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West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Native American Heritage Month (Kids)

November is Native American Heritage Month. Explore Native American culture and characters in this mix of fiction and non-fiction books for youth.

The whale child by Keith Egawa

Shiny, a whale child, is turned into a boy to teach Alex, a young girl, the wisdom of the Native American value of environmental stewardship so that she can share it with others. Includes glossary of environmental terms, facts about Pacific Northwest Native cultures, and other educational resources

We are still here! : Native American truths everyone should know by Traci Sorell

"A group of Native American kids from different tribes presents twelve historical and contemporary time periods, struggles, and victories to their classmates, each ending with a powerful refrain: we are still here"--

The first blade of sweetgrass : a Native American story by Suzanne Greenlaw

"In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making."--Publisher's description

A man called Horse : John Horse and the Black Seminole Underground Railroad by Glennette Tilley Turner

"A daring account of Black Seminole warrior, chief, and diplomat John Horse and the route he forged on the Underground Railroad to gain freedom for his people. John Horse (c. 1812-1882, also known as Juan Caballo) was a famed chief, warrior, tactician, and diplomat who played a dominant role in Black Seminole affairs for half a century. His story is central to that of the Black Seminoles--descendants of Seminole Indians, free Blacks, and escaped slaves who formed an alliance in Spanish Florida. A political and military leader of mixed Seminole and African heritage, Horse defended his people from the U.S. government, other tribes, and slave hunters. 'A Man Called Horse' focuses on the little-known life of Horse while also putting into historical perspective the larger story of Native Americans and especially Black Seminoles, helping to connect the missing "dots" in this period. After fighting during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), one of the longest and most costly Native American conflicts in U.S. history, Horse negotiated terms with the federal government and later became a guide and interpreter. Forced to relocate, he led a group of Black Seminoles to find a new home, first heading westward to Texas and later to Mexico. Turner worked with descendants of Horse, who provided oral histories as well as many photographs and other artifacts. Her expertly researched and vetted biography depicts Horse as a complex, fascinating figure who served in many varied roles, including as a counselor of fellow Seminole leaders, an agent of the U.S. government, and a captain in the Mexican army. But no matter the part he played, one thing remained constant: whether in battle or at the negotiating table, Horse fought tirelessly to help his people survive. The story ofJohn Horse is a tale of daring, intrigue, and the lifelong quest for freedom. The book includes black-and-white archival photos throughout (though the book is designed in full color), as well as a map, timeline, author's note, endnotes, and select bibliography"--

Nibi's water song by Sunshine Tenasco

"Nibi, a Native American girl, cannot get clean water from her tap or the river, so she goes on a journey to connect with fellow water protectors and get clean water for all"--

Notable native people : 50 indigenous leaders, dreamers, and changemakers from past and present by Adrienne Keene

"An accessible and educational illustrated book profiling 50 notable American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, from NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Standing Rock Lakota to Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation"--

Indigenous Peoples' Day by Katrina M Phillips

"Indigenous Peoples' Day is about celebrating! The second Monday in October is a day to honor Native American people, their histories, and cultures. People mark the day with food, dancing, and songs. Readers will discover how a shared holiday can have multiple traditions and be celebrated in all sorts of ways"--

On the trapline by David Robertson

"A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, "Is this your trapline?" This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child's wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning forhis family"--

Peacemaker by Joseph Bruchac

"A twelve-year-old Iroquois boy rethinks his calling after witnessing the arrival of a mystical figure with a message of peace in this historical novel based on the creation of the Iroquois Confederacy"--

Jim Thorpe's bright path by Joseph Bruchac

A biography of Native American athlete Jim Thorpe, focusing on how his boyhood education set the stage for his athletic achievements which gained him international fame and Olympic gold medals. Author's note details Thorpe's life after college

Turtle's race with Beaver : a traditional Seneca story by Joseph Bruchac

When Beaver challenges Turtle to a swimming race for ownership of the pond, Turtle outsmarts Beaver, and Beaver learns to share

At the mountain's base by Traci Sorell

In a cabin at the mountain's base, a Cherokee family waits for their loved one, a pilot, to return home.

Wilma's way home : the life of Wilma Mankiller by Doreen Rappaport

"A picturebook biography of Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation."--Provided by publisher.

Buffalo Bird Girl : a Hidatsa story by S Nelson

Traces the childhood, friendships and dangers experienced by Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa Indian born in 1839, whose community along the Missouri River in the Dakotas transitioned from hunting to agriculture.

When I was eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton

This book chronicles the unbreakable spirit of an Inuit girl while attending an Arctic residential school

I sang you down from the stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner

A Native American woman describes how she loved her child before it was born and, throughout her pregnancy, gathered a bundle of gifts to welcome the newborn.

Berry magic by Teri Sloat

When the old women complain about having only dry, tasteless crowberries to use for the fall feast, Anana, a Yupik Eskimo girl, uses a little magic to provide luscious cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, and salmonberries.

Stolen words by Melanie Florence

When a young girl discovers that her grandfather does not know his native Cree language because he was taken to live at a residential school when he was a boy, she sets out to help him learn the language.

Treaty words : for as long as the rivers flow by Aimaee Craft

"The first treaty that was made was between the earth and the sky. It was an agreement to work together. We build all of our treaties on that original treaty. On the banks of the river that have been Mishomis's home his whole life, he teaches his granddaughter to listen to hear both the sounds and the silences, and so to learn her place in Creation. Most importantly, he teaches her about treaties the bonds of reciprocity and renewal that endure for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow. Accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Luke Swinson and an author's note at the end, Aimaee Craft affirms the importance of understanding an Indigenous perspective on treaties in this evocative book that is essential for readers of all ages."--

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh : niibing, dgwaagig, bboong, mnookmig dbaadjigaade maanpii mzin'igning = This is how I know : a book about the seasons by Brittany Luby

"In this lyrical story-poem, written in Anishinaabemowin and English, a child and grandmother explore their surroundings, taking pleasure in the familiar sights that each new season brings. We accompany them through warm summer days full of wildflowers, bees and blueberries, then fall, when bears feast before hibernation and forest mushrooms are ripe for harvest. Winter mornings begin in darkness as deer, mice and other animals search for food, while spring brings green shoots poking through melting snow and the chirping of peepers."--

The American Indian Rights Movement by Eric Braun

"This fresh perspective on the American Indian rights movement that young readers have been hearing about in the news includes engaging historic coverage that will hook the reader from start to finish."--Provided by publisher.

Fry bread : a Native American family story by Kevin Noble Maillard

Celebrates the Native American tradition of sharing fry bread during family meals, in a story about family, history, culture, and traditions, both new and old.

We are grateful : otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell

Otsaliheliga is a Cherokee word that is used to express gratitude. Journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations big and small. A look at modern Native American life as told by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation

Race to the sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Guided by her Navajo ancestors, seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay discovers she is descended from a holy woman and destined to become a monsterslayer, starting with the evil businessman who kidnapped her father. Includes glossary of Navajo terms.

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

"Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal name...one that's all his own. Dad is known as Big Thunder, but Little Thunder doesn't want to share a name"--

We are water protectors by Carole Lindstrom

When a black snake threatens to destroy the earth, one young water protector takes a stand to defend the planet's water, in a tale inspired by the many indigenous-led conservation movements across North America.

The New York Public Library amazing Native American history : a book of answers for kids by Liz Sonneborn

Questions and answers present information on the history and culture of various Native American tribes

Two roads by Joseph Bruchac

In 1932, twelve-year-old Cal must stop being a hobo with his father and go to a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, where he begins learning about his history and heritage as a Creek Indian.

Makoons by Louise Erdrich

Living with their Ojibwe family on the Great Plains of Dakota Territory in 1866, twin brothers Makoons and Chickadee must learn to become buffalo hunters, but Makoons has a vision that foretells great challenges that his family may not be able to overcome
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