Explore Indigenous stories through cinema.

Calling all film enthusiasts, it’s time to upgrade your watch-at-home movie list with our carefully hand-picked movies featuring Indigenous stories.

Recently, more remarkable Indigenous movies have popped up in the spotlight. They offer unique perspectives on Indigenous communities, spanning historical struggles, modern resilience and diverse heritage.

Let’s not wait any longer, here are our top four favourite movies by Indigenous voices.

Smoke Signals (1998)

two Indigenous people taking with each other on a car


This old-school comedy is fantastic for many reasons. The movie adds a fresh point of view on underrepresentation. Think about those classic movies with the same theme like Rush Hour, Do The Right Thing or the recent You People on Netflix.

Rotten Tomatoes gives Smoke Signals a fair 81 per cent, and 86 per cent of Google reviewers liked it.

The Northlander (2016)

a group of Indigenous men staring at each other

VIA Manifold Pictures

If you’re a fan of sci-fi or the Fallout series, this movie is for you. Set in 2961, Cygnus, our protagonist, is a hunter responsible for finding food and water for his tribe. However, he eventually leads his people in a revolution against a group of invaders known as the Heretics.

Indian Horse (2017)

an indigenous hockey player starring at his components

VIA Elevation Pictures

The story follows Saul, a young Ojibwe child who leaves home after witnessing his older brother’s mental health issues resulting from his stay at a Residential School. Saul uses his extra ordinary talent and passion for hockey to craft a better a future for himself while dealing with his past.

Apart from its uplifting underdog story, this film sheds light on the lasting impacts of racism and the trauma of Residential Schools.

Beans (2020)

Beans, a twelve-year-old is caught in the crossroads between innocent childhood and daring adolescence. She faces a pivotal moment in her life when she’s compelled to mature rapidly and embrace the role of a resilient Mohawk warrior.

This film is based on true events of the Oka Crisis, a 78-day standoff involving Kanyen’kehà:ka (Mohawk) protesters, Quebec police, and the Canadian Army in the summer of 1990.

Want to discover more about Indigenous cinema and heritage?


In partnership with Humber IE&E, we are hosting a one-day Indigenous Film Festival where you can watch Indigenous movies, get Indigenous refreshments, and win awesome gift baskets. Join us on Oct. 17, 2023 at the IGNITE Zen Zone (K Building basement), from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to take part in the fun.

Prepare to be amazed!

Feature image via Unsplash

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