November is designated as Native American Heritage Month. This was formally designated in 1990 by President George W.H. Bush through joint resolution. The University of Utah and the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at the University of Utah honors the remarkable contributions made by Native Americans every month and have established an acknowledgment of the original occupants of this precious land.
The University and AIRC also recognize the eight federally recognized tribal nations of Utah and the 574 federally recognized nations of the United States for the contributions they have made in the past and continue to make today.
Throughout the month of November, the AIRC and partners across the University of Utah will collaborate to bring awareness and understanding around the historical and contemporary issues, rich culture, traditions, history and the many contributions Native American and Alaska Natives have provided to the world. We also wish to acknowledge the many exceptional Native American students and leaders on campus.
We encourage you to join us for events and community conversations throughout the month. In addition, please remember that through IntersectX12 (intersect times twelve), Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the U invites us all to honor, celebrate and engage with our communities every day, 12 months a year.
In celebration, here are a few books available at the J. Willard Marriott Library recommended by librarian Allyson Mower.
The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History By Darren Parry
Learn more about this tragic historical event from the perspective of the Shoshone people as told by tribal leader Darren Parry.
The Only Good Indians By Stephen Graham Jones
The Night Watchman By Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is one of my favorite authors and I recommend all of her books, but this is one of her newest ones and it touches on many important topics: disenfranchisement, missing indigenous women, and tribal authority. The way Erdrich addresses big topics is through endearing characters, humor, and beautiful writing. You’ll love the Paul Bunyan character.
Weenoocheeyoo peesaduehnee yak:anup: Stories of our Ancestors By the Uintah-Ouray Ute Tribe and Clifford Duncan
A slim, bilingual book with beautiful illustrations that tells the stories of the Bear Dance, the creation, and Bears Ears country.
Postcolonial Love Poem By Natalie Diaz
I haven’t read much poetry in my life, but I regret not having done so because this book and Diaz’s writing is superb. After watching the show Reservation Dogs, I especially liked the poem “Top Ten Reasons Indians Are Good at Basketball.”
There, There By Tommy Orange
A novel told from the perspective of many different narrators who are all making their way to the Big Oakland Powwow. The threads of each of their stories end up weaving together in very interesting ways.