October 11, 2011

War of 1812 documentary

War of 1812 documentary offers aboriginal perspective

First Nations people were big losers in battle

By Randy Boswell
A new U.S. documentary, which was to be aired Monday, ahead of next year's bicentennial of the War of 1812 puts a different spin on the enduring debate over who won the historic battle between British Canada and the fledgling U.S., instead highlighting the unambiguous defeat suffered by North America's aboriginal nations as a result of the war.

The two-hour film, produced by the Buffalo, N.Y.,-based PBS affiliate that has millions of viewers in southern Ontario, casts the native allies of the British-Canadian forces--led by the heroic Shawnee chief Tecumseh--as fierce and effective fighters in resisting American invasion attempts.

But the resulting deadlock in the war, which left North America's borders intact after 2 1/2 years of fighting, also ended Tecumseh's dream of a confederation of Indian nations with large, secure territories and a status comparable to the British colonies and American states.

The documentary, simply titled The War of 1812, "clearly deals with the fact that the one group that lost heavily is the natives," Canadian military historian Peter Twist, a consultant on the film, told Postmedia News.
Comment:  For more on the War of 1812, see War of 1812 Bicentennial Without Indians?

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