The 10 Best Documentaries About Indigenous Peoples

Aug 18, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, People

As the world continues to move forward, it’s important to remember where we come from and honor the cultures of those who put down their roots before us. Documentaries are a powerful way to engage with stories that may otherwise go unheard. These documentaries about indigenous peoples shed light on their struggles and explore how these communities are finding ways to thrive.


1. Brazil’s indigenous population fights back

Xulwi is a determined Guajajara warrior, fighting against illegal logging in Brazil’s Amazon region. His voices and those of his people are far too often neglected by the state. He and other members of the indigenous population lack political influence to protect their land from destruction at the hands of ruthless loggers, but Xulwi will not give up.


2. How Indigenous Tribes Live In Malaysia

Hayden is deep in the jungle, slowly building relationships with a tribe that has lived and thrived in this environment for generations. He’ll observe their hunting methods, how they prepare their meals over an open fire, and the techniques they use to survive in this harsh landscape.


3. Indigenous peoples and their struggle for the rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is a vital resource for the health and wellbeing of our planet – and it’s in danger. In the last 50 years, 20% of it has been deforested, with another 20% at risk due to logging and forest fires. Scientists agree that if 40% of the forest is destroyed, then it will be lost forever.


4. The Complete History Of Indigenous America Before Colonialism

Welcome to Chronicle; your home for all things indigenous! We’ll be exploring the ancient cultures of the Americas before Christopher Columbus, bringing you stories from the Indigenous peoples and their art, food, architecture, archaeology, government, science and technology.


5. The Indigenous People of America

The Indigenous People of America, an ancient and vibrant population, still stand strong today. Though often overlooked by the larger American narrative, these individuals have a deep and meaningful history that is worth exploring. From the Canadian First Nations to the indigenous peoples in Latin America, to Native Americans – their culture has survived for centuries despite extreme adversity.


6. A future for Taiwan’s indigenous people

Chen Peng-ling was once like most young Atayal, living in cities and unaware of her people’s traditional culture. But while studying geography in Taipei, she discovered the fascinating history of her tribe. For centuries they were persecuted by European colonizers, then Chinese settlers and Japanese occupiers before finally being discriminated against by the Kuomintang government.


7. The Inhumane Treatment of Indigenous Peoples

Utopia uncovers a hidden Australia, shedding light on an oft-silenced history of indigenous people – the oldest inhabitants of Earth. Beyond political boundaries and time itself, Utopia exposes a devastating example of apartheid in both past and present. The documentary reveals shocking levels of poverty among Aboriginal Australians with Third World conditions and life expectancies that are tragically low.


8. Indigenous People Of The Americas

The Cherokees are a proud and noble people of the United States, known as Aniyvwiya or “Principal People” in their language. They have been living in the Southeastern Woodlands for many centuries and today they still make up one of the largest of all federally recognized tribes, with more than 300,000 tribal members.


9. The Original People of Peru

The Quechua are an indigenous people living in Peru and its neighbouring countries, far away from the hustle of modern society. From this remote area, they undertake a pilgrimage each year to the famous sanctuary of Señor de Quyllurit’i. Take a journey with these intrepid souls as they traverse difficult terrain and make offerings while singing ancient songs.


10. A Short Documentary on India Indigenous Peoples

In India, the Indigenous Peoples of the country have an incredibly rich and vibrant culture. From their traditional dances to their arts, artifacts, and governance system – this documentary delves into the details of tribal life in India. Explore the unique rights and social structure that have been created by these peoples over time as well as their major celebrations and ceremonies.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B