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Settler Education 101: Indigenous Film

Cold snap makes for perfect viewing weather

Plummeting temperatures mean that this is an ideal time to cuddle up inside and watch something new. There has been an explosion of Indigenous-led film making in recent years, and much of it is available locally either online or as DVDs to borrow.

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) launched Indigenous Cinema back in 2018, and these days they have a library of well over 200 Indigenous-made titles, all available for online viewing. From animation to biography to the retelling of ancient mythology, the wide selection of available Indigenous-made films means there is something for every viewer.

Many others are available for rent through local libraries. West Vancouver Memorial Library has a number of DVDs available for rent HERE, including 'Wildhood' and 'Beans'.

North Van District library also carries a large selection of Indigenous-made films, collected HERE. These include an adaptation of 'Indian Horse' by Richard Wagamese and the award-winning 'Firesong' among many others.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) also features a selection of Indigenous films and filmmakers available for searching HERE. One of the featured Indigenous creators on this site is Maori director Taika Waititi, whose excellent 'Frybread Face and Me' is currently streaming on Netflix.

And finally, Akwesasne journalist Vincent Schilling, the founder and editor of the multi-media platform Native Viewpoint, offers his reviews of four recent films reflecting both Indigenous filmmaking and culture, HERE. These films confront home-grown North American racism in 'War Pony' and 'Lakota Nation vs. The United States' as well as reflecting an international view, with stories of the return of Sami artifacts in 'Homecoming', and the activism of a trans Indigenous artist in the Amazon rainforest in 'Urya'.

With this selection of choices, the cold will soon seem a distant memory.

Have you seen an Indigenous-made film you'd like to suggest? The Watershed welcomes your input! Please leave your comments below, or send them to

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