Chiefs: Series 1
The six-part series is the saga of the great leaders, warriors and diplomats of the First Nations whose stories form a central drama of the North American continent. A blend of documentary and dramatic re-enactment, bringing to life the power, spirit and mystery of the First Nations, the films also seek to separate the myth from the men, to tell the story of leaders who could be equally Machiavellian and magnanimous, cruel and foolish as well as brilliant and brave.
Part 1: Sitting Bull Part 1
Born in the Dakota Hills, Sitting Bull became a leader of Indian tribes during the Great Sioux Wars. Present day descendants help to tell his story. This program covers his life and the developments leading to the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Part 2: Sitting Bull Part 2
The saga of Sitting Bull’s life after the Battle of Little Big Horn continues. In Canada, Sitting Bull and Canadian Mountie John Walsh form a relationship, and the Canadians do not want to support the US tactics against the Indians, which includes wiping out the buffalo in order to cause starvation.
Part 3: The Blackhawk War
Through his memoirs, and the words of his descendants, this film tells the story of Black Hawk and of the brutal government response to the resistance of his tribal allies, which resulted in the forced relocation of Native Americans from their homes in the upper Mississippi to Oklahoma.
Part 4: The Pontiac Rebellion
Pontiac, or Obwandiyag, the leader of the Algonquin Nations, and chief of the Odawa, fought against the British with the French. After the French were defeated in Canada in 1759, Pontiac struggled against the British military occupation of the Great Lakes region.
Part 5: The Trial of Poundmaker
Thayendanegea, or Joseph Brant, was a Mohawk military and political leader in the 18th century, based in present-day New York. Closely associated with Great Britain during and after the American Revolution, he met the most famous figures of his day, including George Washington and King George III.
Part 6: The Worlds of Joseph Brant
Known as a peacemaker and defender of his people, Poundmaker surrendered after Canadian forces attacked his camp in 1885 in response to an uprising. His story is told through interviews with Poundmaker’s descendants, re-enactments and archival images.