a Native American thought of it

See Soul Blossom Living, coordinating Poetry Friday’s list. Last week we danced with LINDA B at Teacher Dance.

[11.30 alert- I’m grateful to add this Nov. 30, 2020 event with The Seminole Tribe of Florida.Gather ” is available to stream throughout the month. A panel discussion  with FSU faculty from four different departments and representatives of the Seminole Tribe will take place at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.” From The Florida State University communications office.]

::::

“Once upon a time when the world was new there was only one language.”

c. all rights reserved, Betty Mae Jumper, LEGENDS OF THE SEMINOLES

::::My spirit lifts each time I find more quality books about the Western Hemisphere’s First Peoples/Indigenous/ American Indian/ Native American families and communities, meaning, I find titles that are written by and sometimes illustrated by, enrolled members of tribes or those writers with strong, continuing connection with tribe communities.

This idea arose from the Native community and gains supporters each book launch season.

I feel the popularity of the  National Museum of the American Indian (a Smithsonian Institution agency) has helped raise the profile of these books. Mighty work in looking at these titles is evermore prominent from the untiring and detailed research of Dr. Debbie Reese, at American Indians in Childrens’ Literature.

More Native American Topics , a resource page, is available on this site year round ::::

Here are highlights of excellent referral opportunities

::::Blogs at American Indians In Children’s Literature on published POETRY from tribal communities and members.

::::2020 AMERICAN INDIAN YOUTH LITERATURE AWARD the inaugural year

As already mentioned, AMERICAN INDIANS IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

and

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

OYATE

::::Today I’m sharing from a book that I’ve re-read for enlightenment in this year of 2020, by poet Leslie Marmon Silko, of Laguna Pueblo heritage. I went back to it on my shelves after not one but two people mentioned an unpublished lovely anecdote about this impassioned author. It’s prose piece I’m reading as a poem, from her introduction to the book, Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit:

Except for a few fragments

the magnificient folding books

of the Maya and Aztec people

were destroyed in 1540

by Bishop Landa

who burned

the great

libraries

of the Americas.

©1996 Leslie Marmon Silko, all right reserved

I have not yet seen this 2019 title for adult readers, NATIVE VOICES: Indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations, from Tupelo Press, but it looks to be a superior volume to read.



Photo of a map, created by Aaron Carapella, C. all rights reserved. Photo is C. by Hansi Lo Wang/NPR, all rights reserved
Aaron Carapella, a self-taught map maker in Warner, Oklahoma, has designed maps of Canada and the continental U.S. showing the original locations and names of Native American tribes before first contact with Europeans. View the full map (PDF).PHOT If you have a home or classroom wall that it would nourish, it is offered here.

November is Native American month, each year, where once in the land every month of every year was Native American month.

First Peoples Month

sb_sys_medias_media_key_757First Peoples Month: Kid Lit Heroes

by Jan Godown Annino

If you are around young readers who could benefit from some myth-busting about the heritage & culture of North America’s first peoples – and isn’t that every kiddo? – I’ve found some accessible, expert resources.

The creators of the four sites here deserve hero status for more than one reason.

Notably, in their forging ahead with an important unsung job, the pushback sent their way surprised me when I first came across it in researching a book for kiddos. Since it’s thought that there are thousands of misconceptions about the hundreds of Native tribes in the Americas, it’s a bit of a gulp, to grasp why some folks, even writers intent in interpreting a First Peoples story for students, don’t want to catch up to speed.

Here then, I would like share a selection of the many sturdy groups & individuals, who tirelessly make the effort to send out a nuanced, more complete, message of North American tribes’ culture & history.

National Museum of the American Indian

Our family’s favorite history museum.

Not just because of the sublime recipes & meals we savor in front of the mesmerizing waterfall wall. But it’s true that sometimes we head to the cafeteria first, before visiting galleries in this building that is itself a work of art.

I treasure the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) for its celebration of living artists, for a vibrant sense of humor & an emphasis on how enrolled tribe members live in the moment, today. The pull-out drawers of artifacts are also mesmerizing.

And I have been fortunate to listen to Kevin Gover (Pawnee), the esteemed director, speak in the museum auditorium and also in the entry atrium, as a rainbow pierced a sky window.

Your older students who are artists and members of Tribes should know about NMAI opportunities.

If you take away one lesson from the museum website, where the collection is available to view online, or from a visit in person, I hope it is that every library and school reference shelf deserves to hold the NMAI title, DO ALL INDIANS LIVE IN TIPIS?

“Are dream catchers an authentic tradition?”

“Do successful casino tribes help out poor tribes?”

“What is a Tom-Tom drum?”

“Why is there still poverty on some reservations?”

This isn’t a book that shies away from interesting questions. Or from a chuckle.

Your students’ reports will be enhanced by their reading of the evocative Qs and As. And your responses in family conversations or class discussions will shine as a result of lessons gleaned. NMAI is a Smithsonian-affiliate & located on the Nation’s Mall close to the U.S. Capitol.

 

American Indian Library Association

An affiliate of the American Library Association, this group is most publicly known for deciding the annual American Indian Youth Literature Award.

So of course that list is a guide to collection building for your home shelf or school or public library. The site also offers valuable research links. Also, you may want to let any tribe-affiliated student or adult you know, who is thinking about library service, about this site’s scholarship links and student membership opportunities.

 

American Indians in Children’s Literature

 

Dr. Debbie Reese may be the most important children’s literature specialist writing on kids’ books that deal with depictions of tribe history, culture, & individual tribes or members’ characteristics. Her site is American Indians in Children’s Literature.

The stories written for young readers by non-Natives are usually intended to supply information by way of telling an entertaining story. Yet Dr. Reese shares how easy it is to misrepresent, misinterpret or simplify complex details. Her site offers links to quality literature from those valued primary sources, that is, created by literary & visual artists who are enrolled members of Tribes or who have proven deep connections to the topics, such as longtime residency with tribal peoples.

I felt fortunate to meet Dr. Reese (Nambe Pueblo, Upper Village/Yates Family) at an American Library Association national conference, where we were each appreciating a storytelling panel hosted by noted author Tim Tingle (Choctaw). She is a literacy advocacy hero

 

OYATE

When I was writing for children about Seminole Tribe of Florida elected leader Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, who was also a newspaper editor, a memoirist & a visual artist working in fabric/textiles, I wanted to attend one of Oyate’s workshops. But they were held in California & I couldn’t get there from way east in Florida. If you are in easy distance of an Oyate presentation, you’ll want to sign up. In the meantime we can all visit comprehensive titles list & website & order books from Oyate.

This non-profit organization co-founded by the poet and librarian Doris Seale (Santee/Cree/Abenaki) provides important reference books, such as THANKSGIVING, A NATIVE PERSPECTIVE and also, HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE, A GUIDE TO EVALUATING CHILDREN’S BOOKS FOR ANTI-INDIAN BIAS.