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A new film examines the period in New England's history when European settlers spread disease to Indigenous people


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

VIP Caller:
Paula Peters, journalist, educator, activist; member of Wampanoag tribe

Jennifer walked into her college radio station as a 17-year-old freshman and never looked back. Even though she was terrified of the microphone back then — and spoke into it as little as possible — she loved the studio, the atmosphere and, most of all, the people who work in broadcasting. She was hooked. Decades later, she’s back behind the radio microphone hosting Maine Public Radio’s flagship talk program, Maine Calling. She’s not afraid of the mic anymore, but still loves the bright, eclectic people she gets to work with every day.
Cindy helps produce Maine Public's live call-in show Maine Calling, and sometimes hosts the show—as well as the All Books Considered Book Club. Her first foray into journalism after graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism was to intern with CNN in China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre. She then worked in print journalism over the decades, as a factchecker, writer and editor, with publications ranging from the Los Angeles Times Magazine to the magazine of the National Zoo to a food trends magazine.