The story of Big Bear, the real life Cree chief who campaigned for his people and their land against the Canadian government in the 1870s and 1880s.

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Series cast summary:
Gordon Tootoosis ...  Chief Big Bear 2 episodes, 1998
Tantoo Cardinal ...  Running Second 2 episodes, 1998
Lorne Cardinal ...  Little Bad Man 2 episodes, 1998
Kennetch Charlette Kennetch Charlette ...  Lone Man 2 episodes, 1998
Patrick Bird Patrick Bird ...  Kingbird 2 episodes, 1998
Michael Greyeyes ...  Wandering Spirit 2 episodes, 1998
Simon Baker ...  Horsechild 2 episodes, 1998
Gail Maurice ...  Nowakich 2 episodes, 1998
Ben Cardinal ...  Miserable Man 2 episodes, 1998
Blaine Hart Blaine Hart ...  Peter Erasmus 2 episodes, 1998
Mel Melymick Mel Melymick ...  Thomas Quinn 2 episodes, 1998
Billy Morton Billy Morton ...  John Delaney 2 episodes, 1998
Diane Debassige Diane Debassige ...  Sits Green On The Earth / ... 2 episodes, 1998
Michael Obey Michael Obey ...  Iron Body 2 episodes, 1998
Victoria Sanchez ...  Kelly McLean / ... 2 episodes, 1998
Lorne Duquette Lorne Duquette ...  Round The Sky / ... 2 episodes, 1998
Rob Roy Rob Roy ...  William McLean 2 episodes, 1998
Mishi Donovan Mishi Donovan ...  Mrs. McLean 2 episodes, 1998
Robert Hoek Robert Hoek ...  He Speaks Our Tongue 2 episodes, 1998
Iain MacLean Iain MacLean ...  John McDougall 2 episodes, 1998


In two parts - I - 1875, and the buffalo on the verge of disappearance. Cree leader Big Bear is attempting to negotiate for his band with the Canadian government who wish him to sign the treaty and select a reserve. As the band starves and conditions worsen the more radical young warriors, such as his son Little Bad Man, grow in power. Part II: When they hear of the Metis victory at Duck Lake, in the spring of 1885, Little Bad Man and Wandering Spirit (the war chief) take control of the band and attack the whites at the settlement at Frog Lake, later capturing and burning Fort Pitt. They are hunted by government troops whom they force to retreat but Big Bear's scattered band soon surrenders, resulting in execution for some leaders and prison for Big Bear. Written by Brian Hubner

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama







Release Date:

1998 (Canada) See more »

Filming Locations:

Châteauguay, Québec, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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User Reviews

great idea to switch languages
23 February 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1875 southern Saskatchewan. Cree leader Big Bear encounters a Canadian survey team and sends them away. The whites are pushing ever westward. The government signs a treaty with lesser leaders but Big Bear does not sign. As the buffalo disappear, Big Bear is forced to sign but corrupt officials and conflicts hound the tribe. Big Bear's eldest son Little Bad Man leads the warriors. In 1885, government forces lose the Battle of Duck Lake to the Metis. Little Bad Man and Wandering Spirit take control and attack.

It's a brilliant idea to have the native language be English and whites speak something incomprehensible. I would suggest more colloquial writing for the native speakers. There is still the old movie form of halting native talk. It needs to not simply translate the language but transform the language completely. That's why I love when they swear. They need modern grammar to fully convert the world view. The movie is pretty straight forward. I hope it's more or less historically accurate. It's a fine history lesson and a good TV production.

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