NatiVE American Heritage Month

Celebrate and honor the vast contributions of Native American writers, the indigenous authors of this land who were telling their stories long before the idea of the United States of America was even close to being conceived.

November is Native American Heritage Month and we’re celebrating by reading and listening to the stories and truths of indigenous writers, both past and present. We rounded up some past programs, podcasts, and blogs from the AWM online archives for you to explore. Explore the Native American Heritage Month reading recommendations, podcasts, and more below.

Two new podcasts to listen to!

Photo of Joy Harjo with quote of hers that reads, "Poetry can speak across culture, boundaries. It has that power. But to meet Native poets, that's when I started writing."

Square image with black background, a photo of Sophia Alice Callahan and text that reads: “To the Indian Tribes of North America who have felt the wrongs and oppression of their pale-faced brothers, I lovingly dedicate this work, praying that it may serve to open the eyes and heart of the world to our afflictions...”

Explore more than 400 years of American writing and history in our virtual exhibit American Voices. Learn about writers like Sophia Alice Callahan, the first known Native American to publish a novel. And William Apess, whose 1829 novel A Son of the Forest describes his journey to reclaim his Pequot identity after being forced to be a servant for white families. And Vine Victor Deloria, Jr., who employed humor in his writings and activism. Plus many more writers to learn about!


American Voices

In addition to writers, Frank Waln and Tanaya Winder are also talented singer-songwriters. Waln is an accomplished hip-hop artist and producer. Winder is a multitalented spoken word poet, musician, and storyteller. The pair visited the AWM in May 2019 to perform their work and discuss their creative processes.

View our Native American Heritage Month playlist on YouTube.

Looking for some reading recommendations for books by indigenous authors?
Tanaya Winder has you covered, read them here.

"Writing songs, poems, and stories is how I process the world and try to make sense of it." - Frank Waln