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History & Biography

November is Native American History Month

During the month of November, Americans remember the many contributions and accomplishments of Native Americans. Explore the Native American heritage with these books and movies, available from the Library.


  • The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter
    Tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression. 
  • Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
    Nine stories of cultural identity and alienation
  • Halfbreed: the remarkable true story of George Bent: caught between the worlds of the Indian and the white man by David Fridtjof Halaas 
    George had the freedom to move between the white and Cheyenne worlds. Although he was educated in white schools and served in the Confederate army, he was most at ease living with the Cheyenne. Halaas and Masich have written an enthralling but often heartbreaking account of an unusual man who was a witness to and a participant in some of the most famous events in western history. 
  • Black Elk Speaks: being the life story of a holy man of the Oglala Sioux by Black Elk   
    The famous life story of the Lakota healer and visionary, Nicholas Black Elk 
  • Who Owns Native Culture? by Michael F Brown   
    Documents the efforts of indigenous peoples to redefine heritage as a protected resource. Michael Brown takes readers into settings where native peoples defend what they consider to be their cultural property ... By focusing on the complexity of actual cases, Brown casts light on indigenous grievances in diverese fields ... He finds both genuine injustice and, among advocates for native peoples, a troubling tendency to mimic the privatizing logic of major corporations.


  • Skinwalkers - The Navajo Tribal Police investigate the murder of a medicine man. At the crime scene is a partially completed pictograph. One clue sends a chill through a young officer: the arrow used in the killing has a tip of human bone, a sign that a Navajo spirit -- a "skinwalker" -- is at work.
  • Smoke Signals - Depicts two young Native Americans, Victor and Thomas, who leave their small town to retrieve the remains of Victor's father. 
  • Windtalkers - A battle-weary Marine is assigned to guard -- and ultimately befriends -- a young Navajo soldier who has been trained to be a code talker. This code, the Navajo code, and the men who knew the code, were to be guarded as they went into action. It was the unspoken duty of the Marine to kill the Navajo soldier before he could be taken prisoner of war by the Japanese. This is the one wartime code that was never broken by the enemy. 
  • Atanarjuat -- The Fast Runner - A small nomadic community is cursed by an unkown shaman. When Atanarjuat falls in love with a woman already promised to the son of the clan's leader, he has to fight for her. She is won by Atanarjuat and the leader plots to attack him in his sleep. Escaping, he sets off running across the ice, embarking on a harrowing adventure of survival in the brutal wilderness. He returns stronger and wiser to reclaim his life and stop the curse that has divided his people. 
  • Minik: the last Eskimo - In 1897, six Eskimos arrived in New York City, brought as the "exotic cargo" of explorer Robert Peary from Greenland. The youngest of the group was 7-year-old Minik, who struggled to create a home and identity thousands of miles from his native land. Broadcast as an episode of the PBS television program American experience. 
  • Indian Warriors: the untold story of the Civil War - Discover one of the more obscure, yet fascinating aspects of the Civil War era: the contribution of thousands of Native American soldiers. With the help of respected authors Thom Hatch and Lawrence Hauptman, this program reconstructs the stories of some of these forgotten men. Originally broadcast on The History Channel.
  • Native American Medicine: Linking Traditional & Modern Contemporary Healing - Naturopathic medicine and diagnosis have been with us for thousands of years. From the earliest recorded time, medicine men from the world over used their senses of touch, sight, sound, smell, taste and intuition to asses a patients condition before selecting a remedy or therapy.
  • Native American Flute Making - Craftsman and musician, Jerry Fretwell, demonstrates the timeless art and tradition of Native American flute making. An Ozarks Watch video. 
  • Navajo Code Talkers - Describes the role of a select group of Navajo Marines who developed a code based on their own native language that provided a means for secure communications among American forces in the Pacific during World War II. 


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