Indigenous people, including Native Americans, have a complex and often misunderstood history in North America. As a trusted, community resource, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library wants to share important resources and materials that celebrate the cultural diversity of indigenous groups in the United States, especially in the state of North Carolina.
The State of North Carolina officially recognizes eight tribes, and the federal government recognizes the Eastern Cherokee tribe. Learn more about North Carolina’s tribes in Dennis Isenbarger’s Native Americans in Early North Carolina or spend an afternoon exploring our extensive collection of Native American materials, only available at the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room. Visit any Library location to explore your potential Native American roots on Ancestry Library Edition. If you have a mobile device or computer, you can even access Mango Languages to learn the Cherokee language.
For our younger audiences, our Myers Park location offers Story Explorers: Native American Heritage Month Monday, November 25, 2019 at 6:15 p.m.
To learn more about Native American culture, check out the following resources and materials:
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz' 2015 An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States and All the Real Indians Died Off give a Native American perspective of North American history and dispel myths.
- Cook authentic Sioux recipes like wild rice cakes and sweet corn sorbet from Shawn Sherman’s The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen.
- Listen to Apache-Filipino folk musician Nahko.
- Stream acclaimed Native American films and documentaries like Winter in the Blood and Reel Injun through Kanopy.
- Tommy Orange’s critically acclaimed 2018 There There features a rotating cast of characters and viewpoints of twelve Native Americans traveling to a Bay Area powwow.
- LeAnne Howe’s Savage Conversations explores the link between Mary Todd Lincoln, her stay in an asylum, and the massacre of 38 Dakota members.
- Brandon Hobson’s Where the Dead Sit Talking is a coming-of-age story about a Cherokee teen living in foster care and a 2018 National Book Award finalist,
- Try a collection of short stories or essays such as “Spider Woman's Granddaughters,” “Grandmothers of the Light” and “#NotYourPrincess.”
- Try works by other Native American authors like Sherman Alexie, Paula Gunn Allen, and Leslie Silko.
- Find children’s materials from these library staff reading lists.
Audiences of all ages are encouraged to learn more about Native American culture by visiting the American Indian Library Association, American Indian Center and North Carolina tribal resources such as the Eastern Band of Cherokee.
This blog post was written by Kristi Atkins, librarian, of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.