Native American Heritage Month
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month!
November is Native American Heritage Month, also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, and is a time to honor the traditions, historical legacy, and culture of Native Americans and Alaska Native people. It is a time to become more educated about the full, complex history of colonization and oppression, as well as celebrate the contributions and achievements of Indigenous peoples from the past and of today. One resource we highly recommend exploring is the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and its Native Knowledge 360° project.
How can you celebrate Native American Heritage Month? Capstone authors Katrina M. Phillips (citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe) and Andrea L. Rogers (citizen of the Cherokee Nation) have some great ideas to get you started. We also are shining a spotlight on our children’s books by Native American and Indigenous authors—including a sneak peek at our forthcoming series Liam Kingbird’s Kingdom—and have some fun downloadable bookmarks for your classroom or library. Join us in honoring Native American Heritage Month this month and throughout the year.
Meet Liam Kingbird!
New series debuts in 2023!
Say boozhoo (hello) to Liam Kingbird! Liam is eight years old and lives on an Ojibwa reservation. Quiet, creative Liam is a thinker, a dreamer . . . and sometimes a worrier. New experiences can be scary for Liam, but talking with his mom, drawing pictures, and listening to his heart always steer him in the right direction.
Featuring an introspective Indigenous boy with a cleft lip and a beautiful spirit, Liam Kingbird's Kingdom is a charming series for K–3 that will resonate with readers who like to think before they leap. Debut children's author Andrew Stark was raised on the Ojibwa Indian Reservation in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Andrew's personal experience is shared with his character Liam through their Ojibwa culture and cleft lip—features celebrated in the stories as traits that make Liam special.
The Liam Kingbird's Kingdom series publishes in January 2023 with four titles, but you can sneak a peek at one of the titles now!
Educator Resources and Downloadables
Liam Kingbird's Kingdom
Why We Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
In this essay from author and professor of Native history Katrina M. Phillips, she underscores that Native American Heritage Month isn’t just meant for Native people—it’s a time for everyone to remember and reflect.
“Native American Heritage Month is a chance to celebrate Indigenous resourcefulness, resistance, and resilience. It’s a recognition of Native peoples, cultures, and languages, and it’s an opportunity to honor our pasts, our presents, and our futures.”
Teaching the Trail of Tears In Your Classroom
Author Andrea L. Rogers shares helpful ideas for educators to guide students in learning about the forced removal and displacement of Native Americans on the Trail of Tears. First and foremost, she urges to question everything you think you know about the Trail of Tears.
“When I began researching, I had little understanding of the logistics of moving the entire Cherokee Nation equaling about 16,000 people. I didn’t know about the internment camps. I didn’t know that many Cherokees died from preventable deaths because of their imprisonment. I didn’t know it was a time of drought and I hadn’t thought about how access to water would impact people being marched across a continent. In my book, I tried to distill years of historic information into a story that was accurate and that children could understand. In doing this work, I had to unlearn some things I grew up believing.”
Books by Native American and Indigenous Authors
Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army
By Art Coulson
Indigenous People's Day
By Katrina M. Phillips
The Disastrous Wrangel Island Expedition
By Katrina M. Phillips
Hoop Dancer Determination
By Stacy Wells
Wilderness Ridge series
By Art Coulson
Mary and the Trail of Tears:
A Cherokee Removal Survival Story
By Andrea L. Rogers