Films to Watch for Indigenous Peoples' Day 2022

Updated: Oct 27

Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day! Support Native filmmakers by streaming one of our top 5 favorite films by Indigenous directors. Check out the list below!💜✨​​​​​​​​

Five portraits of people

OC TOP 5:

FAVORITE FILMS BY INDIGENOUS DIRECTORS


Woman in black and white















Monkey Beach (2020)

Directed by Loretta Todd

Where to Stream: Crave


In an effort to turn her life around, a young indigenous woman returns to her hometown and discovers how dysfunctional her family has become.


Woman with earrings
















Little Chief (2020)

Directed by Erica Tremblay

Where to Stream: YouTube


The lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school day on a reservation in Oklahoma.


Man in purple















The Cherokee Word for Water (2013)

Directed by Tim Kelly + Charlie Soap

Where to Stream: Apple TV


The work that led Wilma Mankiller to become the first modern female Chief of the Cherokee Nation.


Woman with hat















Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) (2018)

Directed by Amanda Strong

Where to Stream: YouTube


Accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shape-shifter and friend known as Sabe, Biidaaban sets out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban neighborhood in Ontario.


Man in glasses smiling















Mekko (2015)

Directed by Sterlin Harjo

Where to Stream: Prime Video, Tubi


Mekko is a native American man who is released from prison. He served time for killing a cousin. Homeless, he learns that he must become a warrior to fight the "witch" preying on his people because they have lost their spirit.

OC Honorable Mentions:


Words from a Bear (2019) - Jeffrey Palmer

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 (2014) - Julianna Brannum

Ronnie BoDean (2015) - Steven Judd

Four Sheets to the Wind (2007) - Sterlin Harjo

Night Raiders (2021) - Danis Goulet

Hollywood has a history of excluding Native people on screen and inaccurately portraying them. UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report 2022” found that Native Americans “remain virtually invisible in Hollywood, making up less than one percent of each job category tracked.” You can support Natives in the industry by streaming one of the films on this list.

If you’d like to do more to help support the Indigenous community, donate to one or more of the following amazing organizations!

Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance

California Heritage Indigenous Research Project Indigenous Roots Restoring Justice for Indigenous People Spirit of the Sun Sogorea Te’ Land Trust

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