Native American Heritage Month

photo of Native American Utes Chief Severo and his family
Image credit: Utes--Chief Sevara [i.e., Severo] and family


Dr. Archer C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, was an early proponent of an American Indian Day. The first American Indian Day was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America, who set aside a day for the “First Americans” for three years.

New York was the first state to declare an American Indian Day for the second Saturday in May 1916. Several other states celebrated in September.

American Indian Awareness Week, October 10-16, 1976, was signed by President Gerald Ford. This became the first official week of national recognition for the American Indian since America’s founding. Other weeks were designated during the late 1980s.

Finally, in 1990, President George H. W. Bush declared November National American Indian Heritage Month, recognizing the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native people. A form of proclamation for the month has continued annually since 1994.


We Shall Remain dvd coverWe Shall Remain: America through Native Eyes (DVD)

For hundreds of years, Native American leaders from Massasoit, Tecumseh, and Tenskwatawa, to Major Ridge, Geronimo, and Fools Crow valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture. Sometimes, their strategies were militaristic, but more often they used what influence they had in a diplomatic, political, legal, as well as spiritual way. This series tells the history of the United States from the Native American perspective.


Not Your Princess book cover#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman.


A Warrior of the People book coverA Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor by Joe Starita

This is the story of an Indian woman who effectively became the chief of an entrenched patriarchal tribe, the story of a woman who crashed through thick walls of ethnic, racial and gender prejudice, then spent the rest of her life using a unique bicultural identity to improve the lot of her people physically, emotionally, politically, and spiritually.


Foods of the America book coverFoods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions

Reflecting the culinary traditions of the native peoples of the Americas, this intriguing cookbook features a collection of illustrated short essays that reflect a Native American perspective on indigenous food traditions, accompanied by 140 modern recipes that incorporate foods cultivated by native people throughout North and South America.


Walking on Clouds book coverWalking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction

Despite the roles of contact with alien peoples, shape-shifting tricksters, and nonlinear thinking in Native American cultures, indigenous writers' work in the science fiction genre is often overlooked. Dillon introduces this anthology of sci-fi stories by 17 writers, written between 1978 and 2007, that rethink historical experiences in alternative frameworks--apocalyptic and hopeful.


Native American Landmarks and Festivals book coverNative American Landmarks and Festivals: a Traveler’s Guide to Indigenous United States and Canada by Yvonne Wakim Dennis and Arlene Hirschfelder

This travel guide shares descriptions and information about Native American festivals, museums, and other points of interest in the United States and Canada.



Teaser image credit: Indian court, Federal Building, Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, 1939 Antelope hunt from a Navaho drawing, New Mexico / / Siegriest