Your browser is not supported. For the best experience, you should upgrade to a modern browser with improved speed and security.
Tag: native american history
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie on Sesame Street Buffy Sainte-Marie on Sesame Street

    When I was a little girl I was taught that there were no Indians. The only time I ever saw Indians was when we visited the stupid natural history museum and they were dead and stuffed like the dinosaurs.... [When Sesame Street] called me up and said that they wanted me to recite the alphabet like everybody else does, and count from one to ten....I said that I wasn’t interested in doing that, but I asked if they had ever done any Native American programming.... I was doing essentially the same thing that I was doing all along, in trying to raise consciousness and spotlight Native America, because it’s fascinating and interesting.” — Buffy Saint-Marie, Canadian-American Cree songwriter, educator, and social activist, in an interview with Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict, June 2009

    Since Buffy Sainte-Marie’s episodes of Sesame Street aired in 1975, representation of Native American and Indigenous Peoples in media has significantly improved, especially in recent years. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center, which tracks representation in children's books, found that while only 0.6% of children's book featured Native American or Indigenous characters in 2012, that number increased to over 2% in 2022, a percentage akin to the current day Native American population in the United States.

    Fortunately, among these titles, there are numerous great books available featuring Native American and Indigenous Canadian Mighty Girls! November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States, during which time we recognize the contributions and cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of North America.

    To celebrate this heritage month, we’ve put together a selection of wonderful books starring Native American and Indigenous characters to share with your children. Whether reading a great piece of historical fiction, a fascinating biography, or a story that features modern Native American girls in their day-to-day lives, they’ll love these stories. And who knows? You might just learn a thing or two yourself! Continue reading Continue reading

  • Mary Golda Ross spent over 30 years at Lockheed, much of it as a member of the top-secret Skunk Works program involved in cutting edge research during the early years of the space race.

    When Mary Golda Ross, the first Native American aerospace engineer, began her career at the aerospace company Lockheed during World War II, women engineers were rare and most companies expected them to leave after the war was over to make room for returning men. Ross was such a phenomenal talent, however, that she not only stayed at Lockheed for over 30 years years, she became an integral member of the top-secret Skunk Works program involved in cutting edge research during the early years of the space race. As one of 40 engineers in Lockheed's Advanced Development Projects division, Ross was the only female engineer on the team and the only Native American. Her research was so secret that, even in 1994, she had to be coy with an interviewer about her work: "I was the pencil pusher, doing a lot of research," she said. "My state of the art tools were a slide rule and a Friden computer." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible."

    Poet Joy Harjo has been named America's 23rd Poet Laureate — making her the first Native American person to hold the prestigious position! "Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry — 'soul talk' as she calls it — for over four decades," Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a press release announcing Harjo's selection. "To her, poems are 'carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,' and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making." The 68-year-old, who is also the first poet laureate from Oklahoma, called it a "tremendous honor," saying, "I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem." Continue reading Continue reading

3 items