi1172 on December 30, 2023 at 9:37 am

    Lincoln, first Pride Member President that we know of. 😅😅😅

  48. @SweetiePieVibes on December 30, 2023 at 9:38 am

    Ppl were so resilient. Can you imagine now? Ppl would turn to the government to solve their hunger crisis and get on tik Tok and whine.

  49. @altestic9436 on December 30, 2023 at 9:39 am

    Are these the guys that stole the land from the native americans?

  50. @entrepreneurcity3317 on December 30, 2023 at 9:39 am

    I’m thinking about becoming a homesteader. They were some of my heroes. Them, the ppl of the Appalachia, and southern share croppers … tough times don’t last long but tough people do.😤💯💯💯

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