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Top 5 Native American-Inspired Movies To Watch

Over the past couple of decades, there have been numerous Native American-inspired movies. And some of these movies have created household names or catch phrases within the Native American community.

Some movies you might have heard of. Some you might not have heard of. They all have a general theme: the lifestyle on a reservation. Either past or present, or a little bit of both.

Here are my top five Native-inspired movies you should watch.

“Smoke Signals”



If you go to pretty much any reservation and someone is named Victor, chances are you’ll hear the phrase “Hey Victor!” That phrase came from the Native-produced movie Smoke Signals., starring Adam Beach and Evan Adams.


“Black Cloud”



This movie stars Eddie Spears, who plays Black Cloud,  a boxer who grew up on the reservation and is offered an opportunity to box professionally. But he has a few decisions to make in his personal life. Co-stars include country singer Tim McGraw.


“Thunder Heart”



Val Kilmer stars as FBI agent Ray, sent to a reservation to capture a fugitive. During his search he discovers a lot more being done by the government. The reservation is getting to him. And with the help of a tribal officer, played by Graham Greene, he brings some justice to the reservation.


“Dream Keeper”



From Hallmark Entertainment, this made-for-TV movie first aired on ABC in 2003. It’s about a teenage boy, Chase, who keeps getting into trouble on the Pine Ridge Rez. Finally,  he travels across the country to the biggest powwow in the country, the Gathering of Nations, with his grandpa. This movie combines many stories from various tribes across the country.

Starring Eddie Spears (Chase) and August Schellenberg (Grandpa)


“Dances With Wolves”



This award-winning movie goes back to the frontier days. Just about everyone knows about Dances With Wolves. Lt. John Dunbar decides to explore the frontier and builds a relationship with the Lakota Tribe. He is captured by the military, escapes and then returns to the tribe.

Starring Kevin Costner and Graham Greene.


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