October 2, 2019

Celebrating Indigenous communities through reading

We all know that November is the month of Thanksgiving, but did you know November is also Native American Heritage Month in the United States? As public and school libraries strive to feature books with diverse characters that fairly represent that culture, November is a perfect time to highlight these communities. 

NoveList can help you find books featuring Native American characters and culture: 

  • To find books with Native American characters written by Native Americans, search SU Indians of North America AND SC Own Voices
  • To find books by Native American authors, search AC Native American
  • If you are looking for books featuring a specific tribe, especially those native to your region, you can search SU (e.g., SU Lakota Indians, SU Cherokee Indians). 
  • Doing a keyword search for Indians of North America will show you everything tagged as such, including lists and articles.

NoveList also collects Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand titles, so folks outside of the US can search for native peoples specific to your area. As always, adding AND SC Own Voices to the searches below will limit the search to books where the protagonist and author share a marginalized identity.

  • In Canada SU First Nations (Canada) or SU Metis or SU Inuit
  • In Australia SU Aboriginal Australians
  • In New Zealand SU Maori (New Zealand people)

If you subscribe to LibraryAware, we have lots of resources to help you make the perfect flyer or newsletter. For inspiration, see the newsletter produced by our friends at the Guelph Public Library. This newsletter is created as a result of a partnership between a librarian and a member of the local Indigenous community and spun off of their First Nation Communities Read program. Our friends at Kāpiti Coast District Council in New Zealand created this gorgeous trifold flyer that was created to show off items in their “Te Matahīapo” (translated from Maori means treasured possession) collection.

In the United States the American Indians in Children's Literature blog is a great resource for answers about anything children's literature-related. It was started by Dr. Debbie Reese, a Nambé Pueblo Indian librarian and advocate for Native representation. 

Most importantly, please remember that, while the United States celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November, it is important to recognize contributions from native communities year-round. The field code searches listed above will help you find books by and about Indigenous peoples to include in all your displays and booklists. 


Suzanne Temple is a Metadata Librarian II at Novelist. She is also a member of the Book Squad. Suzanne is currently reading Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia. 
 





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