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Native Languages of the Americas:
This page is our collection of links to good books on Native American history and culture for sale online.
If you would like to recommend a Native American book for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us telling us why.
Books on American Indian History and Culture
Thanks, and happy reading!
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West:
Western historian Dee Brown's seminal 1971 book, famous for presenting the Native American side of the "Indian Wars"
to the general public for the first time. Carefully researched, compellingly written, still important 30 years later.
Mary Brave Bird (Crow Dog)'s autobiographical history of the American Indian Movement. A civil rights must-read.
Atlas of the North American Indian:
Excellent, detailed maps showing the pre-Columbian, colonial, and current locations of hundreds of native tribes and
nations. A great classroom reference.
Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes:
Past and present information about the culture groups of native North America. Outstanding presentation. This reference
book is easy enough to read that it works as a children's resource, but it doesn't 'dumb down' or get lost in silly
romanticizing. We could recommend this to anyone with an interest.
A Native American Encyclopedia:
Another good resource book offering specific historical and demographic information about each tribal group of North America, explaining
the differences between the diverse cultures clearly and precisely. This would make a good classroom reference for older kids.
Encyclopedia of North American Indians: Native American History, Culture, and Life:
Another good resource book presenting different ancient and modern Indian cultures respectfully and fairly. Sometimes it
rambles a little--Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes is more clearly and uniformly written. But Encyclopedia of
North American Indians has more pieces by native authors. Having both volumes together would be ideal.
500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians:
This history of Native America reads a little like a textbook, but is very thorough. Recommended for history buffs,
maybe not for casual or younger readers .
Of Earth and Elders: Visions and Voices from Native America:
Fascinating mosaic of interviews, essays, poems, and other musings from dozens of contemporary Indians.
Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume:
A good overview of the different clothing styles and regalia in hundreds of tribes and nations. Disappointingly few pictures,
but the ones that are there are interesting.
Beautiful photography of contemporary Indian powwow regalia, interspersed with interesting interviews about the powwow.
Wolf That I Am:
This is an interesting book about how not to do anthropological studies of indigenous people.
Indian Metropolis: Native Americans in Chicago, 1945-75:
An interesting book about Indian urbanization.
Interesting historical examination of a Blackfoot man's clash with white culture and the law
The Vinland Sagas:
The Viking account of their early attempts to colonize America and their interactions with the natives
Cheyenne Again: My Name Is Seepeetza: Out of the Depths:
Books about the Indian residential schools. The first one is a lovely illustrated book for children, capturing
the trauma of the boarding school experience without getting into the more adult issues (such as child
molestation). The second is a harsher autobiography still suitable for kids. The third one, also autobiographical,
is the most powerful, most difficult reading. This is not an easy subject, and these three books treat it well.
The Native American Sweat Lodge:
History of the sweatlodge by Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac.
Keepers of the Children:
An interesting book by the wife of a Pascua Yaqui man about applying Native American parenting techniques to non-Indian life.
Prison Writings: My Life is My Sun Dance: In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: Trial of Leonard Peltier:
Books about AIM activist and political prisoner Leonard Peltier. "Prison Writings" is by Leonard himself, and
he makes his own case eloquently. "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" is famous for the FBI's bizarre attempts to stop
its publication (the courts didn't let them.) Neither of us has read the third one.
Life and Death of Anna Mae Acquash:
Book about slain AIM activist Anna Mae Aquash.
Where White Men Fear To Tread:
Controversial Lakota activist Russell Means' autobiography and history of the American Indian Movement.
Strange Empire: Narrative of the Northwest: Loyal Till Death:
Good books about the Cree and Metis people and Canada's Northwest Rebellion.
War Under Heaven: Pontiac and the Indian Uprising: Haughty Conquerors: The Conspiracy of Pontiac:
Good books about Chief Pontiac and the Pontiac Rebellion.
Massacre at Sand Creek: Sand Creek Massacre: From Sand Creek:
Good books about the Sand Creek Massacre.
Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians:
Good books about the Battle of Little Bighorn and its aftermath
Autobiography of 19th-century Sauk Chief Black Hawk. This was narrated through a string of translators, so
it's not 100% authentic as an autobiography, but Black Hawk's story is still compelling.
Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney:
Poetic biography of the Canadian environmentalist married to a Cree woman, by Ojibwe author Armand Garnet Ruffo.
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