In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act and created a world of opportunity for the 372,000 families that poured onto the prairies. The families came for many reasons—a hunger for land, a vision for the future, a longing for adventure, or an interest in profit. Some failed. Some scraped by. Some succeeded and, in the process, put down roots that shaped the region as we know it. Filmed in scenic North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba, and Minnesota locations through the four seasons, Homesteading, a 60-minute documentary, blends interviews with historians, the stories told by descendants of homesteaders, and dramatic readings from pioneer diaries and letters to paint a picture of the people who struggled to create a life for themselves on the prairies.
Producer: Kim Stenehjem
Executive Producer: Bob Dambach
Editor: Heidi Nelson
Videographers: Dave Geck, Ryan Sailer, Ben Stommes, and Frode Tilden
Music by Tom Porter and Chuck Suchy
Major funding provided by North Dakota Council on the Arts, North Dakota Humanities Council, Minnesota Arts & Cultural Legacy Fund, and by the members of Prairie Public.