Reading List for Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than picking up one of our many books that is sure to enlighten, entertain, and educate us all on the past for a better future. And as this month comes to a close, you can enjoy these books and thousands more for 50% off in our Holiday Sale until Dec. 31.

Pacifist Prophet: Papunhank and the Quest for Peace in Early America

With engaging prose, scrupulous research, and great sensitivity, Pointer treats the life of a single Native American man seeking peace, stability, family, and place in a world of migration, famine, pestilence, and war.”

—Gregory Evans Dowd, author of A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745–1815

Northern Cheyenne Ledger Art by Fort Robinson Breakout Survivors

This is an impeccably researched, beautifully written work, worthy of a prominent place in the literature relating to Northern Cheyenne history and art. This volume is a worthy tribute to Wild Hog, Porcupine, and the others with them who, in the misery of prison, created drawings portraying and reflecting the beauty and supernatural power of the life of the people, the Morning Star People.”

—Father Peter J. Powell, editor of In Sun’s Likeness and Power: Cheyenne Accounts of Shield and Tipi Heraldry

Rez Metal: Inside the Navajo Nation Heavy Metal Scene

Rez Metal represents the creative genius of contemporary Indigenous popular culture. Set within the heart of the Navajo Nation and including the voices of elders, council members, and metalheads of all ages, Soltani Stone and Zappia demonstrate the importance of metal as a source of hope and inspiration for Indigenous youth and its prominence as an organic Indigenous expressive culture.”

—Kyle T. Mays, author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America

Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, 1941-1960

Liza Black’s exhaustively researched study of American Indian actors fills a gap in scholarship on Native American performance by focusing on the most influential and damaging period for Hollywood’s representations of Native peoples. Highlighting their efforts to make a living in the film industry and negotiate its expectations, Black powerfully demonstrates Native people’s survival and agency, as well as the ways popular culture created and abetted narratives that continue to support indigenous erasure and dispossession.”

—Nicolas G. Rosenthal, author of Reimagining Indian Country: Native American Migration and Identity in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles

Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens: Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness

The political goal of empowerment through dietary change is certainly worthy and most likely to be translated into action when generated from within by such a prominent member of a tribal nation as Devon Mihesuah.”

—Linda Murray Berzok, Gastronomica

Starring Red Wing!: The Incredible Career of Lilian M. St. Cyr, the First Native American Film Star

This lively biography pays long overdue tribute to a forgotten star of the silent era while celebrating Native American contributions to the motion picture industry.”

Kirkus Reviews

Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s

Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s drives a spear into the stereotype of Native American stoicism. It is perhaps the funniest nonfiction collection I have ever read. But it is much more than funny: it is moving, honest, and painful as well, and looks at the absurdities of modern America. Midge’s collection is so good it could raise Iron Eyes Cody from the grave and make him laugh till he cries.”

—David Treuer, author of The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

Native Providence: Memory, Community, & Survivance in the Northeast

Patricia Rubertone deftly undermines the myth that cities don’t have indigenous histories or presents, and she challenges the notion that Native people whose homelands are often called ‘New England’ have disappeared. Through painstaking archival research, conversations with community members, and attention to the local landscape, Rubertone has produced a readable and usefully disorienting account of one historic city’s encounter with both settler colonialism and indigenous survivance.”

—Coll Thrush, author of Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire

Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption

Making sense of her family, the American Indian history of assimilation, and the very real—but culturally constructed—concept of race helped Harness answer the often puzzling questions of stereotypes, a sense of nonbelonging, the meaning of family, and the importance of forgiveness and self-acceptance. In the process Bitterroot also provides a deep and rich context in which to experience life.”

Prairie Edge

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