Native American Heritage Month:
3 Must-Watch Indigenous TV Shows

National Native American Heritage Month graphic

Indigenous content on TV is enjoying a boom. And what better time to celebrate than Native American Heritage Month!

Why it matters: Diverse and authentic on-screen representation disproves negative stereotypes and opens our eyes to new experiences. Yet Native Americans have been severely underrepresented and misrepresented for decades. That’s changing as TV networks continue to make diversity and inclusion a priority – both on screen and behind the camera.

In the spirit of celebrating Native American Heritage Month, here are three shows that exemplify what’s being done to elevate the authentic voices of Native Americans. 

AMC’s Dark Winds

Dark Winds promo picture

“Dark Winds” is a crime drama that follows the story of two Tribal police officers in the 1970s on a remote outpost of the Navajo Nation. 

  • Most of the actors, writers, and production staff are members of the Navajo Nation. 
  • Shot at the first Indigenous-owned film studio in New Mexico.

“I think we’re kind of in a unique time right now with Native representation in media. And I’m glad to be a part of it and I’m excited to see what ‘Dark Winds’ does in opening more of those doors.” – Zahn McClarnon (Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux), lead actor and executive producer

Where to watch Dark Winds: “Dark Winds” is available on AMC and AMC+. The six-episode second season of the show is expected to launch in 2023.

FX’s Reservation Dogs

Reservation Dogs promo picture

Started in 2021, “Reservation Dogs” is a comedy drama that follows the lives of four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma, aiming to depict the real experiences of teens living on a reservation.

  • First mainstream TV show comprised of an all-Indigenous writers’ room.
  • Show’s producers conducted outreach in Native American communities to find actors who could play the characters on the show.

“The talent is there. It just doesn’t happen to be on Hollywood Boulevard.” – Sterlin Harjo, co-producer and Seminole filmmaker

Where to watch Reservation Dogs: “Reservation Dogs” is an FX original that is available on Hulu. The show’s third season is expected to launch in 2023.

Peacock’s Rutherford Falls

Rutherford Falls promo picture

In the fictional town of this comedy series, Native Americans work in Rutherford Falls but live on their reservation that borders the town.

  • First Indigenous showrunner.
  • Writers conducted extensive research and visited reservations and towns to create the challenges and situations that come up in the plot.

“It was really nice to see people who wanted to make a project where Indians get to be regular people and get to be funny. And so we just kept developing. We put this really great, funny, diverse room together.” – Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo), co-creator, writer, executive producer, and showrunner

Where to watch Rutherford Falls: “Rutherford Falls” is available on NBC Universal’s streaming platform, Peacock. 

To learn more about Beyond’s work to support TV that reflects diverse stories and exposes us to new ideas, people, and ways of life, click here.