The experiences of Native American peoples are central to the fabric of American and Canadian history as well as modern life. To celebrate this year’s Indigenious People’s Day, here are five movies, documentaries, and shows you should check out to educate yourself on the history of Native American history and traditions.
Reservation Dogs (2021-Present)
An American TV series known for being the first to feature all Indigenous writers and directors and an almost entirely Indigenous North American cast and production team. This highly rated teen comedy drama follows the exploits of four teenagers in rural Oklahoma who push the legal boundaries in order to relocate West to California.
We Were Children (2012)
A 2012 Canadian documentary film that chronicles the experiences of two First Nations children in the Canadian Indian residential school system.
Smoke Signals (1998)
An independent coming of age comedy drama that focuses on two Native American young men living on the Coeur D’Alene Indian Reservation in Plummer, Idaho. This movie gives you a peek into the contemporary Native American world, is created by an almost exclusively Native American cast, and gives you a unique glimpse into life living on a reservation.
When a series of unsolved murders occur on Native American reservation in South Dakota, the FBI sends in Special Agent Ray Levoi (Val Kilmer) to investigate. A fascinating murder mystery that brings to light the plight of the modern Native American people.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
An epic Western starring, directed, and produced by Kevin Costner, it tells the story of Union Army Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Costner), who travels to the American frontier to find a military post and who meets a group of Lakota Natives.
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