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30+ Native American Heritage Month Movies

November is Native American Heritage Month! It's a time to celebrate the rich histories, diverse cultures, and important contributions of our nation's first people. 

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month with Powerful Films! 

November is not just a month; it's a time to honor and celebrate the rich tapestry of Native American cultures, histories, and contributions.

Join us on a cinematic journey this Native American Heritage Month as we shine a spotlight on films that beautifully capture the diversity, resilience, and stories of Indigenous peoples.

From compelling documentaries to thought-provoking dramas, these movies offer a glimpse into the vibrant tapestry of Native American experiences. Get ready to immerse yourself in tales that inspire, educate, and celebrate the incredible heritage of Indigenous communities.

Let's come together to appreciate the artistry and narratives that shape our understanding of Native American history and culture. Grab your popcorn, and let the movie marathon begin!

Here are 30+ Native American Heritage Month Movies that you can binge-watch.

Native American Heritage Month Movies on Netflix

If you have a Netflix subscription, here are the movies you can watch for Native American Heritage Month.

Green Frontier

When a young Bogotá-based detective gets drawn into the jungle to investigate four femicides, she uncovers magic, an evil plot, and her own true origins. | Stream on Netflix

Frontier

In 18th-century North America, ruthless trappers and entrepreneurs fight to wrest control of the fur trade from the mighty Hudson's Bay Company. | Stream on Netflix

Gather
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Twila Cassadore, Nephi Craig, Elsie DuBray Cheyenne (Actors)

Gather

This documentary takes a close look at Indigenous American movements that aim to rediscover identity and reclaim sovereignty through ancestral foods. | Stream on Netflix

Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Martin Semsmeier, Dermot Mulroney, Tommy Flanagan (Actors)

Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher

A Chickasaw man survives great hardships and tragedy to establish a vast ranching empire along the famous cattle highway of the American West. | Stream on Netflix

Native American Heritage Month Movies

Don't worry if you don't have a Netflix subscription, here are the movies you can watch for Native American Heritage Month on other platforms, like Amazon Prime Video.

Geronimo: An American Legend
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman (Actors)

Geronimo: An American Legend

Wes Studi has the title role in this sprawling Western recounting famed Apache warrior Geronimo's losing battle with the U.S. Army in the late 1800s. | Stream on Netflix

Te Ata
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Q'orianka Kilcher, Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene (Actors)

Te Ata

A Chickasaw Nation woman navigates cultural barriers to pursue a stage career that culminates in a performance at the White House. Based on a true story. | Stream on Netflix

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

After a traumatic event, two Indigenous women in Vancouver are brought together and form a deep bond despite leading different lives. | Stream on Netflix

Smoke Signals
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard (Actors)

Smoke Signals

This critical and audience film festival favorite follows two unlikely friends on a road trip they never expected to take. Combining humor and heart, it explores the adventure of friendship and the discovery of new worlds.

Wind River
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal (Actors)

Wind River

A chilling murder mystery set in the icy backwoods of a Native American Reservation, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner.

Warrior Women

Warrior Women is the story of mothers and daughters fighting for Native rights in the American Indian Movement of the 1970s. The film unveils not only a female perspective of history but also examines the impact political struggles have on the children who bear witness. | Stream on Vimeo

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Rumble

This revelatory documentary brings to light the profound and overlooked influence of Indigenous people on popular music in North America. The film focuses on music icons like Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Taboo (The Black Eyed Peas), Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, and Randy Castillo.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Aidan Quinn, Adam Beach, Anna Paquin (Actors)

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Epic ‘HBO Films' adaptation of Dee Brown's book about the subjugation and cultural extermination of the Sioux tribe in the 19th century.

Trudell
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Robert Redford, Kris Kristofferson, Sam Shepard (Actors)

Trudell

The film traces poet John Trudell's (1946-2015) life from his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska, through his role as one of the leaders of the Occupation of Alcatraz and Radio Free Alcatraz in 1969, to serving as Chairman of the American Indian Movement from 1973-1979.

It also covers his rebirth as a poet after his wife died in a house fire suspected of arson.

The Seventh Fire
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Rob Brown, Kevin Fineday (Actors)

The Seventh Fire

Terrence Malick and Natalie Portman present this haunting and visually arresting nonfiction film about the Native American gang crisis. Official Selection – Berlin Int'l Film Festival.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Devery Jacobs, Roseanne Supernault, Glen Gould (Actors)

Rhymes for Young Ghouls

Red Crow Mi'gMaq reservation, 1976: By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 16 must attend residential school.

In the kingdom of the Crow, that means imprisonment at St. Dymphna's. 15-year-old Aila sells enough dope to pay her way out of the school, but when her drug money is stolen, her only options are to run or fight and Mi'gMaq doesn't run.

Barking Water
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Casey Camp-Horenick, Richard Ray Whitman (Actors)

Barking Water

Frankie is dying. Irene hasn't forgiven him. And they are racing against time to find their way home. The two set out on a journey that becomes more than getting home; confronting the past, love, understanding, and self-discovery.

Native American Documentaries

Documentaries allow us to get up-close and personal with topics we’ve never experienced or have no knowledge of. Viewers see the detailed lives of people who have gone through great distress and the extremely privileged lives of others.

These emotional documentaries follow stories of the Native American struggle and success in systems that disproportionately affect them.

Songs My Brother Taught Me
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Reddy, Jashaun St. John, Irene Bedard (Actors)

Songs My Brothers Taught Me

In the wake of their father’s death, school-age Lakota siblings John and Jasuan face issues of poverty, alcoholism, and violence as John contemplates leaving their reservation for good. Directed by Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao.

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tasha Hubbard (Actor)

We Will Stand Up

In 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley's rural property with his friends.

The jury's acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada's legal system and propelling Colten's family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice.

We Were Children
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Rene Batson, Taya Ayotte Bourns, Alice Dano (Actors)

We Were Children

As young children, Lyna and Glen were taken from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools. The trauma of this experience was made worse by years of untold physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, the effects of which persist in their adult lives.

The profound impact of the Canadian government's residential school system is conveyed unflinchingly through their eyes.

Squanto: A Warrior's Tale
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Adam Beach, Eric Schweig, Michael Gambon (Actors)

Squanto: A Warrior's Tale

Squanto, a young warrior abducted from his homeland and enslaved, must battle impossible hazards on a desperate journey home. Driven by a passion to be free, he risks everything to escape his captors.

Thunderheart
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Val Kilmer, Graham Greene, Sam Shepard (Actors)

Thunderheart

An FBI agent of Sioux heritage investigates a series of mysterious murders on a Native American reservation in South Dakota – crimes his fellow agents aren't keen to solve in this excellent mystery.

What Was Ours
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Mat Hames (Director) - Beth Hames (Producer)

What Was Ours

An Eastern Shoshone Elder and two Northern Arapaho youth living on the Wind River Indian Reservation attempt to learn why thousands of ancestral artifacts are in the darkness of underground archives of museums and churches, boxed away and forgotten.

It is being preserved, locked away, by ‘outsiders' who themselves do not know what they have.

N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • N. Scott Momaday, Robert Redford, James Earl Jones (Actors)

Words from a Bear

When N. Scott Momaday won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize, it marked one of the first major acknowledgments of Native American literature and culture. Now, Momaday’s words come to life in this biography of a celebrated Native American storyteller.

A Good Day To Die
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Dennis Banks (Actor)

A Good Day to Die

From the depths of despair Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM), led his people into confrontation with the US government and changed their lives forever.

A stirring account of the forgotten Indian civil rights movement, this documentary recounts not only the struggle but also depicts the terrible repression they endured.

Spirit Game: Pride of the Nation
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Peter Baxter (Director) - Peter Spirer (Producer)

Spirit Game

In this documentary, we follow the Iroquois National Lacrosse Team in their journey to the 2015 World Box Lacrosse Championships. For the first time ever, the Championship Games were held on an Indian Reservation, in Onondaga in upstate New York.

Related: Top Lacrosse Movies and TV Shows To Watch

Mankiller
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Wilma Mankiller, Charlie Soap, Gloria Steinem (Actors)

Mankiller

Mankiller tells the powerful and uplifting story of Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

On a Knife Edge
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • George Dull Knife (Actor)

On a Knife Edge

George Dull Knife is the youngest in a long line of legendary Lakota leaders. Abandoned by his mother and raised by a proud activist father, George must learn to adapt the old ways to the realities of modern life.

Against a backdrop of rising tensions, George finds himself clashing with the police and his tribal council as he finds his place in a climate of social injustice and family demands.

Through The Repellant Fence
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kade Twist, Raven Chacon, Cristobal Martinez (Actors)

Through the Repellent Fence

The Repellant Fence follows Native American art collective Postcommodity as they construct Repellent Fence, a two-mile-long outdoor artwork straddling the U.S.-Mexico border a mile in each direction and suturing the region back together.

Keepers of the Game

Keepers of the Game focuses on the sport of lacrosse, which is considered a sacred game in the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, where it was invented. There are many in the community who believe that it's “the creator's game” and, as such, is “just for men.”

Because of these traditions and beliefs, controversy ensues when a group of Native American teenage girls attending the public high school just outside the reservation wants to start a girls' lacrosse team.

The obstacles of the inherent sexism in the community are further compounded by the fact that the school district's budget cuts prevent funding for any new athletic teams, to say nothing of the inherent racism of the surrounding area (upstate New York, where their crosstown rival mascot is a caricature of a Native American). | Stream on Apple TV

More Than Frybread
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tatanka Means, Joe W. Washington, Teresa Choyguha (Actors)

More than Frybread

All twenty-two Native American tribes in Arizona convene in Flagstaff, Arizona to compete for the first-ever annual Arizona frybread championships. This is the only Native American mockumentary feature film ever made and the only film that stars a piece of Frybread. If you love or hate frybread, this film is for you!! Winner of numerous awards.

The Last of His Tribe
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jon Voight, Graham Greene, David Ogden Stiers (Actors)

The Last of His Tribe

Anthropologist Jon Voight brings the last ‘wild' Native American to San Francisco in this fact-based drama. 

Silent Enemy, The
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Chief Yellow Robe (Actor)

The Silent Enemy

A documentary about the life of Indians in Northern Canada.

If you enjoyed this list of movies, I have a monthly membership for parents and educators that want to teach or supplement lessons with shows and movies.

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