American Experience: We Shall Remain: Tecumseh’s Vision
Airs Monday, October 25, 2010 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, October 22, 2010
This groundbreaking mini-series establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. Five 90-minute documentaries spanning 300 years tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native-American perspective. Benjamin Bratt narrates.
The federal government today recognizes 562 Indian tribes as sovereign nations within the United States. Watch now
Go Behind The Scenes
View a photo gallery of production shots from the making of "We Shall Remain: Tecumseh's Vision."
"Tecumseh's Vision" - In the spring of 1805, Tenskwatawa (actor Billy Merasty, Cree First Nation), a Shawnee, fell into a trance so deep that those around him believed he had died. When he finally stirred, the young prophet claimed to have met the Master of Life. He told those who crowded around that the Indians were in dire straits because they had adopted white culture and rejected traditional spiritual ways.
For several years, Tenskwatawa’s spiritual revival movement drew thousands of adherents from tribes across the Midwest. His elder brother, Tecumseh (actor Michael Greyeyes, Plains Cree), would harness the energies of that renewal to create an unprecedented military and political confederacy of often antagonistic tribes, all committed to stopping white westward expansion. The brothers came closer than anyone since to creating an Indian nation that would exist alongside and separate from the United States.
The dream of an independent Indian state may have died at the Battle of the Thames, when Tecumseh was killed fighting alongside his British allies, but the great Shawnee warrior would live on as a potent symbol of Native pride and pan-Indian identity.