American Experience: We Shall Remain 1 Season 2009

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2. Tecumseh's Vision TV-PG CC

In the spring of 1805, Tenskwatawa, 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 to listen 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, 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.

Runtime:
1 hour 26 minutes
Original air date:
April 20, 2009

Tecumseh's Vision

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Season 1
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    1. After the Mayflower In March of 1621, in what is now southeastern Massachusetts, Massasoit, the leading sachem of the Wampanoag, sat down to negotiate with a ragged group of English colonists. Hungry, dirty and sick, the pale-skinned foreigners were struggling to stay alive; they were in desperate need of Native help. Massasoit faced problems of his own. His people had lately been decimated by unexplained sickness, leaving them vulnerable to the rival Narragansett to the west. The Wampanoag sachem calculated that a tactical alliance with the foreigners would provide a way to protect his people and hold his Native enemies at bay. He agreed to give the English the help they needed. A half-century later, as a brutal war flared between the English colonists and a confederation of New England Indians, the wisdom of Massasoit's diplomatic gamble seemed less clear. Five decades of English immigration, mistreatment, lethal epidemics, and widespread environmental degradation had brought the Indians and their way of life to the brink of disaster. Led by Metacom, Massasoit's son, the Wampanoag and their Native allies fought back against the English, nearly pushing them into the sea.

    TV-PG 1h 18min April 13, 2009
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    2. Tecumseh's Vision In the spring of 1805, Tenskwatawa, 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 to listen 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, 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.

    TV-PG 1h 26min April 20, 2009
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    3. Trail of Tears The Cherokee would call it Nu-No-Du-Na-Tlo-Hi-Lu, "The Trail Where They Cried." On May 26, 1838, federal troops forced thousands of Cherokee from their homes in the Southeastern United States, driving them toward Indian Territory in Eastern Oklahoma. More than 4,000 died of disease and starvation along the way. For years the Cherokee had resisted removal from their land in every way they knew. Convinced that white America rejected Native Americans because they were "savages," Cherokee leaders established a republic with a European-style legislature and legal system. Many Cherokee became Christian and adopted westernized education for their children. Their visionary principal chief, John Ross, would even take the Cherokee case to the Supreme Court, where he won a crucial recognition of tribal sovereignty that still resonates. Though in the end the Cherokee embrace of "civilization" and their landmark legal victory proved no match for white land hunger and military power, the Cherokee people were able, with characteristic ingenuity, to build a new life in Oklahoma, far from the land that had sustained them for generations.

    TV-PG 1h 16min April 27, 2009
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    4. Geronimo In February of 1909, the indomitable Chiricahua Apache warrior and war shaman Geronimo lay on his deathbed. He summoned his nephew to his side, whispering, "I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive." It was an admission of regret from a man whose insistent pursuit of military resistance in the face of overwhelming odds confounded not only his Mexican and American enemies, but many of his fellow Apaches as well. Born around 1820, Geronimo grew into a leading warrior and healer. But after his tribe was relocated to an Arizona reservation in 1872, he became a focus of the fury of terrified white settlers and of the growing tensions that divided Apaches struggling to survive under almost unendurable pressures. To angry whites, Geronimo became the archfiend, perpetrator of unspeakable savage cruelties. To his supporters, he remained the embodiment of proud resistance, the upholder of the old Chiricahua ways. To other Apaches, especially those who had come to see the white man's path as the only viable road, Geronimo was a stubborn troublemaker, unbalanced by his unquenchable thirst for vengeance, whose actions needlessly brought the enemy's wrath down on his own people. At a time when surrender to the reservation and acceptance of the white man's civilization seemed to be the Indians' only realistic options, Geronimo and his tiny band of Chiricahuas fought on. The final holdouts, they became the last Native-American fighting force to capitulate formally to the government of the United States.

    TV-PG 1h 18min May 4, 2009
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    5. Wounded Knee On the night of February 27, 1973, 54 cars rolled, horns blaring, into a small hamlet on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Within hours, some 200 Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement (AIM) activists had seized the few major buildings in town and police had cordoned off the area. The occupation of Wounded Knee had begun. Demanding redress for grievances -- some going back more than 100 years -- the protesters captured the world's attention for 71 gripping days. With heavily armed federal troops tightening a cordon around meagerly supplied, cold, hungry Indians, the event invited media comparisons with the massacre of Indian men, women and children at Wounded Knee almost a century earlier. In telling the story of this iconic moment, the final episode of WE SHALL REMAIN examines the broad political and economic forces that led to the emergence of AIM in the late 1960s, as well as the immediate events -- a murder and an apparent miscarriage of justice -- that triggered the takeover. Though the federal government failed to make good on many of the promises that ended the siege, the event succeeded in bringing the desperate conditions of Indian reservation life to the nation's attention. Perhaps even more important, it proved that despite centuries of encroachment, warfare and neglect, Indians remained a vital force in the life of America.

    TV-PG 1h 20min May 11, 2009

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We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Ric Burns, Chris Eyre
Supporting actors Dwier Brown, Michael Greyeyes, Chevez Ezaneh, Billy Merasty, Mariel Belanger, Thosh Collins, Lawrence Santiago, Leland Chapin, R. David Edmunds, Stephen Warren, Randy Santiago, Andew Lyn Jr., Colin G. Calloway, Kieran McArthur, Delwin Fiddler Jr., Donald Fixico
Season year 2009
Network PBS
Executive Producer Susan Bellows
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 118 people found the following review helpful By CGScammell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 18, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's about time that something like this is produced, and what better director to use than Chris Eyre as director? He is at his finest in this work, capturing foggy rivers, haze-free sunsets, ample forests filled with flora and pigs and actors dressed in appropriate era clothing. The quality of the film itself is worthy of awards. This is truly a gift from his heart.

Benjamin Bratt's gentle voice adds to the narration. He doesn't get overly emotinal when telling the story, as the scenes you watch at the same time say it all. You are left to yourself to realize the brutality of that time.

This is a three-disc set totalling about 470 minutes. Produced in widescreen, even on my CRT set I get a near-full screen.

The first episode, "After the Mayflower" opens with 1621, the year the first settlers arrived off the shores of southeastern Massachusetts. The research that went into this work is incredible, with many scenes spoken in the native language, in this case, Nipmuc. The first Thanksgiving is realistically portrayed: not with turkeys and cranberries, but with venison and wild berries.

The second episode, "Tecumseh's Vision" demonstrates how the War of 1812 came to be: Natives, who had sided with the British during the American Revolution (can you blame them?) now found themselves on foreign land. They were pushed westward, west of Appalachia, where more battles ensued with the settlers and frontiersmen and trappers from France along the Great Lakes region.

The Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers hold great history for both the Shawnee and the people who eventually settled along its banks. The "Vision" however, was the loss of the first peoples who had lived along its banks.

The "Trail of Tears" completes the second disc.
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85 of 97 people found the following review helpful By JediSushiChef on May 11, 2009
Format: DVD
The reviewer before me gave an excellent blow-by-blow of the series...and I concur with that assessment. However, I want to add something more big picture about what this series suggests.

This excellent series about the Native American story will leave many surprised to the effect of "Gee, I had no idea."

As a white American with some experience in tribal matters; this review is not only a recommendation for this series, but a plea of sorts with the general public to learn and understand more about the culture and lives of our Native American sisters and brothers.

I say, with all due respect: "PLEASE wake up."

Many of the stories in this series, which we hear from the Native American perspective, we learned in school through the Anglo lens with the following overtones: Indian savage... Indian bad... Troublemaker... Nonconformist... Enemy of progress... these were the stories we read in school, along with watching the bad guy "Injun Joe" on the movie screen in that 1970s Disney version of Tom Sawyer.

Throw out all that garbage you have learned. Stop. Rewind. Reboot your hard drive...now learn the truth through this amazing and educational series.

I see this series as merely an introduction to what should be a higher calling for us as Americans; Anglo, Native, Black, Asian, or Latino. For those of you who are inspired by the stories told in this DVD series, it's your job to go out and seek more of the truth that is hinted at in what are a collection of five main stories for each disk: Before the Mayflower, Tecumseh's Vision, The Trail of Tears, Geronimo, and Wounded Knee.

At the very least ~ if you have a pulse ~ it should change your perspective on who we are as Americans.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Future Watch Writer on May 17, 2009
Format: DVD
This is an excellent PBS series that really brings the past to light. The first two shows are really the best. The first show clearly reveals how the religious bigotry and predatory environmental and economic policies of the Puritans made any hope of peaceful coexistence impossible. A particularly grim fate awaited the "Praying Indians", who had accepted Christianity. During King Philip's War the Puritans put them in a concentration camp in the middle of winter for "security reasons", where most of them died. A good book you might want to read with this DVD is North American Indian Ecology. You might also want to watch a previous video series on Native Americans 500 Nations.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deb on September 29, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent film series told from the viewpoint of the natives in America.They were strong and beautiful, but they could not stop the flood of people from Europe. The first episode about the arrival at Plymouth rock is so different than what I learned in school. It showed me how quickly treaties and pacts can change in just a generation!
When you see Geronimo with 29 people against 9,000, you have to be in awe of the man. He rode in the presidential parade as a hero, but the US government never let him return to his homeland.Sad story.
I also am concerned for the tribes in Brazil today. I googled a map of where Christians have been spreading the "true" religion. Very sad indeed. Let the tribes there have their own religion and way of life. Have we learned nothing?
This series should be shown in high schools & colleges today!
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