Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Native American Heritage Month

Sioux Woman
by Edward Curtis, 1907
 “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.”  ~ Dakota

November is Native American Heritage Month. I offer you some information and sites to further your knowledge of the traditions, cultural and stories of the first Americans.
  • One of the proponents of American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y.
  • The Boy Scouts of America were the first to set aside a day for the “First Americans.”
  • In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association formally adopted a plan concerning American Indian Day. Their president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe called upon the country to observe such a day.
  • September 28, 1915 – President Coolidge issue proclamation, declaring the second Saturday of each May as American Indian Day.
  • December 14, 1915 – Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian presented endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House.
  • 1990 President George H.W. Bush designated November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.”


American Indian Fairy Tales by Margaret Compton, 1907

Canku Ota (Many Paths) – A wonderful variety of stories from many nations.

The Encyclopedia of Hotcâk (Winnebago) Mythology -The most comprehensive site I have found on Native American folktales. "The encyclopædic account of Hotcâk mythology, legend, and folklore is the outgrowth of a project begun many years ago under the auspices of Prof. John Ingham of the University of Minnesota Anthropology Department." There is an extensive index of stories by subject matter, myths, maps, and legends.

Indian Country Wisconsin - A project of the Milwaukee Public Museum designed to assist teachers in the culture, history, sovereignty, and treaty rights of Wisconsin Indian Tribes.
The Oral Tradition link at offers a drop down menu at the bottom of the page, which leads you to a seven sections of stories divided by tribes.

Indian Why Stories – Sparks from War Eagle’s Lodge-Fire – Twenty-two stories collected by Frank B. Linderman, 1915.

Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest - From the “Beginning of Newness” to “The Spirit Land” you will be entranced by the stories found within these cyber pages offered by Project Gutenburg.
Copyright information:

Myths and Legends of the Sioux - From the University of Virginia library and author Marie McLaughlin, thirty-eight stories of the Sioux.

Myths and Legends for American Indian Youth - An extensive list of Native American tales from various tribes that "represent large themes of human existence: where we came from, how we should live, reconciliation to the tragedies of life. There are smaller stories: teaching, humorous, answering "Why?" questions about natural phenomena and behavior."

Native Languages of the Americas: Wampanoag Indian Legend
s - Moshup the Giant, Squanto the Sea Monster and more. There are also additional links and resources to help you learn more about this Indian nation. 


Artsedge - Students discuss the process of storytelling and listening to stories. Then, they create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls.

Enchanted Learning – Native American Crafts for Kids


Digital History: The First Americans - “One of history's most important tasks is to identify myths and misconceptions and correct them. This is especially important in the study of the Indian peoples of North America. Many textbooks still begin their treatment of American history with the European "discovery" of the New World--largely ignoring the first Americans, who crossed into the New World from Asia and established rich and diverse cultures in America centuries before Columbus's arrival.”

Mr. – A wide variety of lessons plans on Native American nations.
Native American CulturesExperience traditional Native American culture through dance, music and visual arts. Watch Native Pride the eagle and hoop dances, trace the life of a Navajo weaver, learn how Keith Bear makes a flute, and meet fancy dancers Larry and Jessup Yazzie.”


The Path on the Rainbow: An Anthology of Songs and Chants from the Indians of North America. Edited by George W. Cronyn, 1918.


Library of Congress - "The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans" by providing links to material on Native Americans. Features links to collections and exhibitions, historic places, images, audio and video sources, and related material.
Copyright: - My blog post from 2009

This blog post was painstakingly researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my newsletter via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.