We are here because of the friendship of the first people. This month of November has been appropriately designated as American Indian Heritage Month.

I give thanks for excellent, authentic and accurate books written for children by authors and artists who are American Indian. Here are several I am pleased to share with you. For many other outstanding books recommended by the National Museum of American Indians (Smithsonian), please visit their website: NMAI

GIVING THANKS: A NATIVE AMERICAN GOOD MORNING MESSAGE, for all readers, all ages, a beautiful book by Jake Swamp, Mohawk, illustrated by Erwin Printup, thanks

This eloquent message of gratitude originated with the Native people of upstate New York and Canada and is still spoken at gatherings held by the Iroquois, or Six Nations.

To initiate an important discussion, read with your family or students:

1621: A NEW LOOK AT THANKSGIVING, by Margaret M. Bruchac, Abenaki, and Catherine Grace O’Neill; or

THANKSGIVING: A NATIVE PERSPECTIVE, by Doris Seale , Santee/Cree, Beverly Slapin, and Carolyn Silverman.

An amazing book to read and look through slowly is a recent book by S. D. Nelson: SITTING BULL: LAKOTA WARRIOR AND DEFENDER OF THIS PEOPLE. In this picture-book biography, Nelson tells the story of Sitting Bull’s life while seamlessly weaving within the important events of the Lakota people during the nineteenth century. Nelson combines quotes from individual Lakota leaders and from Sitting Bull with archival photographs plus adding his own drawings made on ledger paper which mimic the historic Lakota drawings made during the 1800’s.

sitting bullIt’s quite a book, one that you will read and remember.

Anyone of these books is a lovely gift to bring to a holiday gathering. Read one with others and give thanks!

For more suggestions plus teaching ideas, enjoy looking through the teacher and parent website created by the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indians (NMAI):


And to all, we wish you a Thanksgiving with time for reflection and giving thanks.


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