November is Native American Heritage Month, and we’ve compiled a list of books that share the stories and experiences of the Native American community. Add one or more to your reading list – all are available for checkout at Meyer Library.
“Braiding Sweetgrass,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer
With a background in botany, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In “Braiding Sweetgrass,” Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.
“Give Me Some Truth,” by Eric Gansworth
In “Give Me Some Truth,” award-winning author Eric Gansworth shares the story of a high school senior desperate to make his mark, on and off the reservation.
“Indigenous Continent,” by Pekka Hämäläinen
In this national bestseller, acclaimed historian Pekka Hämäläinen presents a sweeping counternarrative that shatters the most basic assumptions about American history. Shifting our perspective away from Jamestown, Plymouth Rock and other well-trodden episodes on the conventional timeline, he depicts a sovereign world of Native nations whose members, far from helpless victims of colonial violence, dominated the continent for centuries after the first European arrivals.
“Killers of the Flower Moon,” by David Grann
New York Times best-selling author David Grann shares a story about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. This twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery follows a series of crimes in which members of the Osage Indian nation were killed in cold blood.
“My Good Man,” by Eric Gansworth
In “My Good Man,” Eric Gansworth provides a coming-of-age story from the perspective of a 20-something Indigenous reporter that must pick up the threads of a life that he’s abandoned. The narrative takes us through Brian’s childhood and slice-of-life stories on the reservation — all written in Gansworth’s signature blend of crystal–sharp, heartfelt literary realist prose.
“There There,” by Tommy Orange
A finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize and recipient of the 2019 PEN/Hemingway Award, Tommy Orange’s “There There” follows 12 characters from Native communities as they travel to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American.
Recommendations Beyond Books
BearWorks is a record of publication, research and scholarship at Missouri State. As the Institutional Repository for the university, BearWorks collects and preserves access to the scholarly work of our faculty, students and staff. Several of these theses have focused on Native American topics:
- “O Stop and Tell Me, Red Man”: Indian Removal and the Lamanite Mission of 1830-31 by Kaleb C. Miner
- This Is Our Land: Osage Territoriality and Borderland Violence, 1763-1803 by Stephen Edouard Barnett
- Osage Glass Bead Use: Archaeological and Ethnohistorical Evidence of Change and Continuity Through the Early Postcontact Era by John Albert Fox
- (Dis)Owning Our Written Discourse: Personal Reflections on/from Native American Storytelling by Kelly L. Money
- Survivors: a Collection of Stories by Gale E. Crain