November 1, 2020 | Library Staff
It’s Native American Heritage Month!
November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, or commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month! First introduced in 1990 as a congressional resolution, signed by then President George H. W. Bush, it commemorates the month to acknowledge and celebrate the United States of America’s Indigenous peoples–there are 574 federally recognized nations in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Did you know that our library is built on Euchee (Yuchi, Uchee, Tsoyaha) and Osage traditional lands? McCracken County also extends into Chickasaw traditional territory. Click here to learn more about Indigenous lands and their languages.
One of the ways you can honor our Indigenous siblings is to tune into the struggles they face today in their communities. For example, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many reservations have been hit hard with COVID-19, experiencing some of the worst mortality rates in the country in their communities, mostly likely due to years of federal under-funding. There are many relief funds online for various Native Nations accepting donations that go towards healthcare and other mutual aid to those affected by COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
They also are continuously fighting for ownership of sacred lands, from the building of the Keystone Pipeline on Fort Belknap Indian Community of Montana and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota territories, and more recently the Dakota Access Pipeline across Standing Rock Sioux land. Not only do these pipelines affect access and destroy sacred land to these Nations, they pose environmental threats that negatively affect nearby Native communities and wildlife, including oil spills.
Consider visiting Resource Generation’s Land Reparations & Indigenous Solidarity Toolkit, packed with important information, from the history of colonization and how it has significantly damaged Indigenous communities for hundreds of years across the world, to ways you can contribute to Native communities who have lost sacred lands to colonization.
Make a conscious choice to seek out Indigenous voices, by reading a title written by a member of the American Indian or Alaska Native community. Click a title below to place a hold on a physical copy, check out a digital copy, or both!
Apple by Eric Gansworth
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerers
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Cherokee America by Margaret Verble
Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford
Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Shell Shaker by LeAnne Howe
There, There by Tommy Orange
This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples — Join us on Zoom for Virtual Rainbow Book Club, November 26th at 6 PM, for a discussion on this title!
The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King
Where the Lines Bleed by Jesmyn Ward
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
If I Ever Get Out Of Here by Eric Gansworth
The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
Trickster: Native American Tales by Matt Dembicki
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
A Boy Named Beckoning by Gina Capaldi
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by by Robbie Robertson
How I Became A Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears story by Tim Tingle
I Am Sacagawea by Grace Norwich
I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
What The Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn
Blueberry Patch / Meennunyakaa by Jennifer Leason
Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child
Buffalo Bird Girl by S. D. Nelson
In My Anaana’s Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith
Sweet Kulu by Celina Kulluk
The Train by Jodie Callaghan
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith
At the library, we also have some documentaries you can check out, covering history and current events in Native America.
- Awake: A Dream From Standing Rock
- Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas White
- Mankiller: Activist, Feminist, Cherokee Chief
- Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
- We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes
Enjoy some tunes from Indigenous musicians:
- Hip-hop artist, Angel Haze
- Singer-songwriter, Buffy Sainte-Marie
- Country blues artist, Charley Patton
- Rock guitarist, Jimi Hendrix
- Jazz artist, Mildred Bailey
- Blues artist, Pura Fé
- Soul band, Redbone
- 1970’s and 1980’s pop, country, and jazz artist, Rita Coolidge
- R&B arist, Ronnie Spector
- Rap artist, Supaman
- Folktronic group, A Tribe Called Red
November may be a month that officially commemorates our Indigenous communities—but take time every month to do your part in honoring Native voices. Read, watch, and listen, and take time to research ways you can help the communities who are currently highly susceptible to COVID-19, climate change, and more.