The Literacy Council Gulf Coast is pleased to celebrate Native American Heritage Month this November. This month, we encourage everyone to learn more about the history and culture of Native Americans. The following are some suggested resources:
- The National Museum of the American Indian offers a variety of online resources, including a virtual museum tour, educational videos, and an online Collections Database with more than 800,000 images of Native American artifacts.
- The American Indian Library Association has compiled a list of recommended books for all ages, including fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books.
While we’re highlighting some great Native American authors, there are many more who have contributed to our country’s literature. So be sure to explore them here to help celebrate Native American Heritage Month!
What Is Native American Heritage Month?
Native American Heritage Month is celebrated each year in the United States during the month of November. The month is a time to recognize the contributions and achievements of Native Americans, as well as to raise awareness about the issues faced by Native American communities.
This year, we’re taking a closer look at some of the great Native American authors who have made significant contributions to literature. From classic works of poetry to modern novels, these authors have helped to shape the literary landscape and to tell the stories of Native Americans.
Here are just a few of the great Native American authors you should know about:
1. N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, N. Scott Momaday is one of the most celebrated Native American authors. His novel House Made of Dawn was published in 1968 and tells the story of a young Native American man, Abel, who is struggling to find his place in the world.
2. Louise Erdrich (Chippewa)
Louise Erdrich is a renowned author, poet, and short story writer. Her 1984 novel Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2012, she was awarded the National Book Award for Fiction for her novel The Round House.
3. Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo)
Leslie Marmon Silko is a celebrated author, poet, and short story writer. Her 1977 novel Ceremony tells the story of a young Native American man, Tayo, who returns from World War II traumatized and must find his way back to his culture and community.
4. Sherman Alexie (Spokane)
Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and screenwriter. His 1993 collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, won the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction. His novel, Indian Killer, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
5. James Welch (Blackfeet)
James Welch is a novelist, short story writer, and poet. His first novel, Winter in the Blood, was published in 1974 and is considered a classic of Native American literature. His other novels include Fool’s Crow and The Heartsong of Charging Elk.
These are just a few of the many great Native American authors who have made significant contributions to American literature. During Native American Heritage Month, take the time to pick up a book by one of these talented writers and celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Native Americans.