The 12 Best Documentaries About The Lakota Tribe

Oct 24, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, History

The Lakota people have a long and storied history, one that is often misunderstood or neglected. But thanks to the work of filmmakers, we can better understand their culture and traditions through documentaries. In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the best documentaries about Lakota culture, from stories of survival and resilience to inspiring tales of hope and tenacity. Whether you’re a student of history or just curious about the Lakota, this list is sure to provide an informative and enlightening journey. So settle in and get ready for a fascinating exploration of one of America’s most important native tribes.


The proud and determined tribe of the Lakota are a force to be reckoned with. Since their first documented arrival in North America centuries ago, they have demonstrated an unparalleled resilience that has enabled them to survive against all odds. Even when faced with colonizers, famine, disease and environmental disasters, they kept fighting. Today, the Lakota people largely live on their ancestral homelands. Though life has changed greatly since they first arrived, they continue to make enormous strides in preserving and revitalizing their culture and language. This includes long-held traditions like powwows, the Sun Dance ceremony and a profound spiritual connection with nature. Every year, thousands of people from all around the world come to witness and support as these incredible cultural events unfold.


The Lakota Daughters are a courageous group of Native American women who have fought for justice and equality in their communities. They are an inspiration to all who strive for social progress. Their stories provide insight into the plight of Indigenous Americans and bring attention to the challenges they face today. These remarkable ladies live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Despite all the odds, they have dedicated themselves to making a better life for their families and community through education and advocacy. The Lakota Daughters are an example of strength and resilience in the face of adversity. They are fierce advocates for Indigenous rights and make sure their voices are heard in Congress, at rallies, and in the media. The Lakota Daughters have been featured on national television and radio programs, educational materials, and magazine articles. Their stories continue to be shared with pride and admiration across the country. They are a symbol of hope for future generations of Native Americans struggling against oppression.


Genevieve Iron Lightning is a young Lakota dancer from the Cheyenne River Reservation. This community, located in the US, has suffered from unemployment, addiction, alcoholism and suicide for many years. For almost a century, the practice of traditional customs was outlawed in this area—but now it’s being revitalized by organizations such as The Cheyenne River Youth Project. They are using the local heritage to create a brighter economic and cultural future—with Genevieve as one of their key members. She is inspiring her peers to make a difference in their home by keeping Lakota alive and well on the reservation.


Far out in the South Dakota countryside lies an adventure that takes you to Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. Here, you’ll have a chance to converse with a medicine man, and learn about their history and customs. Gain insights into why some are Native American while others aren’t. He will also discuss control, freedom, and the future of his tribe. Uncover what America really needs, and take away valuable life lessons from this incredible experience. Deep in the heart of South Dakota, you’ll discover a land full of culture and creativity – an unforgettable journey awaits.


A man of power and wisdom, Black Elk was a leader amongst the Sioux people. He was born in 1863 and had visions from a young age which gave him insight into spiritual matters. His father, whom he looked up to, once told him that he had been chosen by the Great Spirit for a special mission – to share his knowledge with others. Throughout his life, Black Elk shared his teachings of peace and harmony with the Sioux people. He was a medicine man whose wisdom touched all who heard him speak. His words were filled with compassion for his fellow man and he had an understanding of how we must work together to create a better world. From his deep respect for nature to the understanding that balance in our lives is vital, he was a voice of reason in a time of great turmoil. Black Elk’s legacy lives on through his teachings which are still being shared today. He deeply believed in the power of knowledge and encouraged others to explore new concepts and ideas. His words have become a source of inspiration for many, as they seek to achieve peace and harmony through understanding their inner selves and the world around them. He was also an advocate for those who were oppressed, speaking out against injustices in all forms.


The Sioux tribes – Lakota, Dakota and Nakota have been on the North American continent since ancient times. The land they lived in extended from the Great Plains to the Great Lakes region, and even parts of Canada. To protect their homeland against colonization by the US and other Native tribes, they had to be some of the strongest warriors in North America. Their fierceness was most famously displayed in the Battle of Little Bighorn, with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse bravely leading their people to victory. The spirit of resistance shown by these tribes is an inspiring example that still lives on today. Many modern Native American nations are inspired by the courage and strength of the Sioux, honoring them for their willingness to fight for freedom and protect their land. The legacy of the Sioux will never be forgotten, and they remain an important part of North American history.


Life Lakota is the embodiment of true creativity. It showcases the strength and courage of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, a place with much history and adversity. Here you will find humble people full of faith who strive each day to make their community thrive. Local leaders work hard to educate the youth while nonprofits like the Sioux YMCA are devoted to providing kids with an avenue to stay away from the many negative influences that plague their society. It is our duty to bring forth the Lakota voices, to honor them and tell their stories in a creative way. We are proud to take part in this endeavor.


The story of the Lakota Sioux nation is one of strength and resilience. For over a thousand years, this proud people have endured hardships, wars, and displacement yet remain strong in their culture and beliefs. From the great plains to the Rocky Mountains, the Lakota Sioux have maintained an important place in history and continue to be recognized as one of America’s greatest Native nations. The Lakota Sioux were initially nomadic, traveling throughout the great plains in pursuit of buffalo. Over time, they developed into a sophisticated society with complex social structures and organization systems that enabled them to thrive for centuries on the Plains. Throughout their history, the Lakota Sioux have been at the forefront of many wars and battles. From their earliest dealings with European settlers to Tecumseh’s War to the Battle of Little Big Horn, they have demonstrated a remarkable level of courage and strength in defending their lands and rights.


The beautiful American frontier is home to iconic and infamous figures, from daring lawmen to belligerent bandits. Among these is the legendary war chief Sitting Bull: a former warrior who led the Great Sioux War and transformed into one of the most complex, popular figures in old west lore. Sitting Bull’s life embodied many themes that surround discussions about Native Americans on the frontier and into modern-day. His exploits in defending the Sioux’s ancestral lands remain part of a powerful legacy that echoes through history. Cowboys, Indigenous Americans, peacekeepers, and heroes all took part in their share of firing warning shots across the entire territory until it was rife with violence and sabotage. Sitting Bull himself is a reminder to those who seek to understand the complex nature of the American frontier and its heroes.


Lakota is a culture of strength and resilience. It is also a reminder that the West was not only conquered but lost. Through understanding the Lakota way of life, we learn about our history and come to understand the importance of preserving its many traditions today. The phrase “It is a good day to die” has become part and parcel with the Lakota people. It reflects their courage and strength in the face of adversity. In facing death, they believe that it is a part of life’s circle of renewal – something that should be embraced without fear or regret. The Lakota have also faced great hardship through the displacement of their lands and cultures, and yet remain steadfast in their beliefs. While many have moved away from their ancestral homelands, some of the Lakota still live on reservations. Their language and traditions are still being shared today, as well as passed down from generation to generation.


Killing a culture. Killing a people. Killing the spirit of those who would survive any other obstacle. This is what happened to the Native American people, and in particular, the Lakota tribe– all in an effort to “save” them from their culture. In hindsight, it was a harsh lesson learned; one that left its people scattered across reservations and unable to reclaim their home, and that left the land forever changed. But in the spirit of resilience and creativity, they have persevered. This is a story about those who refused to be forgotten, and how they found strength in adversity. From generations-old stories passed down through word of mouth, to contemporary art forms that bring them back together; from small steps in reclaiming their cultural rights, to the everyday reminders that this culture is still alive and well – it’s a story of overcoming hardship and embracing the creative spirit of those who remain.


The Oceti Sakowin, also known as the Great Sioux Nation, is a collective of seven distinct bands of Native American people. From the Hunkpapa to the Sihasapa, these proud nations have contributed greatly to shaping what we now know as the United States of America. The name “Oceti Sakowin” is a Lakota phrase that translates to “seven fires council.” This phrase refers to the seven clans of the Sioux Nation, which come together and form an enduring symbol of strength and unity among all members of the tribes living in North America. The Sioux Nation has long been a proud and peaceful people, with deep spiritual ties to the land they inhabit. They have historically relied on hunting, fishing, and gathering for food; their traditional knowledge of the environment is often cited as an environmental conservation success story in modern times. The Lakota value family and community bonds highly and strive to live in balance with nature.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B