June is National Indigenous History Month, and there’s no better time to enjoy some Indigenous-made entertainment.

Check out these recommendations of some of the top movies from a new generation of Indigenous filmmakers and actors who tell their own stories — their way.

READ MORE: ET Canada Honours National Day Of Truth And Reconciliation With ‘Indigenous Artists & Icons’ 

“Atanarjuat the Fast Runner”

Directed by by Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, this 2001 drama was the first feature film in history to be written, directed and acted entirely in the Inuktitut language.

According to Kunuk, this screen adaptation of an ancient Inuit legend “demystifies the exotic, otherwordly aboriginal stereotype by telling a universal story.”

“Before Tomorrow”

Adapted from a Danish novel, this 2008 feature from directors Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Ivalu is the first feature film to be made by Arnait Video Productions, a women’s Inuit film collective.

Set in a small Inuit community in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec in the 1840s, an Inuk elder (Madeline Ivalu) and her grandson (Paul-Dylan Ivalu) are forced into isolation after most of their community dies from smallpox following an encounter with traders.

“Blood Quantum”

Michael Greyeyes (“Rutherford Falls”) stars in this acclaimed horror thriller from director Jeff Barnaby, in which the community of a First Nations reserve fend off a zombie apocalypse.

“Angry Inuk”

“Part exposé, part personal documentary, director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Hot Docs Audience Award-winning film investigates the global anti-sealing movement’s damaging impact on Inuit communities,” reads the synopsis for this 2021 doc.

“Night Raiders”

In director Danis Goulet’s allegorical sci-fi film, set in the not-too-distant future, a massive war throughout North America has left society under military occupation, with children stolen from their families and placed in forced-education camps. Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers stars as Niska, who joins a group of vigilantes to rescue her daughter when she’s taken from her.

“Bones of Crows”

In this sweeping epic, the lives of Cree code talker Aline Spears (played by three different actors in various stages in her life) and her siblings are forever changed by the traumatic abuse they endure in Canada’s residential school system.


This 2022 film from director Gail Maurice, set in 1980s Montreal, follows Rosie, an orphaned Indigenous girl forced to live with her reluctant, street-smart aunt, who introduces Rosie to her two best friends Flo and Mo, glamorous human beings who refuse to be confined by gender. “In the end,” notes the synopsis, “Rosie transforms the lives of these colourful characters and finds love, acceptance, and a true home with her new chosen family of glittering outsiders.”

“Kayak to Klemtu”

Directed by Zoe Leigh Hopkins, this 2017 film focuses on 14-year-old Ella, who, after the death of her uncle, makes it her mission to  speak on his behalf against a proposed pipeline that would bring oil tanker traffic to the beloved waters around her hometown in B.C.

“Portraits from a Fire”

In this 2021 comedy-drama  from director Trevor Mack, teenage Tyler (William Magnus Lulua) is an aspiring filmmaker who lives with his father (Nathaniel Arcand) on a Tsilhqotʼin reserve in northern B.C., whose life is upended by the revelation of a long-buried family secret.


“This coming-of-age LGBTQIA+ drama from Wolfe Video takes place in a rural east-coast trailer park, where Link (Phillip Lewitski) lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony),” reads the synopsis of this 2021 film directed by Bretten Hannam. “When Link discovers his Mi’kmaw mother could still be alive, it lights a flame and they make a run for a better life. On the road, they meet Pasmay (Joshua Odjick), a pow wow dancer drawn to Link. As the boys journey across Mi’kma’ki, Link finds community, identity and love in the land where he belongs.”


Inspired by true events, this drama focuses on a Mohawk girl on the cusp of adolescence who must grow up fast and become her own kind of warrior during the armed stand-off known as the 1990 Oka Crisis.

“Falls Around Her”

“Tantoo Cardinal shines as a world-famous Anishinaabe musician who returns to the reserve to rest and recharge — only to discover that fame (and the outside world) are not easily left behind,” notes the synopsis for writer-director Darlene Naponse’s riveting portrait of resilience set among a northern First Nation.

“Through Black Spruce”

“Based on the Giller Award-winning novel of the same name by Joseph Boyden, ‘Through Black Spruce’ is a story of identity and survival,” notes the synopsis. “The disappearance of a young Cree woman in Toronto traumatizes her Northern Ontario family, and sends her twin sister on a journey south to find her.”

“The Grizzlies”

Directed by Miranda de Pencier and based on a true story, the 2018 sports drama follows a youth lacrosse team that was set up to help combat an onslaught of youth suicide in a remote Nunavut community, where a group of teenagers gain a powerful sense of pride through the sport of lacrosse.

“The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open”

In this gripping 2019 drama, a chance encounter on the street leads a woman (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, who also co-wrote and co-directed) to try to help a pregnant victim of domestic abuse (Violet Nelson) to seek help.

“Woman Walks Ahead”

In this 2017 biographical drama from director Susanna White, portrait painter Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain) journeys from New York City to the Dakotas in 1890 in order to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull (played by Michael Greyeyes).