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Native American Heritage Month

Arial view of Native American ruins carved into canyon wall at Mesa Verde Colorado

Mesa Verde, Colorado (Pixabay)

Presidential recognition of the week of November 23-30 in 1986 celebrated the Native American culture. In 1995, November was established as Native American Heritage Month with an official presidential proclamation to celebrate the cultures, accomplishments, and contributions of Indigenous Americans and Alaska Natives. The Friday after Thanksgiving each year is designated Native American Heritage Day, which falls on November 25 this year.

The Federal Register recognizes 573 separate tribal entities living in the United States today. The more populous tribes include Cherokee (729,000+), Navajo (298,000+), and Choctaw (158,000+), with the Ute (10,000+), Yakama (10,000+), and Cree (7,700+).

There were approximately 7 tribes in colonial Tennessee: the Muscogee (Creek), Yuchi, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Shawnee, and Seneca. In fact, the name Tennessee derives from that of the Cherokee village Tanasi. To learn more about Indigenous culture in Tennessee, you can visit the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians at or the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee at

We have two displays devoted to Native American culture and accomplishments on the second floor at our Main location.  The following titles, plus many others, are available for borrowing:

Carry by Toni Jensen  978.400497 JEN (Second Floor Display)

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko F SILKO

The Girl in the Photograph by Byron L. Dorgan 970.1 DOR (Second Floor Display)

The Gods of Indian Country: Religion and the Struggle for the American West by Jennifer Graber 978.00497 GRA (Second Floor Display)

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann 976.6004 GRA (Second Floor Display)

Our History is the Future by Nick Estes  323.1197 EST (Second Floor Display)

There There by Tommy Orange F ORANGE

When the Light of the World was Subdued, our Songs Came Through edited by Joy Harjo 811.008897 WHE (Second Floor Display)

Please ask for assistance at the Reference desk in finding these and additional titles.



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