Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month 1024 683 LA County Library

Native American Heritage Month


National Native American Heritage Month celebrates the culture, contributions and heritage of Native Americans. For many years, Native Americans and others proposed that a special day be set aside to honor Native Americans. The efforts to establish a day of recognition has resulted in a month being designated for the purpose. Since 1976, the President of the United States and Congressional resolutions have proclaimed a day, week or month of recognition.

Native American Heritage Month Virtual Film Festival

During November, we’re showcasing films about Native Americans from Kanopy. You can access the films with your LA County Library card number and PIN. Be sure to also check out the Viewer’s Guide for discussion questions and additional resources.

Week 1: Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World (NR)
Recommended for ages 13 and up.
Watch here Download Viewer’s Guide

This revelatory documentary brings to light the profound and overlooked influence of Indigenous people on popular music in North America. Focusing on music icons like Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Taboo (The Black Eyed Peas), Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, and Randy Castillo, RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World shows how these pioneering Native American musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.

Rumble movie poster

Week 2: Mankiller: Activist. Feminist. Cherokee Chief (NR)
Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Watch here
Download Viewer’s Guide

This documentary follows Wilma Mankiller from childhood to becoming the first female Cherokee Chief, and to how she became a world-renowned icon who fought for her people.

Mankiller movie poster

Week 3: How People Got Fire (NR)
Recommended for a general audience.
Watch here
Download Viewer’s Guide

A short, animated film about Tish, a young girl who loves to draw and listen to Grandma Kay’s stories. You’ll soon find out from Grandma Kay how fire was obtained.

How People Got Fire movie poster

Week 4: Barking Water (NR)
Recommended for an adult audience.
Watch here
Download Viewer’s Guide

Terminally ill Frankie convinces his ex-lover Irene to take him on a road trip to visit his estranged daughter. Will the older couple resolve their past differences and make it on time to see Frankie’s family?

How People Got Fire movie poster

American Indian Resource Center

The American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at Huntington Park Library was established in 1979 to address informational needs of American Indians in Los Angeles County and to make information about them available to the larger community. Help us transcribe letters from our collection that were recently digitized.

Activity Ideas

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Additional Information

Native American Heritage Month Native American Heritage Month – Library of Congress website includes the history of the establishment of Native American Heritage Month.
Census Facts, Native American Heritage Month 2020
National Museum of the American Indian – Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) cares for one the world’s largest collection of Native artifacts. NMAI operates 3 facilities and a large outreach department that includes websites, traveling exhibitions, and community programs.

Local Resources Short Overview of California Indian History Written by Professor Edward D. Castillo, Cahuilla-Luiseno, for the California Native American Heritage Commission. Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission The mission of Los Angeles City/County Native American Commission (NAIC) is two fold: 1. increase the acquisition and local application of federal funds and 2. represent the special interests and concerns of Native Americans in the Los Angeles City and County. Visitors to the NAIC website can connect to local tribal governments, regional Native American organizations, and various federal and state departments.
UCLA Mapping Indigenous LA

Other Resources Indigenous Digital Archive’s Treaties Explorer Native Knowledge 360° For teachers and students, Native Knowledge 360° incorporate Native perspectives on Native American history and cultures.