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Native American Children’s Books
There are so many high quality Native American children’s books available, it was hard to pick my favorite 10! While there are several fun and special children’s books about Native Americans (like this one), I wanted to keep this list to specifically historical people.
Any study of American history has to include learning about the Native Americans from their perspectives. In this list you will find stories of inspiring chiefs, barrier-breakers, even a current Congresswoman.
Be sure to pin this post to reference during Native American History Month (November)!
Read more: Indigenous History
The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation
Alice B. McGinty (Author) Shonto Begay (Illustrator)
Darlene Arviso is a member of Navajo Nation. The majority of the Navajo people do not have running water. Darlene continues to serve her people by driving a water truck to almost a dozen homes a day, providing each home with a month’s supply of water.
Check out Darlene’s story here.
Wilma’s Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller
I Am Not a Number
Kathy Kacer (Author) Jenny Kay Dupuis (Author)
I Am Not A Number is about author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, Irene. At age eight, Irene was forcibly removed from her home with her family and taken to one of the residential schools. This book is told simply and honestly.
Spotted Tail was a brave member of the Lakota Nations, eventually becoming Chief of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. He defended his people when the United States broke their treaties, and surrendered himself in effort to protect his peope. While being held by the federal government, Spotted Tail learned to read and write in English, and he used this knowledge to negotiate better treaties for his people.
Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People
Sitting Bull is possibly the most well-known Chief in our recent written history. Sitting Bull was such a warrior that he became the Chief of the entire Sioux Nation, which covered most of the Great Plains. Together with another well-known warrior, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull fought for the right to stay living free in the Great Plains when the United States government was forcing tribes to relocate to reservations.
Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer
Have you ever wanted to work in a Top Secret job? Mary Golda Ross was a member of Cherokee Nation, who became such an accomplished engineer that she became the first female engineer at Lockheed’s Top Secret division (known as Skunk Works). Even now, most of her projects are still classified. She continued to live by the Cherokee principles, and mentored Native American students to get involved in science.
Contenders: Two Native Baseball Players, One World Series
Traci Sorell (Author) Arigon Starr (Illustrator)
Today, it is not unusual to see professional baseball teams made up of a diverse group of people, but that was not always the case. Before the leagues became desegregated for African-Americans with Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby in 1947, Native Americans Charles Bender and John Meyers experienced racist discrimination just trying to play the game they loved. And in 1911, they played against each other in the World Series.
Finding My Dance
Ria Thundercloud is a member of Ho Chunk Nation (like Sharice Davids!) and a professional dancer. In this autobiography, she wrote about her experience being introduced to dance as a young child attending Powwows with her family, and how she learned to love all different kinds of dance as a form of self expression.
Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman
When the United States first forged their treaties, Native Americans were not allowed to be lawyers or represent themselves in court. This left them with no voice in their future with the United States. Now, Sharice Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and uses her voice to represent her people as the first LGBTQ+ United States Congresswoman for the state of Kansas.
The Water Walker
Making an exception to American history to include the story of Canadian Ojibwe, Josephine Mandamin. The Water Walker tells Josephine’s story as an environmental activist. She is included in this history section because her work took her on activism walks around all the Great Lakes. She walked to raise awareness of the importance of protecting water sources.