November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

It is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse culture, traditions and histories, and to acknowledge the contributions, of Native Peoples.

The library has a display of books on the third floor. But if you can’t visit the library and want to expand your understanding of the First Peoples, there are many informative websites.

Check out a collaborative effort from the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, and the Smithsonian and others paying tribute to the rich heritage of Native Americans. You can see a selection from these institutions from the comfort of your home. The online offerings span a wide range of topics from photographs by Edward Curtis to efforts to save the Cherokee language to the music of the Omaha and a selection from the National Gallery of ArtNative Languages  has compiled information about many aspects of Native culture. There is a list of internet resources for everything from biographies to technology and crafts and histories and you can  search by name of tribe for stories and legends too.

The website of the National Congress of the American Indian  has an online guide outlining the governance of tribes in the United States, Tribal Nations and the United States . You can also search for tribes by name or by location. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (with physical locations in DC and NYC) allows you to visit its exhibitions right from your computer. Fittingly, during this month when we celebrate Veterans’ Day, the museum has an online exhibit detailing the contributions of Native Americans who have fought in every war. Take a look at the valuable contributions of the Code Talkers during World War II.

And it’s not just history. Native culture is alive and well! Take a look at the current exhibit at the Museum of the American Indian’s New York space. Titled “Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound”, it joins traditional art with current media using light, digital projection and experimental media.

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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