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November is Native American Heritage Month, recognizing and celebrating Native Americans past and present.
These titles are all available in the Lewis Library. Check them out!
If you are interested in learning more about Native American Literature, you can also find more information on the guide to LIT 233: Native American Literature.
Apple (Skin to the Core) by
Call Number: PS3557.A5196 A66 2020
The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. Eric Gansworth tells his story, the story of his family--of Onondaga among Tuscaroras--of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds, Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in truly heartbreaking ways.
Give Me Some Truth by
Call Number: PS3557 .A5196 G58 2018
Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, and a rock band is his best shot. Maggi Bokoni is dying to stop making the same traditional artwork her family sells to tourists, stop feeling out of place in her new (old) home, and stop being treated like a child. Carson, Maggi, and their friend Lewis will navigate loud protests, even louder music, and first love in this stirring novel about coming together in a world defined by difference.
Reading by Eric Gansworth by
Call Number: PS3557.A5196 Z541
Eric Gansworth, former NCCC faculty and currently on the Canisius College faculty, reads from his writings and answers questions from the audience. Through his writing, Mr. Gansworth looks at the human condition and often writes about it.
An American Sunrise by
Call Number: PS3558.A62423 A64 2019
In the early 1800s, the Muscogee people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family's lands and opens a dialogue with history. Harjo's personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice.
Crazy Brave by
Call Number: PS3558.A62423 Z46 2012
Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Crazy Brave is a haunting memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.
Poetry Reading by Joy Harjo by
Call Number: PS591 .I55 H351 1992
Joy Harjo, nationally renowned Native American poet of the Creek tribe, reads and discusses her poetry. She answers questions from the class after the readings.
Biographies and Memoirs
Black Elk by
Call Number: E99.O3 J33 2016
Black Elk is known to millions of readers from his 1932 testimonial Black Elk Speaks. He killed his first man at the Little Bighorn, witnessed the death of his second cousin Crazy Horse, and traveled to Europe with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. He was swept up in the traditionalist Ghost Dance movement and shaken by the Wounded Knee Massacre. But Black Elk accepted the path of a healer and holy man, and he never refrained from seeking meaning in the visions that haunted and inspired him.
The Turquoise Ledge by
Call Number: PS3569.I44 Z46 2010
Leslie Marmon Silko's book takes readers along on her daily walks through the arroyos and ledges of the Sonoran desert in Arizona. Silko weaves tales from her family's past into her observations. The beauty and symbolism of the landscape around her and of the animals that share her life and form part of her family figure prominently in her memories. Strongly influenced by Native American storytelling traditions, this becomes a moving and deeply personal contemplation of the enormous spiritual power of the natural world.
Tracks on a Page by
Call Number: PS3555.R42 Z94 2013
Louise Erdrich is, perhaps, the most critically and economically successful American Indian author ever. Known for her engrossing explorations of Native American themes, Erdrich has created award-winning novels, poetry, stories, and more for three decades. This book examines Erdrich's oeuvre in light of her experiences, her gender, and her heritage as the daughter of a Chippewa mother and German-American father, covering Erdrich from her birth to the present.
Call Number: E98.F6 T73 2010
All cultures have tales of the trickster - a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics. Each story is written by a different Native American storyteller who worked closely with a selected illustrator, a combination that gives each tale a unique and powerful voice and look.
The Night Watchman by
Call Number: PS3555.R42 N54 2020
Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member trying to understand the new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953, and the council members know the bill isn't about freedom. The bill is a "termination" that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. The Night Watchman is based on the extraordinary life of Louise Erdrich's grandfather Patrick Gourneau, who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession all the way to Washington.
There There by
Call Number: PS3615.R32 T48 2018
Tommy Orange's There There is the story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow--some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent--momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. There There is a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.
Indian Horse by
Call Number: PR9199.3.W316 I53 2018
Saul Indian Horse is a child when his family retreats into the woods. Among the lakes and the cedars, they attempt to reconnect with half-forgotten traditions and hide from the authorities who have been kidnapping Ojibway youth. But, when winter approaches, Saul loses everything: his brother, his parents, his beloved grandmother--and then his home itself. Alone in the world and placed in a horrific boarding school, Saul is surrounded by violence and cruelty when he finds a tentative salvation in hockey. This opens doors for him: away from the school, into an all-Ojibway amateur circuit, and, finally, within grasp of a professional career.
Modern Native Americans
Our History Is the Future by
Call Number: E99.D1 E87 2019
In 2016, a small protest encampment at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, initially established to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, grew to be the largest Indigenous protest movement in the twenty-first century, attracting tens of thousands of Indigenous and non-Native allies from around the world. Its slogan "Mni Wiconi" Water is Life was about more than just a pipeline. Water Protectors knew this battle for Native sovereignty had already been fought many times before and that, even after the encampment was gone, their anti-colonial struggle would continue.
I Am Where I Come From by
Call Number: E97.65.N4 I24 2017
I Am Where I Come From presents the autobiographies of thirteen Native American undergraduates and graduates of Dartmouth College, ten of them current and recent students. The autobiographies explore issues of native identity, adjustment to the college environment, cultural and familial influences, and academic and career aspirations. The memoirs are notable for their eloquence and bravery.
We Had a Little Real Estate Problem by
Call Number: E98.C67 N47 2021
Acclaimed comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff focuses on one of comedy's most significant and little-known stories: how, despite having been denied representation in the entertainment industry, Native Americans have influenced and advanced the art form. As Ryan Red Corn, the Osage member of the 1491s sketch troupe, says: "The American narrative dictates that Indians are supposed to be sad. It's not really true and it's not indicative of the community experience itself...Laughter and joy is very much a part of Native culture." Featuring dozens of original interviews and exhaustive research, this is a powerful tribute to a neglected legacy.
The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen by
Call Number: E98.F7 S54 2017
Here is real food--our indigenous American fruits and vegetables, the wild and foraged ingredients, game, and fish. Locally sourced, seasonal, "clean" ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking are nothing new for Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef. Sherman creates boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, elegant, and easy. He dispels outdated notions of Native American fare and uses no European staples such as wheat flour, dairy products, sugar, or domestic pork and beef.
Native Americans in History
The Indian World of George Washington by
Call Number: E312.17 .C17 2018
George Washington dominates the narrative of the nation's birth, yet American history has largely forgotten what he knew: that the country's fate depended less on grand rhetorical statements of independence and self-governance than on land - Indian land. While other histories have overlooked the central importance of Indian power during the country's formative years, Colin G. Calloway here gives Native American leaders their due, revealing the relationship between the man who rose to become the most powerful figure in his country and the Native tribes whose dominion he usurped.
"All the Real Indians Died Off" by
Call Number: E76.8 .D85 2016
Scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths. Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and are tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance.
Malinche, Pocahontas, and Sacagawea by
Call Number: E89 J36 2015
The first Europeans to arrive in North America's various regions relied on Native women to help them navigate unfamiliar customs and places. This study of legendary cultural intermediaries examines their initial contact with Euro-Americans, their negotiation of multinational frontiers, and their symbolic representation over time. The three women's societies -- the Aztecs of Central Mexico (Malinche), the Powhatans of the mid-Atlantic coast (Pocahontas), and the Shoshones of the northern Rocky Mountains (Sacagawea) -- were already dealing with complex ethnic tensions and social change. All three used wit and diplomacy learned in their Native cultures.
Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs by
Call Number: RA644.S6 K45 2015
How smallpox, or Variola, caused widespread devastation during the European colonization of the Americas is a well-known story. But, as historian Paul Kelton informs us, that's precisely what it is: a convenient story. In Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs, Kelton challenges the "virgin soil thesis," or the widely held belief that Natives' lack of immunities and their inept healers were responsible for their downfall. He firmly shifts the focus to the root cause of indigenous suffering and depopulation--colonialism writ large.
Lake of Betrayal by
Call Number: E99.S3 L34 2017
Completed in 1965, Kinzua Dam created a reservoir that inundated vast tracts of Seneca Nation of Indians' ancestral lands. This was in breach of the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 signed by President George Washington, which had guaranteed them their lands "forever." Set against a backdrop of the federal Indian termination policy, pork-barrel politics, and undisclosed plans for private hydropower, the Seneca fought the federal government and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to defend their sovereignty.
Call Number: E99.C5 M336 2018
This is the story of an American hero and legend, one who stands tall amongst the likes of Robert Kennedy, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King, Jr. -- and yet few people know her name. Wilma Mankiller is someone who humbly defied the odds to fight injustice and give a voice to the voiceless. She overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation's first female Principal Chief in 1985.
Call Number: ML3557 .R86 2017
This revelatory documentary brings to light the profound and overlooked influence of Indigenous people on popular music in North America. Focusing on music icons like Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Taboo (The Black Eyed Peas), Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, and Randy Castillo, RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World shows how these pioneering Native American musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.
Wind River by
Call Number: PN1997.2 .W56 2017
A rookie FBI agent teams with a town's veteran game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past to investigate the mysterious killing of a local girl on a remote Native American reservation.
Search for more books in the catalog by utilizing phrases such as:
- Indians of North America -- Historiography
- Indians of North America -- History
- Indians of North America -- Social life and customs
- Indians, Treatment of -- North America
- Native Americans -- History
Eric Gansworth is a local author and former faculty member at NCCC. He is an enrolled member of the Onondaga.
Films on Demand: Native American Studies
A comprehensive collection of educational videos about Native Americans.
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, more commonly known as the Iroquois, have inhabited the area around modern Western New York since before European colonization.
National American Indian Heritage Month
What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S. has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.
Native American Financial Aid
Check the listings under "NYS Aid to Native Americans," "Native American Aid—BIE Higher Education Grant Program," and "Native American Aid—Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties, Inc." for more information about available financial aid.
Native American SUNY: Western Consortium
The Native American SUNY: Western Consortium is one of two consortia created by the State University of New York (SUNY) to address the higher education needs of Native American students and communities.
PBS offers streaming documentaries and short films about Native Americans.
Joy Harjo is the first Native American to be appointed the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.
Red Jacket by
Call Number: E99.S3 R289 1999
The political career of Red Jacket (1758-1830) began just before the American Revolution, when both the Americans and the British sought the alliance of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy. By the 1790s, Red Jacket was frequently the diplomat chosen by the Seneca Nation and the Iroquois Confederacy to represent them in councils and treaty negotiations between the United States, the British in Canada, and the Indian nations of the Ohio Country.
Seven Generations of Iroquois Leadership by
Call Number: E99.I7 H35 2008
Laurence M. Hauptman traces the past 200 years of the Six Nations' history through the lens of the remarkable leaders who shaped it. Focusing on the distinct qualities of Iroquois leadership, Hauptman reveals how the Six Nations have survived in the face of overwhelming pressure.
From the Western Door to the Lower West Side by
Call Number: TR647.R62 F73 2010
In this collaboration between two celebrated artists, Native American poet Eric Gansworth has written a book-length cycle of poems that interact with Milton Rogovin's photographs to form a unique experience. The poems and the photographs, taken over a period of forty years, reflect the journey from the Western Door of Seneca reservation culture--a culture distinctly different--to the lifestyles of Buffalo's Lower West Side.
North American Indigenous
Singing for the Dead by
Call Number: F1221.M35 F38 2013
Singing for the Dead chronicles ethnic revival in Oaxaca, Mexico, where new forms of singing and writing in the local Mazatec indigenous language are producing powerful, transformative political effects. Singing for the Dead provides a new way to think about the politics of ethnicity, the success of social movements, and the limits of national belonging.
Red Medicine by
Call Number: E98.R53 G66 2012
The book explores Indigenous medicine across North America, with a special emphasis on how Indigenous knowledge has endured and persisted among peoples with a legacy to Mexico. Gonzales combines her lived experience in Red Medicine as an herbalist and traditional birth attendant with in-depth research into oral traditions, storytelling, and the meanings of symbols to uncover how Indigenous knowledge endures over time. And she shows how this knowledge is now being reclaimed by Chicanos, Mexican Americans, and Mexican Indigenous peoples.
Seven Fallen Feathers by
Call Number: E78.O5 T35 2017
Over the span of eleven years, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They were hundreds of kilometres away from their families, forced to leave home because there was no adequate high school on their reserves. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Award-winning author Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city that has come to manifest Canada's long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.
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