Friday, November 05, 2021 Isabelle Odeh

Every November Native American Heritage Month is celebrated to honor the Native Americans that have contributed a lot to improve the character of the nation. We use this month to learn about the diverse cultures, histories, traditions and to spread awareness about the tribes or to educate people about the challenges faced by Native Americans.           

Here is a brief timeline of Native American Heritage Month. In 1900 Dr. Arthur C Parker, a Seneca Indian and the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York, persuaded the Boy Scouts to observe a day for Native Americans. In 1915, a plan concerning Native American Heritage Month, was approved in the annual Congress of American Indian Association meeting.

Rev. Sherman Coolidge, the president of the American Indian Association, called for the country to formally observe American Indian Day. The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. In 1976, Congress passed a resolution to declare a week for American Indians. The first proclamation for Native American Heritage Month came in 1990 from President George H.W. Bush. In 2009, President Barack Obama proclaimed the month of November as National Native American Heritage Month.

There are many ways to observe this month! Learn about Native Americans rich and diverse history. Learn about our country’s past and how Native Americans have helped America. Learn from the exhibits about Native Americans’ jewelry, customs, and cultures. Travel to see other cultures or watch videos about Native culture.

There are tons in our collection to learn about Native Americans:

Children's Books:

Native American Ceremonies and Celebrations from Polatcles to Powwows by Katie Miboley

  • Learn about some ceremonies and celebrations of the Native Americans.

A Kids guide to Native American History: More than 50 Activities by Yovenne Wakim. Dennis

  • A volume of interactive hands-on activities, games, and crafts introduces youngsters to the diversity of Native American culture and its role in history.

The New York Public Library amazing Native American History: a book of answers for kids by Liz Soneborn

  • Questions and answers present information on the history and culture of various Native American Tribes.

Native American art & culture by Brendan January

  • Describes the arts and culture of Native Americans.


Young Adult Books:

Native American Classics edited by Tom Pomplun; Associate editors John E. Smelcer and Joseph Bruchac

  • A collection of eighteen stories and poems by Native American authors presented in comic book format.

The Navajo by Susan Stan

  • Exams the history, traditional lifestyle, and current situation of the Navajo Indians.

Pueblo by Kent R. Rasmussen

  • Describes the duelings of the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest, including the rectangular buildings of stone and clay called Pueblo’s underground community rooms known as kivas and cliff dwellings.

Apache by D.L. Birchfield

  • Discussion of the history, culture, and contemporary life of the Apache Indians.


Adult Books:

Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country; The Native American Perspective edited by Frederick E. Hoxie and Jay T. Nelson

  • The story of Lewis and Clark as they travel to the Indian Country.

Native American son: The life and sporting legend of Jim Thorpe by Kate Buford

  • The biography of Jim Thorpe.


Dances with Wolves (1990)

  • Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote Western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him intolerable aberration in the military.

Wind River (2017)

  • A veteran hunter helps FBI agent investigate the murder of a young women and a Wyoming Native American Reservation.           

We Shall Remain [TV Series] (2009)

  • A five-part documentary series about the history of Native Americans in the United States.

Up Heartbreak Hill (2011)

  • The lives of three highschool seniors living on the Navajo Nation and struggling to shape their identities as both Native Americans and modern Americans.