Native American Heritage Month was declared to be nationally observed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. Take the time this month to acknowledge the beauty, hardship, intellect, and power of our Indigenous population, as well as supporting Indigenous artists and professionals by buying from Indigenous shops, online and in-person. For more information about the history and future of this month, visit https://www.nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov

In the meantime, here are five media recommendations for you to explore and enjoy. The summaries of these books, movies, and shows are abridged versions of the published synopses. Due to the sensitive nature involved in some of these pieces of media, it’s recommended that before consuming media you should use online resources like Unconsenting Media and Does the Dog Die to ensure full knowledge of possible triggering content.

  1. Reservation Dogs – Television Show
    1. “Following the exploits of four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma who steal, rob and save in order to get to the exotic, mysterious and faraway land of California. To succeed, they will have to save enough money, outmaneuver the methheads at the junkyard on the edge of town and survive a turf war against a much tougher rival gang (Hulu).”
  2. Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod – Memoir
    1. “As a small boy in remote Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod is immersed in his Cree family’s history, passed down in the stories of his mother, Bertha. There he is surrounded by her tales of joy and horror—of the strong men in their family, of her love for Darrel, and of the cruelty she and her sisters endured in residential school—as well as his many siblings and cousins, and the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea. And there, young Darrel learns to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that will guide him throughout his life. (Milkweed Editions.”
  3. American Red & Black: Stories of Afro-native Identity – Documentary, 39 minutes
    1. “Directed by Alicia Woods, this intimate film follows six Afro-Native Americans from around the U.S., as they reflect upon the personal and complex issues of Native and African heritage, ethnic identity, and racism within communities of color. (YouTube).”
  4. Deer Woman: An Anthology by Elizabeth LaPensée – Non-fiction Comic
    1. “Based on the true stories of Indigenous women throughout the world, Deer Woman: An Anthology is an extension of the Deer Woman: A Vignette, a comic book that itself is a powerful expression and weaves the stories of Deer Woman into a modern narrative of the struggles of Indigenous women in North America. (Native Realities).”
  5. The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angelina Boulley – Fiction Novel
    1. “Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontain has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. (MacMillan Publishers).”