We Shall Remain: American Experience

Tecumseh's Vision

Season 21, Episode 6 of 9

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.

Previously Aired

Day
Time
Channel
4/20/2009
9 p.m.
11/23/2009
9 p.m.
11/24/2009
2 a.m.
11/26/2009
1 p.m.
10/25/2010
9 p.m.
10/26/2010
2 a.m.
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