Just for Kids: Native American Heritage Month
Updated: Mar 16
Did you know that we are on stolen land? It seems like a crazy thought. While you and your parents may not have directly stolen the land, it is so important to know the history of the United States, and that there were so many sad things that happened.
So who's land is this? Well, originally, all the areas that are now known as the United States were inhabited and cared for lovingly by different Native and Indigenous people. You can find out what tribes originally lived in the area where your home is through the activity below.
FUN ACTIVITY #1 : Bring up the map through the link below, and have an adult help you find out who's tribal lands and nations were in the area that you live. MAP HERE
After you've found out what tribe(s) lived in your area, find out more about the people.
How do you pronounce their name?
What are traditional foods that they ate?
What language do they speak?
What were their homes like?
What is traditional clothing like and how did they make it?
What are their arts and crafts like?
What kinds of music/singing do they do?
It's important to note that some words we say and things that people do can be hurtful to Native and Indigenous peoples. We never want to hurt people, so it's great to learn about things we can do or not do to avoid this, and be respectful. Check out this great resource with Frequently Asked Questions about different topics.
FRY BREAD - Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.
Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.
Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.
Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.
Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.
WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS - Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption―a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.
Water is the first medicine.
It affects and connects us all . . .
When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth
And poison her people’s water, one young water protector
Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.
JINGLE DANCER - The cone-shaped jingles sewn to Grandma Wolfe's dress sing tink, tink, tink, tink…
Jenna loves the tradition of jingle dancing that has been shared over generations in her family and intertribal community. She hopes to dance at the next powwow.
But with the day quickly approaching, she has a problem—how will her dress sing if it has no jingles?
STOLEN WORDS - The story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language – Cree – he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.
FUN ACTIVITY #2 : Shop at one of the local Native/Indigenous owned stores online. There are two amazing ones that offer jewelry, shirts and more!
FUN ACTIVITY #3 : Learn how to pronounce different tribal names correctly. Click on the video below, and at the end it will give you more options of other tribal names to hear and pronounce.