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Native American books/movies??


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My 5 yo DD has recently discovered the American Girl books about Kaya and fallen in looovve:) We're reading through the series but I'd like to use the opportunity to teach her some good Native American history through movies (fiction, educational, whatever), books, websites, whatever is out there that's nice. "Nice" being "not Disney Pocahontas". :D


What are your suggestions??? Can't spend any $$ right now, but we do have an awesome, huge library system, and the internet!

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Joseph Bruchac (he has a website --josephbruchac.com) has some good kids' books --young reader level, according to my husband who has discovered them. I've scanned a couple, but haven't read them. He retells some Native folk tales for children. There's one called "Squanto's Journey" that looks like one I'll need to find before November is over. Anyway, they should be good, authentic (not Disney *cringe*). There was a great mini-series on PBS last spring called "We Shall Remain" that was very well done. From what I recall, that would be appropriate (and interesting) to someone around upper elementary age. Your library might have access to that series.

"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" is another great one, but probably more upper-middle school or high school level.

Learning the history of where you live might also be a great place to start. Do some research and find out what Native peoples lived where you are. You might unearth some neat museums or stories just doing that.

We spent this past summer in B.C., Canada living with and learning from Native peoples there --a recurring theme there is the pain caused (even to this day, long after the residential school system has been largely abandoned) by separating families and sending them to residential schools. If you decide to do research on this, I'd recommend doing it together and previewing what you find --some things could be sensitive re: stories of abuse, but it would really give her a different perspective on Native history than most kids get.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy

We just finished 8 weeks of Native American studies and the hands-down favorite of all the kids was reading legends. We used these books.


In a Circle Long Ago

The Girl Who Helped Thunder and Other Native American Folktales


Hold Up the Sky (specific to TX and OK)


Another big hit was Native American Sign Language.


To study the different types of tribes, we used the If You Lived With... books. It's really cool to see the similarities and differences when you read a variety of those. I agree with the recommendation of Joseph Bruchac. We have a few and checked out a few. The picture books were the biggest hits.


Also, look to see if your library has anything by Ken Hunt, even in the adult section. He's got some great books. We have The Complete Book of Indian Crafts and Lore and it's great, although mostly from the Plains.

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I'm also studying Native Americans with my 1st grader for her American History.

We're also using In a Circle Long Ago. I have collected picture books over the last year or two and will be reading these too. Here are some we will be reading:


Turquoise Boy A Navajo Legend by Terri Cohlene

Buffalo Hunt by Russell Freedman

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble

The Legend of Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola

Her Seven Brothers by Paul Goble

The Hopi (A New True Book series)

Celebrating the Powwow by Bobbie Kalman

The Goat in the Rug by Geraldine

Pueblo Storyteller by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith


You could probably find most of these at your library and maybe a few more. I'm also going to have my dd read Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla.



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Thanks for the great suggestions!!! I'll be looking these up!! It looks like you can watch We Shall Remain online


I'll watch some of it and see if it would be good for DD.


Thanks so much!! I'm hoping, too, to make outfits for her and her doll for Christmas, so I need to check these all out for design ideas too... shhh, don't tell...;)

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My 10 year old enjoyed We Shall Remain when it was on PBS. There were some Schlessinger Media videos we got from the library when he was younger.


Yes! I also agree with Niclole. www.Oyate.com is a very helpful site.


I also like some of these books and resources:



Edited by LibraryLover
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