Throughout the month of November, Chatham will be celebrating Native American History Month, which includes horseback riding and a trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art. At JKM Library we will provide you with intellectual stimulation and cultural and historical appreciation. While living under individual tribal sovereignty, Native Americans have always been very much a part of the wider America culture, in language, food, art, and community. The First Nations people of North America have insisted for centuries to remain respected, dignified, and autonomous in dealings with traders, colonizers, and governments. Sometimes these relations were peaceful and appreciative, other times they were disparaging, ruthless, and bloody. Today the struggles for equal respect still continue. NPR recently reported a series on the how the foster care system adversely affects tribes and Native children, and Native women are often ignored by the local law enforcement on issues of domestic and sexual violence.
However, Native Americans still refuse to be marginalized and continue to fight for their civil rights, to honor their culture and traditions, and have their voices be heard. The beautiful and varied traditions within Native American cultures can be found in our books on the different tribes, literature, and mythology. The darker side of humanity can also be considered with books that discuss racism, unethical trades, slavery, and land removal. For current issues and practices among the tribes see our databases and for some wonderful images and exhibitions see the Library of Congress webpage. The JKM Library has an expansive collection of Native American materials, browse our catalog or stop by!
~Display and blog post by Donna Guerin, Reference Associate