November marks Native American Heritage Month, and even while we’re almost at the end of November — someone slow down the clocks! — there is still plenty of time to honor this part of America’s rich cultural history.
- Learn about Land Acknowledgements and why they are important, even if you are not Native American. “When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.” – Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)
- Visit the Native American Museum at the Smithsonian Institute online photo essay exhibit, Reservation Mathematics: Navigating Love in Native America to understand the origins of Blood Quantum requirements and the negative impact they can have on families.
- Get caught up on Who’s Who in Native American stories, podcasts, and film. Some of my favorite reads include There, There by Tommy Orange, Carry: a memoir of survival on stolen land by Toni Jensen, Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, and Bloodlines: odyssey of a native daughter by Janet Campbell Hale.
And books by authors closer to home:
Bawaajimo: a dialect of dreams in Anishinaabe language and literature by Margaret Noodin, as well as her book of poems, Weweni.
Bebikaan-ezhiwebiziwinan Nimkii: the adventures of Nimkiiby Hidden Timber Books Author Stacie Sheldon.
Nenookaasi Mawadishiwe: Hummingbird Visits, our next children’s book by Erin Leary. We can’t wait to share this beautiful book with you! (Forthcoming in March 2023)
From summer to spring, readers will follow a single male hummingbird as he transforms from a nestling to a fully grown male ready to welcome his own nestlings to the world. Readers young and old will learn about hummingbirds and their yearly migratory patterns while also being exposed to Ojibwemowin, a beautiful language spoken by indigenous tribes in parts of Michigan, Ontario, northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, and Alberta.
What are you reading these days? Who’s your favorite Native American author? Do you know the history of the place where you stand?