Big Bear | 1998
Miniseries, based on the novel by Rudy Wiebe, depicting the story of Plains Cree Chief Big Bear and his people in Canada in the 1880s and '90s, told from the point of view of the Cree. Canadian government officials seek to confine the Cree onto reserves as settlers encroach on the plains where the Cree have always hunted freely. Big Bear's determination not to sign away ancestral rights to the land brings starvation to his followers, tearing apart his community and his own family. After holding out for years, he finally signs the treaty so his people may eat. He himself refuses to be tied to a reserve as tensions mount between the Canadian authorities and Big Bear. After 10 years of resistance, his warriors reject Big Bear's leadership and join war chief Wandering Spirit and Big Bear's son, Little Bad Man, to launch a fatal confrontation with Canadian troops. Big Bear surrenders in order to negotiate with the government on behalf of his people and their future.