Celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November with some of the Smiley Library titles listed here. As a reminder, there is no charge to place a book on hold. Just browse below and click on titles in which you are interested!
In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens. The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.
The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. In 2021 the United States designated the federal holiday of Columbus Day to also be observed as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994. (source: NativeAmericanHeritageMonth.gov)
Of Local Interest
- Ramona, by Helen Hunt Jackson. Published in 1884, it features a Scottish-Native American orphan girl, and takes place in Southern California. The Ramona Pageant, which still takes place in Hemet, California, is derived from this character.)
- The hunt for Willie Boy : Indian-hating and popular culture, by Redlands historians James A. Sandos and Larry E. Burgess. A scholarly and ethno-historical examination of an actual incident which took place in Southern California in 1909, and which was the focus of 1960 novel Willie Boy & the last western manhunt and its 1969 film adaptation, “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here.” The authors provide compelling research to correct the facts, and to vindicate the Paiute-Chemehuevi Indian called ‘Willie Boy.’
- Shutter, by Ramona Emerson
- When two feathers fell from the sky, by Margaret Verble
- Fevered star, by Rebecca Roanhorse
- Calling for a blanket dance, by Oscar Hokeah
- The sacred bridge, by Anne Hillerman
- White horse, by Erika T. Wurth
- Indigenous continent: the epic contest for North American, by Pekka Hamalainen
- Path lit by lightning : the life of Jim Thorpe, by David Maraniss
- Born of lakes and plains : mixed-descent peoples and the making of the American West, by Anne Farrar Hyde
- A brave and cunning prince : the great Chief Opechancanough and the war for America, by James Horn
- We refuse to forget : a true story of Black Creeks, American identity, and power
- Notable native people : 50 indigenous leaders, dreamers, and changemakers from past and present, by Adrienne Keene
- Origin: a genetic history of the Americas, by Jennifer Raff
- American Indian Wars : the essential reference guide, by Justin D. Murphy
- Red paint : the ancestral autobiography of a Coast Salish punk, by LaPointe, Sasha taqʷšəblu
- Tread of angels, by Rebecca Roanhorse (fiction)
- The last campaign : Sherman, Geronimo, and the War for America, by H. W. Brands
- Flutes of fire : an introduction to native California languages revised and updated, by Leanne Hinton
Heritage Room items (available by appointment for use in the Heritage Room)
Did you know that the Library’s Special Collections department, the Heritage Room, holds a Carnegie Indian Collection? It began in 1910 with a gift from industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to honor his friend Albert K. Smiley. It includes rare and selected volumes primarily on the Native American tribes of California and the Southwest.
Recently added to the Heritage Room’s Non-Fiction Indian collection is a publication which features the Smiley brothers’ work as Quakers, and that of others, in attempts to achieve Native American justice:
- As they were led : Quakerly steps and missteps toward Native justice, 1795-1940, by Catlin, Martha Claire
Albert K. Smiley served as a commissioner on the Board of Indian Commissioners from 1879 to 1912, the year he died. He founded the Mohonk Indian Conference in 1894 and nominated the presiding officers each year after that until 1912.
Heritage Room periodicals, books
- News from native California, quarterly periodical
- American Indian culture and research journal, quarterly periodical / University of California, Los Angeles, American Indian Culture and Research Center.
- Heritage keepers, periodical / Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, Inc., Banning, Calif., Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians of the Morongo Reservation, California.
- Handbook of North American Indians / Sturtevant, William C.
- Strong hearts & healing hands : Southern California Indians and field nurses, 1920-1950 / Trafzer, Clifford E.
- San Bernardino County Museum Association quarterly / San Bernardino County Museum Association
- West of slavery : the Southern dream of a transcontinental empire / Waite, Kevin (Historian)
Young Readers’ Room (YRR)
- The first Thanksgiving : separating fact from fiction, by Mavrikis, Peter
Older Fiction and Non-Fiction
- We are the land : a history of native California / Akins, Damon B.
- The Apache diaspora : four centuries of displacement and survival / Conrad, Paul
- “The chiefs now in this city” : Indians and the urban frontier in early America / Calloway, Colin
- Living nations, living words : an anthology of first peoples poetry / Harjo, Joy
- Poet Warrior: A Memoir / Harjo, Joy
- Black snake : Standing Rock, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and environmental justice / Todrys, Katherine Wiltenburg
- Standoff : Standing Rock, the Bundy movement, and the American story sacred lands / Keeler, Jacqueline
- The taking of Jemima Boone : colonial settlers, tribal nations, and the kidnap that shaped America / Pearl, Matthew
- Cheyenne summer : the battle of Beecher Island : a history / Mort, T. A. (Terry A.)
- Ramona / Jackson, Helen Hunt
- The hunt for Willie Boy : Indian-hating and popular culture / Sandos, James A.
- Willie Boy & the last western manhunt / Trafzer, Clifford E.
- The Lumbee Indians : an American struggle / Lowery, Malinda Maynor
- Blood and treasure : Daniel Boone and the fight for America’s first frontier / Drury, Bob
- The Apache wars : the hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the captive boy who started the longest war in American history / Hutton, Paul Andrew
- Go home, Ricky! : a novel / Kwak, Gene
- The sentence : a novel / Erdrich, Louise
- The healing of Natalie Curtis / Kirkpatrick, Jane
- Crooked hallelujah / Ford, Kelli Jo
- The removed / Hobson, Brandon
- The only good Indians : a novel / Jones, Stephen Graham
- There there / Orange, Tommy
- An Afro-Indigenous history of the United States / Mays, Kyle
- Native women changing their worlds / Cutright, Patricia J.
- Diné bizaad : speak, read, write Navajo / Goossen, Irvy W.
- The Cherokee syllabary : writing the people’s perseverance / Cushman, Ellen
- Tracks that speak : the legacy of Native American words in North American culture / Cutler, Charles L.
Young Readers’ Room
- Everything you wanted to know about Indians but were afraid to ask / Treuer, Anton
- The Marshall Cavendish illustrated history of the North American Indians / Oakley, Ruth
- Sisters of the Neversea / Smith, Cynthia Leitich
Young Adult (located in our Teen Underground area on the lower level)
- Firekeeper’s daughter / Boulley, Angeline
- An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People / Reese, Debbie
- Apple: Skin to the Core: a Memoir in Words and Pictures / Gansworth, Eric
- Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band / Staebler, Christian (YA Graphic Novel)