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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), the Métis and Inuit peoples, Native Mexicans, the indigenous people of Mesoamerica (Central America), and the Caribbean island natives. These works may or may not focus on Native heritage, racial identity, and culture.

For indigenous creators, see Native American and First Nations Creators. For works with native Hawaiians, please see Pacific Islanders in Media.

See also Native Americans Tropes, African-American Media, Arab-Americans in Media, Asian-American Media, and Latino-American 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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  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold: A series set in South America at the time of the Conquistodors, and focused on South American native locales and cultures. Of the main cast, Zia is an Inca.

    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.
  • Apocalypto: Set in pre-colonial Mexico/Mesoamerica.
  • 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.
  • Barking Water: The two main characters are both Seminole characters, with the film centered around their journey on Seminole land.
  • Beans: The main characters are a Mohawk family during the 1990 Oka Crisis.
  • Black Cloud: The eponymous character is Navajo.
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: The film's central antagonist is Namor, the Sub-Mariner, now reimagined as ancient Mesoamerican. Namor's people, the Talokans, are mutated Mesoamerican descendents that live in the aquatic city of Talokan, a Mayincatec-verison of Atlantis.
  • Blood Quantum: The plot is a zombie outbreak on a First Nations reserve. Basically all of the characters are First Nations.
  • 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: The film is about the surrender of Geronimo, an Apache leader, with many Apache characters featured in the film besides him as well.
  • 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 Discrimination encountered by the child of a Native American mother and 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
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: Focuses of members of the Osage nation.
  • The Last of the Mohicans: Two of the main characters are Mohicans, a father and son. Many Huron supporting characters serve as antagonists.
  • The Lone Ranger (2013): In a move that created controversy, Johnny Depp portrayed Tonto, the protagonist's Native American sidekick.
  • The Magnificent Seven (2016): One of the main characters is Comanche.
  • A Man Called Horse: An Englishman is captured by the Sioux people in the 1800s, and initially held as a slave. He eventually joins them after they free him. Nearly all of the other characters are Native (Sioux and Shoshone).
  • Man Friday: Adapted from a play of the same name; a retelling of Robinson Crusoe that elevates Friday (Robinson's native manservant) to the role of main protagonist. Friday is played by Richard Roundtree.
  • 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.
  • Not Like Everyone Else: The lead character Brandi is half-Cherokee, but disconnected from this due to her Cherokee dad neglecting her by not taking her for tribal ceremonies.
  • On The Ice: Focused on two Iñupiaq teens, set and filmed in an Iñupiaq community in Barrow, Alaska, and using community members to make up the bulk of its cast.
  • 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.
  • Shouting Secrets: Stars an Apache family whose son is returning from writing a bestselling and controversial book.
  • 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: The main 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 Little 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 the Pine Ridge reservation, with the film featuring a mostly Native cast and the plot focused on ARM (a knockoff from AIM) which is loosely based on actual events in the 1970s.
  • White Fawn's Devotion: The oldest surviving film made by Native Americans; about an interracial couple (a white man and a Sioux woman).
  • Wildhood: Nova Scotian coming-of-age drama film following two Indigenous boys, one two-spirit, as they seek out a missing parent.
  • Wind River: Set on a 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 
  • Accused (2023): "Naataanii's Story" involves a group of Navajo youths on trial for trying to sabotage a uranium mine which was poisoning the reservation's water where they live, leading to a hostage situation. One of them (an informant) was also murdered by an FBI Agent, with them framed as causing it via Felony Murder. His crimes are disclosed by a Navajo bailiff.
  • Blackstone: Follows the lives of Indigenous people living on the fictional Blackstone First Nations reserve, set in Alberta, Canada.
  • Dark Winds is based on the Leaphorn & Chee novels and is a Police Procedural set in the Navajo Nation, featuring members of the Navajo Tribal Police.
  • Dexter: New Blood features main characters Angela and Audrey Bishop. Angela is Seneca, Audrey (her adopted daughter) has some Seneca ancestry on her father's side (although she's white-passing). Many supporting characters are also Seneca (this is set in upstate New York, right by their reservation), with a bit of discussion about the reservation's border versus the nearby mostly white town (residents from both appear to get along with each other though). Audrey feels somewhat torn between being Seneca versus white.
  • 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.
  • The Feathered Serpent: A young boy named Tozo must prevent Nasca, the bloodthirsty high priest of Teshcata, from seizing control of the Aztec civilisation.
  • Frontier (2016): The protagonist is half-Cree, half-Irish.
  • Into The West: Focuses on several Native American characters during America's western expansion.
  • Mohawk Girls: The series follows four Mohawk women in Canada (one of mixed ancestry), described as "Sex and the City for the Native set".
  • North Of 60: Canadian 1990s TV series that follows the daily lives of people in a rural Northwest Territories settlement. The actors and production staff are mostly Indigenous, and the show is primarily composed of Indigenous characters, especially Dene.
  • Reservation Dogs: Focuses on a gang of four Muscogee teenagers in rural Oklahoma as they commit crimes and try to protect their land from a rival gang. The vast majority of characters (and their actors) are Native, with filming entirely done in Muscogee Nation.
  • 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.
  • The Rez: The name "The Rez" speaks for itself; this is a 1990s Canadian TV series that follows a slice-of-life type of outlook on young members of an Ojibwe community, and was based on a short story collection called Dance Me Outside by W. P. Kinsella (which was also adapted into a 1994 feature film by Bruce McDonald).
  • Roswell, New Mexico: One of the main characters 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.
  • Two Sentence Horror Stories: "Manifest Destiny" features a Cree protagonist and involves the history of his people heavily.
  • 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 Animation 
  • Confinement: The protagonist of this SCP cartoon is a man named Connor, who is stated to have one-quarter Inuit ancestry in the fourth episode ("The Girl in the Iceberg"). This is actually a relevant plot point for that episode, when he travels to a remote Foundation base in northern Canada, where he is assigned a mission to interact with an ancient Inuit woman named Sanna.

    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: The titular character is from an unnamed indigenous tribe.
  • Gargoyles: The main human protagonist is half African-American and half Native-American. This usually has no relation to the plot as she's an NYPD detective, but the episode "Cloud Fathers" has her visit family in Arizona and involves Native culture and mythology. Another episode, "Heritage", also features members of an entirely separate Native tribe and its mythology in Canada.
  • Infinity Train: The protagonist of the second season in this anthology series is Apache.
  • Maya and the Three: Set in a world based on pre-colonial Mesoamerica mythologies and cultures.
  • 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.
  • Spirit Rangers: Protagonists are Chumash and Cowlitz.

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