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Native American and First Nations Media

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"We've been defined by everyone else and continue to be slandered despite easy-to-look-up-on-the-internet facts about the realities of our histories and current state as a people. We have the sad, defeated Indian silhouette, and the heads rolling down temple stairs, we have it in our heads, Kevin Costner saving us, John Wayne's six-shooter slaying us, an Italian guy named Iron Eyes Cody playing our parts in movies. [...]All the way from the top of Canada, the top of Alaska, down to the bottom of South America, Indians were removed, then reduced to a feathered image. Our heads are on flags, jerseys, and coins. Our heads were on the penny first, of course, the Indian cent, and then on the buffalo nickel, both before we could even vote as a people — which, like the truth of what happened in history all over the world, and like all that spilled blood from slaughter, are now out of circulation."

Media that stars Native American characters, defined by the US census as being "American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities." Also included in this list are media centering around the First Nations, the indigenous people of Canada, and the Métis and Inuit peoples. These works may or may not focus on Native heritage, racial identity, and culture.

For indigenous creators, see Native American and First Nations Creators.

See also Native Americans Tropes, African-American Media, Arab-Americans in Media, Asian-American Media, Latino-American Media, and Pacific Islanders in Media.

Not to be confused with Indian Media, which is about media from the country of India.

Note when adding examples: Native Americans have a long, bloody, and often inaccurate history in American media and entire film genres like The Western are likely to treat them less sensitively. This index is meant to compile works that focus on Native Americans; we ask that added works be limited to those that feature indigenous characters as protagonists (as opposed to part of an ensemble) or is otherwise about Native characters and their culture.


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    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Arrowhead: One of the two protagonists, Cody, is First Nations.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Apache: A Very Loosely Based on a True Story account of Massai, the Apache renegede who escaped and kept fighting after the surrender of Geronimo.
  • Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner: A retelling of the Inuit legend of Atanarjuat. The first feature film ever to be made entirely in the Inuktitut language.
  • Black Cloud: The eponymous character is Navajo.
  • Blood Quantum: A zombie uprising on a First Nations reserve.
  • Cry Blood, Apache: A lone Apache warrior goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the white men who massacred his tribe.
  • Dance Me Outside: The characters live on the Kidabanesee reserve in Northern Ontario.
  • Dances with Wolves: A white American soldier integrates with and protects the Lakota Sioux.
  • The Dark Wind: Adaptation of the Leaphorn & Chee novel of the same name. Set on a Native American reservation and features Navajo and Hopi characters.
  • The Daughter of Dawn: One of the earliest films about Native Americans featuring an all-Native American cast; tells the story of a Love Dodecahedron among Kiowa youths.
  • Dreamkeeper: On the way to a powwow, a Lakota elder tells his grandson various Indian legends.
  • Edge of America: A black man integrates with the Native American community in Utah.
  • Frozen River: One of the two protagonists is Mohawk.
  • Geronimo: An American Legend: Is about the surrender of Geronimo, an Apache leader.
  • The Grizzlies: Depicts an Inuit youth lacrosse team that was set up to help combat an onslaught of youth suicide in the community of Kugluktuk, Nunavut.
  • 'The Half-Breed: A Fair for Its Day portrayal of the Half Breed Prejudice encountered by the child of a Native American mother nd a white father when he ventures into white civilisation for the first time.
  • Imprint: The protagonist is a Native American attorney who returns to a reservation for her father.
  • In the Land of the Head Hunters: Documents the lives of the Kwakwaka'wakw people of Canada.
  • Indian Horse: Follows a young First Nations boy who survives residential school and becomes a hockey player.
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • The Magnificent Seven (2016): One of the main characters is Comanche.
  • A Man Called Horse
  • Mohawk: Set during the War of 1812, all of the Native American characters are played by Native American actors, with the central character Oak being played by a member of the Mohawk tribe.
  • Nanook of the North: A dramatized account of the day-to-day life of Nanook, an Inuit man.
  • The New Mutants: One of the main leads is of Cheyenne descent.
  • The New World (2005): 2005 film about the life of Pocahontas.
  • Prey (2022): The fifth mainline Predator film involving a young Comanche hunter going up against a Yautja. Notable for being the first major Hollywood film to be dubbed into the Comanche language.
  • The Revenant
  • The Rider: The characters are Lakota Sioux and live on a reservation.
  • Rhymes for Young Ghouls: About a First Nations girl and the abuse that goes on at Indian residential schools.
  • Savaged: A white deaf girl is murdered by rednecks. An Apache spirit possesses her body and hunts them down one by one.
  • Skins: Set on a fictional reservation; the characters are Lakota Sioux.
  • Shadow Of The Wolf: Features characters who are Inuit.
  • Sioux City: Features characters who are Lakota.
  • Smoke Signals: Characters are Native American and live on a reservation in Idaho.
  • Son of the Morning Star: One of two perspectives featured in the film is that of a Cheyenne woman at the time of the Battle of the Bighorn.
  • The Squaw Man: Deals with a marriage between a white Remittance Man and a Native American woman.
  • Thunderheart: A man of Lakota descent investigates a murder on a reservation.
  • White Fawn's Devotion: The oldest surviving film made by Native Americans; about an interracial couple (a white man and a Sioux woman).
  • Wind River: Set on an northern reservation, the film deals with violence against women in native lands.
  • Windtalkers: Two U.S. Marines in World War II are assigned to protect Navajo Marines, who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Blackstone: Follows the lives of Indigenous people living on the fictional Blackstone First Nations reserve, set in Alberta, Canada.
  • Emergency!: Co-protagonist John Gage is Native American. His actor, Randolph Mantooth, is a Seminole/Cherokee/German mixture, though no tribe was named for Johnny in the episode where his heritage came up.
  • Frontier: The protagonist is half-Cree, half-Irish.
  • Into The West: Focuses on several Native American characters during America's western expansion.
  • "Manifest Destiny" (Two Sentence Horror Stories episode): Cree protagonist.
  • Reservation Dogs: Focuses on a gang of four Native teenagers in rural Oklahoma as they commit crimes and try to protect their land from a rival gang.
  • Resident Alien: Deuteragonist Asta Twelvetrees and ensemble/recurring characters are Southern Ute, with their cultural aspects woven into the story (such as bereavement/birth traditions and extended familial bonds on the reservation). The Native characters are all played by Native actors and one of the writers, Tazbah Chavez, is a citizen of the Bishop Paiute Tribe.
  • Roswell, New Mexico: One of the main character is half Navaho. His heritage is delved into, supporting Navaho characters appear (including his family) and a Season 2 storyline involves the Navajo reservation heavily.
  • Rutherford Falls: A sitcom that focuses on the conflict between the Minishonka Nation and the titular town, which was built on Minishonka land. Sierra Teller Ornelas, a Navajo of the Edge Water clan, is one of the show's creators. Additionally, half the cast is made up of Native actors and the writer's room is majority Native.
  • Strange Empire: One of the three protagonists, Kat is Métis. Additionally, Caleb is another Métis who's a supporting character, with their heritage being a major theme. The struggles of Métis and First Nations people on the 1800s Canadian frontier affects many episodes' plots.
  • Trickster: Protagonist is Haisla.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: Protagonist is half-Cherokee.
  • Yellowstone: The series features a wide range of Native American main characters, and the conflict between a local Indian reservation and a white rancher is a primary factor in the plot.


    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • Amerindian Arbalists: An alternate history story where Native Americans invented crossbows in the 10th century AD. Features Native American protagonists of various nationalities, from a wide variety of regions, mostly North American.

    Western Animation 
  • Bravestarr
  • Gargoyles: The main human protagonist is half African-American and half Native-American.
  • Infinity Train: The protagonist of the second season in this anthology series is Apache.
  • Molly of Denali: The protagonist is an Alaska Native.
  • Onyx Equinox: Set in pre-colonial Mesoamerica and focused on its mythologies.
  • Pachamama: Protagonists are indigenous Andean, see the arrival of conquistadors.

Alternative Title(s): Native American Media, Native American And First Nations People In Media