Top 5 Native American Movies

Top 5 Native American Movies

Of course, there are many movies out there that feature Native Americans, but, there are non that do it as well as the movies listed below. Each bring different perspectives of Native Americans, as well as correct representation. Looking for a movie to watch with your family over the holidays? Feel free to read the list below for some ideas!


The New World (2005)

Probably one of the most artistic and beautiful movies on this list, The New World is praised for its beautiful scenes, realistic depictions of Native living, and its reconstructions of Jamestown and Powhatan village based on archeological evidence. Set in 1607 in Jamestown, The New World is telling the story of Pocahontas and the meeting of two very different cultures and worlds.


Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)

One of the very few Native American movies where the cast is almost entirely Native American, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner is an amazing movie. Set in the 11th century in an Inuit tribe, this film features love, murder, revenge, and romance. One of the best parts about this movie is the time that it takes to show the rituals and customs of the Inuit along with their nature and family centered lifestyle.


Black Robe (1991)

Considered by many as one of the most authentic depictions of Indian life ever filmed, Black Robe not only uses native Huron, Iroquois, and Algonquin languages, but also depicts and details housing and methods of hunting that are all based on historical research. Focusing on a Jesuit missionary who is accompanied by eight canoes of Algonquins and a translator in the 1630’s, Black Robe can at times be difficult to watch but does a great job of representing what life was like in that time period.


Dreamkeeper (2003)

One of the more refreshing and modern day movies on the list, Dreamkeeper goes through many different time periods and follows Pete Chasing Horse, Grandpa, and his grandson Shane who go on a trip together that in effect, becomes a vision quest for Shane. Full of very interesting and fun stories told by Grandpa, Dreamkeeper is about tolerance, bravery, and searching for the truth. Also depicting Native living throughout the years, the movie also features lacrosse, curing hides, gathering berries, planting corn, and all actors who played Natives are actually Native American.


Dances with Wolves (1991)

Although there has been some debate about linguistic accuracy, Dances with Wolves is still considered by many, one of the best Native American movies made. Considered to also be one of the most authentic Native movies created, it depicts women doing their daily chores, a buffalo hunt, taking down teepees, buffalo hunting, and more. It also shows the Sioux in a very positive light, and if you examine the movie closely, the Pawnee are presented in a noble fashion just like Magua in Last of the Mohicans. If there has to be a villain, it would most likely be Dunbar who introduces the Sioux to guns, corrupting the way they have been fighting for centuries. But overall, this is still an excellent movie that is definitely worth watching.


Did we miss any of your favorite movies that featured Native Americans? Have any questions for us? Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us at


Happy Holidays from 1st Tribal Lending!