American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Heritage Month
American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Heritage Month takes place each November and offers an opportunity to recognize, understand, and celebrate the traditions and cultures of Native peoples.
We encourage educators to look for ways to incorporate these materials — as well as discussion about Native Americans tribes and cultures — into your curriculum throughout the year!
Books & Authors
- Booklists for Kids: American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Heritage
- Booklists for Young Adults: American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Heritage
- Tips for Choosing Culturally Appropriate Books & Resources About Native Americans
Author video interviews
Poet Francisco Alarcón knows three languages: English, Spanish, and Nahuatl. Discover how this trilingual poet incorporates his grandmother's Nahuatl language into his works today and hear him read some of his poetry.
For over thirty years, Joseph Bruchac has been creating poetry, short stories, novels, anthologies and music that reflect his Abenaki Indian heritage and Native American traditions. In the first part of this interview with Colorin Colorado, Joseph offers recommendations for choosing American Indian literature for students and recommends some of the authors whose work he most enjoys.
Send an e-card
Take a look at this beautiful e-card from Reading Rockets featuring artwork from Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message! In this poignant and graceful picture book, Chief Jake Swamp gives thanks to Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants for sharing their rare and precious gifts.
Parent Tip Sheets
Our tips for parents offer easy ways for parents to help kids become successful readers. Although we've divided these tips by age, many of them can be used with children at various ages and stages.
In the classroom
Delores Noble-Parker grew up in the Diné (Navajo) Nation in the Southwestern United States. Her generation was in the middle of a massive cultural shift between the traditional Diné culture that predominantly spoke the Diné language and a modern culture trying to stamp out the language. In this interview, Noble-Parker draws upon her experience as a bilingual teacher and administrator to speak about her approaches for success in the classroom.
Dr. Catherine Collier is a leader in the fields of cross-cultural, bilingual, and special education and currently the director of CrossCultural Developmental Education Services (CCDES). In this article written for Colorín Colorado, she offers a retrospective of her experience working in Native communities across North America and how approaches to language have evolved over time.
These research reports describe effective practices in the education of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students.
- Classroom videos from Clara Gonzales-Espinoza in Albuquerque, NM featuring Native students (5th-grade)
- Strategies for assessing and placing ELLs
- Best instructional practices for teaching vocabulary, reading, and content areas
- The Colorín Colorado T.ELL.E-GRAM, an e-newsletter especially for educators
- ELL Starter Kit for Educators with assessment and reading checklists, plus progress forms and more.
- Professional development webcasts on teaching ELLs, available for free, anytime.
Recommended resources and links
Check out these links to other sites with resources to help you celebrate American Indian Heritage.
- American Indian Heritage Month Resources for Teachers (Smithsonian Education)
- American Indians in Children's Literature
- Wisdom of the Elders
- Classroom Activities (ReadWriteThink)
Museums, educational centers, and organizations
- Alaska Native Heritage Center
- American Indian Heritage Month Schedule of Activities (Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)
- National Register of Historic Places for American Indians (National Parks Service)
- Phoenix Indian Center
- Indian Health Service Heritage Site (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- American Indian Library Association
- National Indian Education Association