American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month – November 2021

INCLUSIONADO CELEBRATES: American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month November 2021

Indigenous people are known to have been in this country for 35,000 years. At one time, some scholars say, there were more than 100 million indigenous people living in what is now called the United States who had extensive trade with other tribes throughout Central and South America. Currently, there are 7.1 million people that are members of the 642 native Tribes living in the U.S. There is a history that has led to this decrease in population. Some of the stories and movies here show parts of that history, the obstacles they have faced, their accomplishments, and the richness of their cultures and traditions.


For children:

Bowwow Powwow by Brenda Child of the Chippewa Nation tells of a child’s dream of a powwow where all the characters are dogs. For ages 2-7

Children of the First People: Voices of Alaska’s Native Kids by Tricia Brown
Hear the modern stories of 8 children who live in 8 different tribes in Alaska and learn about the lives they live. Ages 8 and up.

Fry Bread by Kevin Maillard, a member of Seminole Nation, tells about Native American culture, community, history, and family using fry bread as the main character. At the back of this book for children is a deeper history of tribal history for adults. For children 2-5.

Games of Silence by Louise Erdrich The 2nd in the Birchbark House series about Omakayas, a young Ojibwe girl in the mid-1980s. Ages 8-12.

Native Americans In History by Jimmy Beason, member of Osage Nation, highlights the great accomplishments of 15 Native Americans such as the first woman Chief of a Tribe, the first Native American prima ballerina, Olympic athletes, warriors, poets, astronauts, and those who fought for their lands. Ages 9 and up.

Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina by Maria Tallchief tells her story of growing up on an Osage Indian reservation whose tribe members were the wealthiest people in the world. Her love of music and dance led her to eventually join the Russian Ballet and become the most famous American-born ballerina of all time. Ages 5 and up.

The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter. An 8-year-old boy called Little Tree is taught the old ways by his Cherokee grandparents before being taken to boarding school to be assimilated. Also a movie. Age 10 and up.

We Are The Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, Native American author, tells the story of one little girl who takes a stand for the water. 2021 Caldecott Medal winner. For ages 2-7.


For Older Teens/Adults:

An American Sunrise by Joy Harlo, of the Muscogee Creek Nation and the U.S. Poet Laureate. Poems from her life experiences and her look back to May 28, 1830, when President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act to force her ancestors from their homes to move West.

Code Talker by Chester Nez, a Navajo code talker in World War ll, tells his story of working with 29 Navajos who volunteered for the Marines and developed the only spoken code in modern warfare that was never broken. Chester was punished for speaking his native language as a child in boarding school but later he used that same language to help the US win the war over Japan in the South Pacific.

1491: New Revelations of the America’s Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
An overview of life in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
A history of the US government driving the Sioux Indians off their lands in the Dakotas in 1890s.

Crazy Brave by Joy Harlo, a member of the Creek Tribe who is the US Poet Laureate.
Her story of coming of age is told in the context of her ancestors. Beautifully written.

What The Elders Have Taught Us: Alaska Native Ways written by 10 Native Alaskans. While Alaskan tribes are culturally diverse, they share some common values. These 10 essays are about 10 shared traditional values common to all tribes. The authors share lessons that they were taught by their elders.

Where White Men Fear to Tread by Russell Means, an Oglala Lakota tells his story of growing up and his experiences as a kid, activist, artist, actor, musician, and his involvement with the American Indian Movement.

Book Store
This bookstore owned by an American Indian author has a rich list of books that can be bought directly from her store.


Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner 2001 R
Two Inuit brothers are fated to deal with an evil force in their Alaskan village. Written, directed, and produced by Inuits and filmed on location with Inuit actors, this movie shows the stark beauty and strength of the people who live with ice.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee TV PG 14 (see book)

Dreamkeeper 2003 TV series on Prime
An old Lakota Sioux storyteller on a reservation insists his 17-year-old grandson Shane goes with him to a powwow in Albuquerque. Their journey is full of adventures and stories that the grandfather (played by Graham Greene) turns into lessons for Shane and all of us.

Gather A 2020 Documentary about Native Americans sharing their renewed relationship with food, traditions, and Mother Earth. Produced by Native Americans, this film inspires people to pay attention to the interrelatedness of all things. PG

Smoke Signals 1998 PG 13
Two young men on the Coeur d’Alene reservation take a journey that reveals their pain of losing parents: one to alcohol and one to a household fire. The movie has humor, kindness and asks deep questions about forgiving our fathers. Considered the first feature film written, directed, produced, and acted by Native Americans.

Taste the Nation hosted by Padma Lakshmi meets with two women in the Southwest to learn about traditional Native American food and its healing properties. This episode (Season 1, Episode 7) can be seen on Hulu.

Thunderheart 1992 R
An American Indian FBI agent is sent to a Sioux reservation to investigate a murder and while there, discovers his heritage and the realities of the reservation as he uncovers the facts. Set in the 1970s with actors Val Kilmer, Graham Greene, and Sam Shepard.



Taboo from Black Eyed Peas Interviewed by Paul G at October 18, 2021, tells of his personal journey as a Native American, husband, father, musician, cancer survivor, children’s book author, and activist for indigenous causes.

Indigenous Enterprise Kenneth Shirley interviewed by Taboo of Black Eyed Peas. Clips of the dance troupes performances and discussion of Shirley’s perspective on dance, culture, healing, and lack of education. #RTBxFF Episode 7 feat. Kenneth Shirley.

OneWorld (WeAreOne) Taboo from Black Eyed Peas sings with native musicians, filmed at Pechanga Reservation in Temecula.

Christmas Pow Wow by the Sea at Imperial Beach Plaza. Dancing, drumming, food (fry bread!), artisan vendors, and celebration. December 18-19, 2021 11-6 p.m.

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