This was a really fun playlist to have on my canoe trips as well as to run to. Give it a try!
- Return to Innocence – Enigma
- Breath of Life – Florence + the Machine
- Steady as the Beating Drum – Pocahontas Soundtrack
- Water Flow – Klyne
- Flux and Flow -LIGHTS
- Waterfalls – TLC
- Swan Dive – Sister Hazel
- Steady as the Beating Drum (Reprise) – Pocahontas Soundtrack
- America’s Sweetheart – Elle King
- Rivers – Thomas Jack, Nico & Vinz
- River – LIGHTS
- The River of Dreams – Billy Joel
- Just Around the Riverbed – Judy Kuhn
- Where the River Bends – Matthew Barber
- Hold Back the River – James Bay
- River Water – Moon Taxi
- River – Leon Bridges
- Riverside – Agnes Obel
- Rivers – Allman Brown, Robyn Sherwell
- Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
- Listen with your Heart – Pocahontas Soundtrack
- Running Up that Hill – Placebo
- I’m Like a Bird – Nelly Furtado
- Little Bird – Ed Sheeran
- Blackbird – Boyce Avenue
- Bird with a Broken Wing – Owl City
- The Moon and the Sky – Sade
- Alligator Sky – Owl City
- Colors of the Wind – Judy Kuhn
- Love Song to the Earth – Paul McCartney
- Waiting on the World to Change – John Mayer
- Earth – Imogen Heap
- Rise Up – Andra Day
- Children of the Earth – Josh Garrels
- Earth – Sleeping at Last
- Colors of the Wind – MAX
- Scars to Your Beautiful – Alessia Cara
- If I Never Knew You – The Cheetah Girls
- Water Under the Bridge – Adele
- Wandering Child – Wild Rivers
- Wild Ones – Flo Rida, Sia
- Running Wild – Moon Taxi
- Wild Child – Enya
- Wild Things – Alessia Cara
- WILD – Troye Sivan
- Running Wild – Morgan Page, Jayceeoh
- We Come Running – Youngblood Hawke
- Won’t Stop Running – A Great Big World
- Colors of the Wind – Vanessa Williams
Lots of great movies to choose from to get your Pocahontas inspiration on. I tried to choose movies with respect to Native American culture. In order to fully get into the Pocahontas mind set, I did a lot of research into different tribes of Native Americans and attempted to watch these movies with new eyes. We can learn a lot from stories when we put ourselves in different shoes!! Take a look…
We start this movie list off with Pocahontas, the story of a girl who’s life and destiny is laid out for her by her father, chief of the Powhatan Tribe. She is to marry Kocoum and live the life that the daughter of the chief is supposed to live. The Powhatan are a traditional people and Pocahontas is to live a traditional life. But Pocahontas dreams of a different life. One of her own making. One where she gets to choose who she loves and how she lives. While I don’t have an overbearing father who is forcing me to marry (thanks Dad), society has made it pretty clear that the path I’ve chosen for my life is unconventional. So I relate to Pocahontas and have loved this movie since childhood. It’s impossible to ignore the red flags that pop up, like the song “Savages” (coulda done better there, Disney.) But nostalgia and love sometimes know no logic. Take this movie or leave, but I truly love it and it has some of the best music in all of Disney’s canon!
Avatar is about to make a “big comeback” (depending on who you ask about it.) There are 4 sequels in the works and Pandora is finally open for business at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. But don’t be deceived by fancy blue skin, this is Pocahontas retold. So, now is as good a time as any to dive back into the wonderful world of Avatar and see it with fresh eyes. I haven’t seen it since it was released, so watching it again was lovely, if a bit of a let down. It’s really made to be seen on the big screen in 3D, so on my little computer at home, it lost something in translation. But I still believe it to be a beautifully made movie.
Last of the Mohicans
Who wants some early 90’s Daniel-Day Lewis? A story set in the French and Indian War era. It’s a sweeping epic, a love story, an action movie. Basically, all the things. What else is there to say about it! It’s been a classic for a long time, so if you’ve never seen it, you’ve probably heard of it. And if you’ve never even heard of it, then you’re probably too young for a rated R movie.
Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves. Classic Kevin Costner right here! As I mentioned with Pocahontas, there are issues here that can’t be ignored. After watching this movie, Google “Dances with Wolves” and read up on some of the problems. It’s an enjoyable movie and is well loved by audiences who grew up with Costner and his films. There are plenty of great things about this movie and plenty of things to call out as culturally incorrect. But (to get soap boxy for a minute) I think open dialogue is the most important way to move through an issue. We should be able to watch this movie together. To say…hey, you messed up the portrayal of a white man in a Native American tribe. Native Americans don’t need a white savior. They don’t need him to survive. But we can also say…isn’t the relationship between Kicking Bird and Dances with Wolves beautiful? It’s a both/and scenario for me. What do you think?
The New World
Ok, I put this one on the list because it does have a Pocahontas story to tell. But it is not a superior movie by any means. I went to see it in the theater back in 2005 because I was desperately crushing on Colin Farrell (still am, who are we kidding.) It’s beautifully made. Some of the shots are just gorgeous. I guess it deserves props for telling a truer tale of Pocahontas than Disney did. So…there’s that. Watch it for Colin Farrell’s beautiful face! Watch it for Q’orianka Kilcher introduction and also ridiculously beautiful face. The cinematography and the score are both note worthy as well.
This is actually a mini series, so buckle in for a longer tale! It’s the story of Shane Chasing Horse and his grandfather, Pete Chasing Horse, members of the Lakota. Shane Chasing Horse is on the run and reluctantly agrees to drive his grandfather to the All Nations powwow. On the trip, Pete Chasing Horse takes the opportunity to pass on the stories of their people and to connect with his grandson in the process who’s mind is opened to the world of his ancestors through story telling and his own dreams.
Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale
This film is loosely…very loosely or broadly, perhaps broadly is a good word for it. The word generally could also be applied here. So…it’s a somewhat distorted take on the tale of Squanto, starring Saulteaux actor, Adam Beach (most recently seen in Suicide Squad) as Squanto. I find it so difficult to watch the tales of Native American destruction, as should we all. But it’s so important for us to be confronted with that dark chapter in history, even if it’s a fanciful, post historical commentary on true events. I couldn’t help thinking what it must have been like for this tribe of Native Americans to have been confronted with a new kind of people and to have those people treat them as less than people. Something we have seen too often in our history books and continue to see today.
I know this movie list was a little more politically driven in my commentary at times, but I truly believe that we have to take a hard look at how Native Americans have been portrayed and start to change the narrative. These are our indigenous people. We are quick to claim Native American blood when a scholarship is on the line, but do we take ownership of the other 95% of our blood’s legacy? It’s a tough question. And as I did this week of fitness and Native American eating and research, it was impossible to ignore and what’s more…I don’t think Pocahontas would want me to ignore it!
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