Yes, you can natively run operating systems beyond macOS on Apple’s M1 Macs — if you’re willing to put in some extra work. As AppleInsider noted, the team at Corellium has outlined how it ported Ubuntu Linux to the M1 chip. While the M1 is a 64-bit ARM chip, the solution was anything but straightforward and will require some extra steps if you want to try it yourself.
Apple processors have a unique kernel boot, multi-core addressing and interrupt controller, among other non-standard tech that Linux doesn’t normally support. Corellium not only had to create a pre-load “wrapper,” but find an alternative just to attach USB peripherals to the machine.