Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Native American Heritage Month


This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, and some of us will also celebrate Native American Heritage Day, the day after Thanksgiving.  Actually, the entire month of November has been proclaimed Native American Heritage Month.  American Heritage months are meant to encourage us to commemorate, learn about, and revalue lives that have been decentered from American history.

What do you know about that first Thanksgiving?  Have you ever heard the story told from the perspective of the native peoples to whom the pilgrims were thankful? Learn more about the Wampanoag nation, Native histories, and the ways in which Native peoples have been represented in the U.S.:

"The first Thanksgiving wasn't celebrated with turkey (there weren't any in Massachusetts) and didn't take place in 1621. Indeed the settlers, who probably didn't think of themselves as Pilgrims and were most certainly not revolutionaries against their king, were lucky not to be wiped out during their first winter...Godfrey Hodgson throws new light on the radicalism of the so-called Pilgrims, the financing of their trip, the state of the Indian tribes that they encountered when they landed and the reasons why Plymouth probably didn't have a rock."

 We Still Live Here
"The Wampanoag nation of southeastern Massachusetts ensured the survival of the Pilgrims in New England, and lived to regret it. This film tells the story of the return of the Wampanoag language, the first time a language with no native speakers for many generations has been revived in this country. Spurred on by an indomitable linguist named Jessie Little Doe, the Wampanoag are bringing their language and their culture back home."

"In Indian Voices, Alison Owings takes readers on a fresh journey across America, east to west, north to south, and around again. Owings's most recent oral history--engagingly written in a style that entertains and informs--documents what Native Americans say about themselves, their daily lives, and the world around them."

"Travelling through the heartland of America, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond examines how the myth of the movie "Injun" has influenced the world's understanding - and misunderstanding - of Natives. With clips from hundreds of classic and recent films, and candid interviews with celebrated Native and non-Native directors, writers, actors and activists, including Clint Eastwood, Robbie Robertson, Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell, Charlie Hill and Russell Means, Reel Injun traces the evolution of cinema's depiction of Native people from the silent film era to the present day."

"Indeed, it seems that each generation of whites and Indians will have to read and reread Vine Deloria’s Manifesto for some time to come, before we absorb his special, ironic Indian point of view and what he tells us, with a great deal of humor, about U.S. race relations, federal bureaucracies, Christian churches, and social scientists. This book continues to be required reading for all Americans, whatever their special interest."

Talk to your librarians if you'd like to find more books, DVDs, articles and other resources related to Native Americans.   Learn more about Native American Student Programs at University of Redlands.

Shana Higgins
Interdisciplinary & Area Studies Librarian

No comments :