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Most of what we know about Native cultures and people have been shaped by popular culture’s inaccurate and romanticized portrayal of American Indians. And the majority of what we’ve seen in the past has excluded Native voice, often opting for stereotypes of Indigenous peoples and their communities – a misrepresentation that has been reinforced in most of our history books and school curricula.

So, we are beyond excited that Native actors, directors, producers, showrunners, and others are getting the recognition they deserve in the entertainment industry.

Take this opportunity to watch one (or all!) of these recommendations with friends and family. Use the discussion guides to reflect and deepen your understanding of  today’s Native voices and experiences.

Time to grab a bowl of your favorite snacks, order a pizza, and pour yourself a refreshing drink!

Movies we think you’ll enjoy

Discussion Guide

Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher

• How is the film informed by historical and cultural context?

• How did you view the “official” policies used to force “progress”, assimilation, and the creation of reservations differently from this point of view?


• What did Prey sequel offerathat was unique?

• How did the Native cultural context add complexity to the characters and story arc?

• Did this film challenge the way you viewed Native voice?

Bonus: Head over to our Native American Heritage Month Listen page to check out the College Fund’s virtual concert series, Indige-Bration, with a special guest appearance from Amber Midthunder. And listen to exclusive performances from Martha Redbone, Lukas Nelson, Brooke Simpson, Taboo, the Indigo Girls, and many more!


Television shows we think you’ll enjoy

Discussion Guide

Reservation Dogs

• How is Reservation Dogs unique? What do the creators hope to achieve?

• How is the show informed by historical and cultural context?

• Do you think television shows and movies can change cultural perceptions?

Rutherford Falls

• How are the characters in Rutherford Falls and their careers unique to other characters you might have met in more mainstream, traditional sitcoms?

• Do you think television shows and movies can change cultural perceptions?

Bonus: Read an interview with Sierra Teller Ornelas, the first Native American to serve as showrunner for a TV comedy.

Additional Resources

Read a group interview with Native American TV creators and performers who discuss the significance of Reservation Dogs and Rutherford Falls, and why this is only the beginning.

Watch “Native America,” a four-part series on PBS.

More films by Indigenous filmmakers here.