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Finding Your Roots with LeVar Burton & Wes Studi!

This week on #FindingYourRoots we uncover stories that our guests #LevarBurton and #WesStudi have long wanted to hear. We introduce our guests to ancestors whose names they’ve never known and reveal connections to significant moments in history. Tune into PBS tomorrow at 8/7c for a brand new episode of #FindingYourRoots with #LeVarBurton and #WesStudi.

Posted by Finding Your Roots on Monday, January 15, 2024
Finding Your Roots: LeVar Burton & Wes Studi
Wes Studi explores family history on ‘Finding Your Roots’
Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Award-winning Cherokee actor Wes Studi is making history as the first Native person to appear on the long-running PBS television series Finding Your Roots.

Studi’s episode debuts on PBS on Tuesday evening. In a post on social media, he encouraged his followers to tune in.

“My episode is out today! What an honor to be a guest on the 10th season of of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” Studi wrote in a post tagging the show and the show’s longtime host, Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr.

Studi was born on the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma in 1947. The description for his episode of Finding Your Roots states that the acclaimed film and television star grew up without his biological father.

“I’d say things like, ‘I don’t have a Dad,'” Studi says in a clip of the show.

The clip also mentions the genocidal Trail of Tears. In the 1830s, the U.S. government forced the Cherokee people to leave their homelands in the southeast for the Indian territory now known as Oklahoma.

“We’ve lived with that pain for a long time,” Studi says of an era in which countless Cherokee people lost their lives and their lands.

According to Gates, filming for the episode took place in New Mexico in the spring of 2023. Studi has long maintained a home near Santa Fe, the state capital.

“I’m doing his family tree, so I’m really excited about it,” Gates said of Studi during a lecture in Santa Fe back in April 2023.

The 10th season of Finding Your Roots debuted on January 2. Until now, the show has never featured a Native person among the countless actors, athletes, celebrities and politicians whose family histories are explored through genealogical research and genetic testing.

But Gates previously researched the background of author Louise Erdrich, a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. In 2010, she appeared on a PBS show called Faces of America in which she refused to have her genetic material sequenced.

Finding Your Roots can be viewed on PBS and on