Movies & TV Shows That Celebrate Indigenous Peoples

The contributions of Indigenous communities can be found all around us: in agriculture, in medicine, and, of course, in art. The act of reflecting upon and celebrating the heritage of Native American, Native Hawaiian, Native Alaskan, First Nations, and Indigenous communities across Central and South America plays a core role in understanding the complex history of the world around us. Whether you're looking to deepen your existing knowledge, learn something totally new, or curl up with a great story (or all of the above!), this list has something for you. On the lookout for other picks that celebrate Native heritage? Check out Books with Native American Characters and Movies & TV That Highlight the Bravery and Resilience of Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Communities.

Spirit Rangers TV show poster
TV

Spirit Rangers

age 3+

Vibrant preschool show celebrates Native American culture.

Network: Netflix (2022)
See full review
Yakari Poster Image
TV

Yakari

age 4+

Native American-inspired cartoon focuses on positive themes.

Network: Online (2005)
See full review
Lilo and Stitch Poster Image
MOVIE

Lilo and Stitch

age 5+

Cute story, great characters, fabulous soundtrack.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2002)
See full review
Molly of Denali Poster Image
TV

Molly of Denali

age 5+

Alaska Native character's adventures celebrate heritage.

Network: PBS Kids (2019)
See full review
Moana Poster Image
MOVIE

Moana

age 6+

Great characters, memorable music, some monsters/scares.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
See full review
Johnny Tsunami Poster Image
TV

Johnny Tsunami

age 7+

Surfing, boarding, and strong lessons for kids.

Network: Disney Channel (1999)
See full review
Legend Quest Poster Image
TV

Legend Quest

age 7+

Mexican folklore-inspired adventure series has broad appeal.

Network: Netflix (2017)
See full review
Pachamama Poster Image
MOVIE

Pachamama

age 7+

Young Inca boy shows courage; some peril and violence.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
See full review
Finding 'Ohana Poster Image
MOVIE

Finding 'Ohana

age 9+

Fun Hawaii adventure celebrates culture; peril, language.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
See full review
Dora and the Lost City of Gold Poster Image
MOVIE

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

age 8+

Quirky, aged-up adventure has positive messages.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
See full review
Te Ata Poster Image
MOVIE

Te Ata

age 10+

Underrated cultural hero gets her due in earnest biopic.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2017)
See full review
Basketball or Nothing Poster Image
TV

Basketball or Nothing

age 10+

Captivating docuseries inspires, challenges stereotypes.

Network: Netflix (2019)
See full review
Rabbit-Proof Fence Poster Image
MOVIE

Rabbit-Proof Fence

age 11+

Powerful drama about racism OK for tweens and up.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2002)
See full review
Whale Rider Poster Image
MOVIE

Whale Rider

age 11+

Excellent, gorgeous drama with uplifting messages.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2003)
See full review
Pacific Warriors Poster Image
MOVIE

Pacific Warriors

age 12+

Docu about Pacific Islander rugby team has mild profanity.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
See full review
Alaska Daily TV show: poster
TV

Alaska Daily

age 13+

Drama highlights missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Network: ABC (2022)
See full review
Rutherford Falls Poster Image
TV

Rutherford Falls

age 13+

Fresh, winning sitcom has unique characters, sharp humor.

Network: Peacock (2021)
See full review
Boy Poster Image
MOVIE

Boy

age 14+

Coming-of-age comedy has language, underage drinking, pot.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2012)
See full review
Cousins Poster Image
MOVIE

Cousins

age 14+

Moving nonlinear Maori family drama has language, racism.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
See full review
Dances with Wolves Poster Image
MOVIE

Dances with Wolves

age 14+

A grand, sweeping journey with graphic violence.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1990)
See full review