SOURCE: First Nations Development Institute

First Nations Development Institute

November 15, 2016 09:00 ET

Remember to Observe Native American Heritage Month with #NativeReads Campaign and 30 "Must Read" Books

LONGMONT, CO--(Marketwired - November 15, 2016) - November is Native American Heritage Month in the U.S., and First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), a national Native American nonprofit organization, honors that heritage this year by celebrating Native-themed children's literature.

Ahead of this month's celebration, First Nations launched the national #NativeReads campaign in October by featuring five selected children's books by Native authors. The campaign included a discussion guide for each book, plus a list of "Ten Ways to Make a Difference" by promoting or sharing the books. Subsequently, on Nov. 1, First Nations supplemented that original list of five books with an additional 25 "must read" books for children and young people.

Please visit to find the featured books and a link to the entire reading list. The list and other resources on the page are free.

The expanded list of 30 books contains essential reading for young people from Head Start and preschool, to elementary and middle schoolers. For high school students there are even Native graphic novels and comic books. The reading list is full of unique, culturally authentic stories and cover art. First Nations feels it's important to provide an opportunity for people to learn more about Native experiences from a culturally and historically accurate perspective. It can help break down stereotypes and build bridges of understanding in the world today.

First Nations partnered with Debbie Reese, Ph.D. (Nambé Pueblo) to select the books. Dr. Reese, known for her expertise in the field of Native children's literature, is an educator and has served on many national literacy boards. She is the editor and publisher of the American Indians in Children's Literature website.

Some of the books included on the list of 30 are:

Head Start and Preschool
Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk (Inuit)
(Inhabit Media, Inc., 2014)

Early Elementary Grades K-3
Chukfi Rabbit's Big Bad Bellyache: A Trickster Tale by Greg Rodgers (Choctaw)
(Cinco Puntos Press, 2014)

Middle Grades 4-7
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)
(Hyperion Books for Children, 1999)

High School Grades 8-12
The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel by Drew Hayden Taylor (Ojibway)
(Annick Press, 2007)

Comics and Graphic Novels
We Speak in Secret by Roy Boney (Cherokee)
(INC Comics, 2014)

About First Nations Development Institute

For 36 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own -- be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources -- and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities. First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information about First Nations, visit

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