Saturday, November 5, 2011

National Native American Heritage Month

The month of November has been designated National Native American Heritage Month since 1990, a designation that was a long time coming!  Since the beginning of the 20th century, there had been a movement "that there be permanently designated by the nation a special place on the calendar to honor the contributions, achievements, sacrifices, and cultural and historical legacy of the original inhabitants of what is now the United States and their descendants: the American Indian and Alaska Native people." You can read more about the history of this movement on the U.S. Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs site.

How will you be celebrating National Native American Heritage Month?  Online, you might consider checking out the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian; provides links about National Park Service travel itineraries, webcasts, an online rock art exhibition, & information about Native American veterans; read President Obama's 2010 presidential proclamation of both Heritage Month & Native American Heritage Day on November 26th; check out American Indian Heritage in the National Parks & American Indian properties featured in Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans via the National Park Service; or look at the tribal listing from the Indian Health Service

Locally, of course, you can pay a visit the to Indian Pueblo Cultural Center!  In the month of November, they will be featuring dancers from Laguna, Zuni, & Acoma Pueblos; & an ornament making workshop on November 19th. Check out their events calendar for the full schedule!

In the ABC Libraries' catalog, there's a lot that you could browse about Native Americans (a subject search of  "Indians of North America" brings up 29 pages of sub-topics).  If you are interested in petroglyphs & antiquities, there are 69 titles in the catalog. Want to try some Native American fiction?  You have 181 choices under that subject!  Perhaps you'd like to listen to Native American music?  We've got some tunes for your auditory pleasure!  There are films available, too.

If you want to celebrate Native American Heritage Month with children, try getting them interested with some fun crafts! There are also many choices in juvenile fiction, from picture books like Songs of Shiprock Fair  to The Island of the Blue Dolphins for middle to school readers to Codetalker for young adult readers.  You might also interest younger readers in some Native American folklore.

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