National American Indian Heritage Month Resources for the Classroom


American Indians are an important part of United States history, and it is important that as people living within the country, we pay attention to the culture of others and listen to their stories. Indigenous people are no exception, as their traditions often predate ours and have influenced many aspects of our lives today. However, many indigenous people feel that their voices are overshadowed by others, and it is integral that we give them a platform to speak. As a result, we have attached some resources where American Indians have shared some of their traditional stories as well as other materials relating to their lives and culture. 

Web Resources

The Orange County Library System has written detailed descriptions of each of the native tribes within the state of Florida and has also supplied resources to learn more about a particular tribe or region. You can also reach out to a librarian for more specific help and give links to different websites by and for native people. 

Learn more: https://libguides.ocls.info/nativeAmericans/tribes 

If you’re interested in reading longer pieces written by and about indigenous people, Chicago Reviews Books has curated a list of books to “broaden your perspective, as well as your reading list.” Some of these books include fictional novels, memoirs, and anthologies. It’s a great resource if you’re looking to get started reading native work. 

Read the list: https://chireviewofbooks.com/2019/11/18/22-books-by-indigenous-writers-to-read-right-now/ 

FirstNations.org has created a web resource for parents, teachers, and students which not only includes a list of “Native American Children’s Literature” spanning pre-school to grade 12, but also a list of things you can do in your community in order to uplift indigenous stories and authors, entitles “Ten Ways to Make a Difference.” 

Learn more: https://www.firstnations.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Revised_Book_Insert_Web_Version_March_2018.pdf 

Video Resources

PBS has created a series of four episodes detailing six native stories. These videos are approximately 1-4 minutes long, and each one explores a different “origin story” of an important native figure or civilization. While not all of these videos take place within the United States, they are still important to watch and learn about. 

Watch the videos: https://www.pbs.org/native-america/extras/sacred-stories/ 

The Smithsonian shares a YouTube video in which Perry Ground (Turtle Clan, Onondaga) shares tales from the Longhouse during the Winter Storytelling Festival, “Sharing Our Stories”, at the National Museum of the American Indian on January 18, 2010. During this video, many American Indian stories are told, and one can get a closer glimpse into the traditions and aspects of indigenous life. 

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UbmB6HG1yg 

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