Native American Heritage Month is a time when we honor the history, culture and traditions of the continent’s first inhabitants. For schools, libraries and organizations observing the month, and others who may be looking for ways to incorporate programming related to Native American heritage, we offer the following useful resources.
Visitors to the American Indian Library Association website will find a wealth of school library resources including booklists, blogs and projects devoted to the history and culture of Native Americans, as well as ideas for activities and programming. Librarians may also wish to consult these tips for choosing culturally appropriate books and resources about Native Americans.
Meanwhile, NoveList® Plus can help librarians find fiction and nonfiction celebrating Native American characters and culture. If you’re looking to add new books by and about Native Americans to your library shelves, Core Collections has great recommendations for you. Here are just a few:
- Fry Bread, written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
Maillard and Martinez-Neal’s picture book celebrates the titular food and the many forms it takes among different Native communities.
- Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
In an alternate America teeming with the paranormal, protagonist Ellie and her ghost dog Kirby attempt to solve the murder of her cousin Trevor.
- The Only Good Indians, by Stephen Graham Jones
After illegally killing an elk during a hunting trip on off-limits tribal lands, four young Blackfeet men are haunted — literally and figuratively — by the act many years later.
- The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, by David Treuer
Treuer provides a sweeping, readable history of Native cultures surviving and adapting since Wounded Knee, countering their traditional erasure from narratives of 20th- and 21st-century American history.
If you’re planning to expand your library’s e-book collection, EBSCO’s K-8 Native American Heritage eBook Collection contains fiction and nonfiction e-books written by and about Native Americans.
Need to provide researchers with bibliographic information on North America’s indigenous peoples? Look no further than EBSCO’s Bibliography of Native North Americans, a database containing more than 330,000 citations for books, essays, journal articles and government documents of the United States and Canada. It is an ideal resource for anthropologists, educators, historians, political scientists, sociologists, psychologists, legal researchers, linguists, theologians and policy makers.
K-12 Resources for Teaching and Learning
Educators can find a wealth of internet materials to help them create meaningful learning experiences for students of all grade levels. What’s more, many sites offer helpful advice and resources for teaching Native American history with cultural sensitivity.
For standards-based lessons, educators can visit the Native Knowledge 360° site from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and search instructional and information resources by Essential Understanding. The U.S. government’s Native American Heritage Month website also offers ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids.
Meanwhile, the Library of Congress has published a variety of blog posts that explore teaching about Native American history and culture using primary sources. Students can learn about Native American newspapers and read oral histories of Native American veterans who served in the U.S. military from World War II to Iraq. Teachers will also find a collection of classroom materials, including primary source sets, lesson plans and presentations.
Finally, ABC-CLIO’s American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience, a subscription database available through EBSCO, provides in-depth historical accounts and cultural information about more than 500 American Indian nations. The database’s educator support center provides subscribers with resources for classroom and library integration.