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6 Great Books for Native American Heritage Month

November marks National Native American Heritage Month! Join us in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of the original inhabitants of this land. According to the National Park Services, “the history, traditions, and culture of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are part of every national park [and communities across the country] today.” This month, and every month, we celebrate these remarkable indigenous Americans who deeply enrich the quality and character of our Nation.

In celebration, here are a few book available at the J. Willard Marriott Library recommended by librarian Allyson Mower.

The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History
By Darren Parry

Learn more about this tragic historical event from the perspective of the Shoshone people as told by tribal leader Darren Parry.

The Only Good Indians
By Stephen Graham Jones

I loved this book! Elkhead Woman is such an amazing character and Lewis and everybody…they all draw you through this fantastical revenge story with complete fascination and humanity. And if you’ve watched Reservation Dogs, you’ll get the connection to Elkhead Woman.

The Night Watchman
By Louise Erdrich

Erdrich is one of my favorite authors and I recommend all of her books, but this is one of her newest ones and it touches on many important topics: disenfranchisement, missing indigenous women, and tribal authority. The way Erdrich addresses big topics is through endearing characters, humor, and beautiful writing. You’ll love the Paul Bunyan character.

Weenoocheeyoo peesaduehnee yak:anup: Stories of our Ancestors
By the Uintah-Ouray Ute Tribe and Clifford Duncan

A slim, bilingual book with beautiful illustrations that tells the stories of the Bear Dance, the creation, and Bears Ears country.

Postcolonial Love Poem
By Natalie Diaz

I haven’t read much poetry in my life, but I regret not having done so because this book and Diaz’s writing is superb. After watching the show Reservation Dogs, I especially liked the poem “Top Ten Reasons Indians Are Good at Basketball.”

There, There
By Tommy Orange

(Description/review by Carly Anderson, Collection Services Project Manager)

A novel told from the perspective of many different narrators who are all making their way to the Big Oakland Powwow.  The threads of each of their stories end up weaving together in very interesting ways.

Statement on Native American Heritage Month from the University of Utah American Indian Resource Center


November is designated as Native American Heritage Month. This was formally designated in 1990 by President George W.H. Bush through joint resolution. The University of Utah and the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at the University of Utah honors the remarkable contributions made by Native Americans every month and have established an acknowledge of the original occupants of this precious land.

The University and AIRC also recognize the eight federally recognized tribal nations of Utah and the 574 federally recognized nations of the United States for the contributions they have made in the past and continue to make today.

Throughout the month of November the AIRC and partners across the University of Utah will collaborate to bring awareness and understanding around the historical and contemporary issues, rich culture, traditions, history and the many contributions Native American and Alaska Natives have provided to the world. We also wish to acknowledge the many exceptional Native American students and leaders on campus.

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