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Books & Authors, Diverse Voices

National Native American Month


Native American Heritage Month is celebrated each November. It is meant as a time to celebrate the history, culture, traditions, and the contributions of the first inhabitants of the United States. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month by reading a biography or memoir of a Native American. These stories offer a unique perspective that we can learn from.


Apple : Skin to the Core by Eric L Gansworth
The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside." Eric Gansworth tells the story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise."

Carry : A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen
Toni Jensen grew up in the Midwest around guns: As a girl, as an adult, and as a Metis woman. In Carry, Jensen maps her personal experience onto the historical, exploring how history is lived in the body and redefining the language we use to speak about violence in America.

Dog Flowers : A Memoir by Danielle Geller
An award-winning essayist draws on archival documents in a narrative account that explores how her family's troubled past and the death of her mother, a homeless alcoholic, reflected the traditions and tragic history of her Navajo heritage.

Earth Keeper : Reflections on the American Land by N. Scott Momaday
A Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and poet celebrates the oral tradition of his Native American culture as he recalls the stories of his childhood, passed down for generations, and their profound and sacred connection to the natural world.

Heart Berries : A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
Terese Mailhot's debut memoir chronicles her struggle to balance the beauty of her Native heritage with the often desperate and chaotic reality of life on the reservation.

Poet Warrior : A Memoir by Joy Harjo
Poet Laureate Joy Harjo offers a vivid, lyrical, and inspiring call for love and justice in this contemplation of her trailblazing life. In the second memoir from the first Native American to serve as US poet laureate, Joy Harjo invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her "poet-warrior" road.

Redbone : The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian (Illustrator) Staebler
Experience the riveting, powerful story of the Native American civil rights movement and the resulting struggle for identity told through the high-flying career of West Coast rock 'n' roll pioneers Redbone. .

Reservation Restless by Jim Kristofic
As a park ranger, Kristofic explores the Ganado valley, traces the paths of the Anasazi, and finds mythic experiences on sacred mountains that explain the pain and loss promised for every person who decides to love. After reconnecting with his Navajo sister and brother, Jim must confront his own nightmares of the Anglo society and the future it has created. When the possible deaths of his mentor and of the American future loom before him, Jim must find some new way to live in the world and strike some restless path that will lead back to hozho - a beautiful harmony.

The Voice of Rolling Thunder : A Medicine Man's Wisdom for Walking the Red Road by Sidian Morning Star Jones
Intertribal medicine man Rolling Thunder was a healer, teacher, visionary, and activist who rose to popularity in the 1960s and '70s. This biography shares the teachings of Rolling Thunder in his own words and through inspiring interviews with psychologist Alberto Villoldo and other famous personalities who knew him.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me : A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
The author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian presents a literary memoir of poems, essays and intimate family photos that reflect his complicated feelings about his disadvantaged childhood on a Native American reservation with his siblings and alcoholic parents.





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