All About: Hidden Heritage

Hidden Heritage on The Cowboy Channel

Host of “Hidden Heritage,” Paul LaRoche, shares inspiring and uplifting stories that come from his personal journey into Native America. As founder of the award-winning contemporary Native American group, Brulé and AIRO (American Indian Rock Opera), Paul and his family have traveled across the heartland performing their unique blend of music for 12 years.

Show topics for “Hidden Heritage” are gathered from their own experiences as they reconnected with Paul’s blood family from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and met indigenous people from all walks of life. The episodes cover a variety of themes - some with humor, some with important historical elements, and some with musical components - whether told from the simple setting of their backyard fire pit or the grandness of America’s majestic Mount Rushmore National Monument.

JOURNEY TO “HIDDEN HERITAGE”

Meet Paul LaRoche, founder of the band Brulé. Paul was adopted at birth by a Caucasian couple and grew up in Worthington, Minnesota. He first learned to play the accordion, then switched to piano and organ. By high school, Paul played in a rock band that performed all around Minnesota and Iowa. He went on to perform in many more bands but dropped out in 1989 to work in engineering.

In 1993, after the death of both adoptive parents, Paul discovered his heritage as a member of the Lower Brulé Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. He, his wife, and two children chose to move from Minneapolis to the Lower Brulé Sioux Indian Reservation in central South Dakota to be with his biological family. Paul started composing and performing again, but with a new purpose.

“I am a product, I guess you would say, of two cultures, because of the way my life has gone,” LaRoche explains. “And rather than choose sides, I’ve tried to claim ownership of both. And really, it’s been my desire to want to bring those two worlds, or those two families, those two communities, a little closer together.”

Watch “Postcards: Brulé,” a 15-minute documentary about Paul LaRoche that aired before one of his concerts in Worthington:

ABOUT PAUL LaROCHE

Paul LaRoche grew up as part of a white middle-class family in the small community of Worthington in southwest Minnesota. He was adopted at birth, and his talent for music was evident at an early age. Paul knew about his adoption but his true heritage was sadly kept a secret from him for unknown reasons.

After both of his adoptive parents had died in the same year, it left Paul with more questions than answers and left him feeling a little lost some days. Thankfully Kathy, Paul’s wife, discovered his adoption papers and began a search for his family. After several years of hopeful searching, then grieving hope, and finally getting to the path of healing, a break in the search for his family came. In 1993 when Paul discovered his biological Lakota family his homecoming was a happy one and he was reunited with a brother (Shane), sister (Nicole), aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

The amount of love and support Paul received from his family and friends in his new life made his music career all the more monumental. Armed with the new knowledge of his heritage, Paul re-entered the world of music in the relatively new genre of contemporary/New Age Native American music. Mixing the traditional sounds of Native America with the music he grew up with—rock, pop, and jazz. Paul cut his first CD, “We The People,” and the band Brulé was born.

ABOUT BRULE & AIRO

Brulé & AIRO is a contemporary Native American new-age/worldbeat music group based in South Dakota. They have sold over a million albums worldwide, won a number of awards, and have made media appearances on “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” on ABC, CNN WorldBeat, QVC, and others. They maintain a schedule of well over 100 performances a year including full stage productions with traditional dancers, an annual holiday tour, performances at Milwaukee’s Indian Summer Festival, Indian Art Markets in Denver, Arlington (Tx.), and Overland Park, Kansas, Harbor Fest in Virginia Beach, the world-renowned Ordway Theater in St. Paul, Foxwoods Casino, and many additional outdoor festivals and events. They have released 22 CDs over their 21-year existence.

AWARDS

First American’s in the Arts Awards:

  • Won: Best Outstanding Performance (1999) for One Nation

Native American Music Awards (NAMA/NAMMYS):

  • Nominated: Songwriter of the Year (2000) for Paul LaRoche & Robby Bee One Nation
  • Nominated: Duo or Group of the Year (2000) for Brulé One Nation
  • Nominated: Best Pop/Rock Recording (2000) for Brulé One Nation
  • Nominated: Flutist of the Year (2001) for Nicole Passion Spirit
  • Won: Group of the Year (2002) for Brulé Star People
  • Won: Best Instrumental CD (2002) for Brulé Star People
  • Nominated: Record of the Year (2002) for Brulé Star People
  • Nominated: Songwriter of the Year (2002) for Paul LaRoche Star People
  • Nominated: Best Female Artist (2003) for Nicole Night Tree
  • Won: Best Instrumental CD (2003) for Nicole Night Tree
  • Nominated: Best Producer (2003) for Paul LaRoche Night Tree
  • Nominated: Record of the Year (2003) for Nicole Night Tree
  • Nominated: Best Instrumental CD (2006) for Brulé The Collection
  • Won: Best Compilation CD (2006) for Brulé The Collection
  • Nominated: Song of the Year (2006) for Brulé Stomp Dance from The Collection
  • Nominated: Best Instrumental CD (2006) for AIRO Tatanka
  • Won: Duo or Group of the Year (2006) for AIRO Tatanka
  • Nominated: Artist of the Year (2007) for Paul LaRoche Kinship
  • Won: Duo or Group of the Year (2007) for Brulé & AIRO Silent Star Night
  • Nominated: Best Instrumental CD (2007) for Brulé & AIRO Silent Star Night
  • Won: Best New Age CD (2007) for Brulé Kinship
  • Nominated: Record of the Year (2007) for Brulé & AIRO Silent Star Night

Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards:

  • Nominated: Best Instrumental CD (2007) for Brulé & AIRO Silent Star Night
More Shows
Western Sports Shows
“BullsEye with Jeff Medders” is a one-on-one interview show where host, Jeff Medders, features the top newsmakers, legends, and western industry leaders of the day. Medders uses his 30 years of western experience to provide a more personal look into the lives of the industry’s top cowboys and cowgirls.
Created by professionals who are horsemen themselves, “Equestrian Nation” is a program featuring stories about scores of different equine breeds and disciplines from all around the world. This magazine-style show comes from the producers of the highly celebrated, long-running television series “HorseWorld,” and boasts the same high-quality production.
Best of America by Horseback is a top-quality television show that offers trail riders a long list of scenic locations to visit—incorporating educational information about the location’s trails, camping and lodging facilities, amenities, history, and other fun things to do at each place! Not to mention, they share valuable equine product recommendations!
The LEGENDS of the Western Sports World are highlighted in this series, exploring their life and career at the top of their game.
“The Cinch High School Rodeo Tour,” in affiliation with the National High School Rodeo Association, showcases the next generation in Western Sports!
Renowned, award-winning equine clinician, Steve Lantvit, has a fresh and innovative approach to training individuals and horses. He shares all this expert advice with RFD-TV and Cowboy Channel viewers in his can’t-miss show, “Steve Lantvit Horsemanship.”
“Special Cowboy Moments,” a half-hour docuseries on RFD-TV, gives cowboy lovers and connoisseurs of western history alike the chance to explore stories of 20th-century rodeo legends, up-and-comers, fourth-generation ranchers, and more that will capture the heart of the steadfast western spirit.
Known as the “Public Defender” of the horse, Craig Cameron works hard every day to keep the cowboy way alive and well. Although most noted for his innovative horsemanship skills and exciting teaching techniques, he is also an incredible woodsman and hunter.
“Somewhere West of Wall Street” is simply the most recent addition to the long list of noteworthy accomplishments by the Renaissance cowboy, singer-songwriter, poet, author, and show host Red Steagall. Join Red and his quarter horse, Grey Dog, as they explore the people, places, and stories of the American West.
Produced in partnership with the National Little Britches Rodeo Association (NLBRA), the “Little Britches Rodeo” is literally an event famous for its slogan: “Where Legends Begin.” And it’s true, “Little Britches Rodeo” has helped to produce some of the top professional cowboys and cowgirls.