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Native American Heritage

The Fresno State Library honors the Yokut and Mono peoples whose diverse tribal communities share stewardship over this land. Explore this selection of library and campus resources honoring the cultures, traditions, and histories of indigenous people. Curated in partnership with Cross Cultural and Gender Center's American Indian Programs and Services, Neum Native American Student Association, and Fresno State Native American Initiative.

California Through Native Eyes : Reclaiming History By William Bauer
Most California histories begin with the arrival of the Spanish missionaries in the late eighteenth century and conveniently skip to the Gold Rush of 1849. Noticeably absent from these stories are the perspectives and experiences of the people who lived on the land long before European settlers arrived. Historian William Bauer seeks to correct that oversight through an approach that tells California history strictly through Native perspectives. Using oral histories of Concow, Pomo, and Paiute workers, taken as part of a New Deal federal works project, Bauer reveals how Native peoples have experienced and interpreted the history of the land we now call California.
We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know By Traci Sorell
Too often, Native American history is treated as a finished chapter instead of relevant and ongoing. This companion book to the award-winning We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga offers readers everything they never learned in school about Native American people's past, present, and future. Precise, lyrical writing presents topics including: forced assimilation, land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination, Native urban relocation, self-determination, Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development (including casino development), Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood.
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally-recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples' history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.
We are the land : a history of native California By Damon B. Akins & William J. Bauer Jr.
Before there was such a thing as "California," there were the People and the Land. Manifest Destiny, the Gold Rush, and settler colonial society drew maps, displaced Indigenous People, and reshaped the land, but they did not make California.
If I Ever Get Out of Here By Eric Gansworth
Seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites
The Barren Grounds By David Robertson
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission.
Walking Where We Lived : Memoirs of a Mono Indian Family By Gaylen D. Lee
Recounts the experiences of six generations of Indians from a remote area in California as they attempt to protect their culture from the Mexican and United States governments, gold miners, Protestant missionaries, and others.
Project 562 : changing the way we see Native America By Matika Wilbur "In 2012, Matika Wilbur sold everything in her Seattle apartment and set out on a Kickstarter-funded pursuit to visit, engage, and photograph people from what were then the 562 federally recognized Native American Tribal Nations.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants By Robin Kimmerer
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
When We Were Alone By David Robertson
When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother's garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength.
There There By Tommy Orange
"We all came to the powwow for different reasons. The messy, dangling threads of our lives got pulled into a braid--tied to the back of everything we'd been doing all along to get us here." Tommy Orange's first novel is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. There There is a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.
#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women Edited by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy
Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.
The Names: A Memoir By N. Scot Momaday
A memoir of his boyhood in Oklahoma and the Southwest, it is also described by Momaday as "an act of the imagination. When I turn my mind to my early life, it is the imaginative part of it that comes first and irresistibly into reach, and of that part I take hold." Complete with family photos, The Names is a book that will captivate readers who wish to experience the Native American way of life.
American Indian Studies American Indian Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers students opportunities to study the governments, nations, cultures, and social structures of American Indian societies and American Indian societies within the context of the United States. The Program's curriculum focuses on and prioritizes American Indian intellectual practices, traditional knowledge systems, and indigenous teaching and leadership methodologies to engage all students in diverse learning experiences, grow their understanding and competency in American Indian Studies, and prepare students to live and work in American Indian, Indigenous, and diverse communities locally and globally.
Notable Native People : 50 indigenous leaders, dreamers, and changemakers from past and present By Adrienne Keene
An accessible and educational illustrated book profiling 50 notable American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, from NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Standing Rock Lakota to Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Celebrate the lives, stories, and contributions of Indigenous artists, activists, scientists, athletes, and other changemakers in this illustrated collection.
Love Medicine By Luise Erdrich
The first book in Louise Erdrich's Native American series, which also includes The Beet Queen, Tracks, and The Bingo Palace, Love Medicine tells the story of two families--the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. Written in Erdrich's uniquely poetic, powerful style, Love Medicine springs to raging life: a multigenerational portrait of new truths and secrets whose time has come, of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable drama of anger, desire, and the healing power that is Love Medicine.
We Are Water Protectors By Carole Lindstrom
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption. Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all. When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people's water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth's most sacred resource.
Native American Initiative The Native American Initiative has been established to increase the number of Native American students enrolling and graduating at Fresno State. Its vision is to foster attending college culture for Native American students and their families through providing access and promoting higher education by building and nurturing relationships with tribes, organizations and the community.
Red pedagogy : Native American social and political thought By Sandy Grande
This ground-breaking text explores the intersection between dominant modes of critical educational theory and the socio-political landscape of American Indian education. The proposed new Red Pedagogy is an insurgent but poetic vision for education, one that is dedicated to the principles of sovereignty, emancipation and equity_for all human beings and the rest of nature.
Soul talk, song language conversations with Joy Harjo By Joy Harjo
Intimate and illuminating conversations with one of America's foremost Native artists
Storyteller By Leslie Marmon Silko
Storyteller blends original short stories and poetry influenced by the traditional oral tales that Leslie Marmon Silko heard growing up on the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico with autobiographical passages, folktales, family memories, and photographs. Storyteller illustrates how one can frame collective cultural identity in contemporary literary forms, as well as illuminates the importance of myth, oral tradition, and ritual in Silko's own work.
Neum Native American Student Association Neum NASA is a student organization open to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. They sponsor activities and host events to help raise awareness for a better understanding of the Native American community by promoting mutual respect among all people. Formerly First Nations, the club started in 1969 as the Tewaquachi American Indian Club. In 1983, Tewaquachi sponsored the first annual American Indian Heritage Week and Fresno State Pow Wow. These events helped promote Fresno as a focal point in the San Joaquin Valley for Native American people to unite and work together uplifting the culture and welfare of the Native American students and community. Today, the Native American Student Association actively seeks to raise social consciousness by creating an environment of awareness and understanding of all Native American people.
As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Across North America, Indigenous acts of resistance have in recent years opposed the removal of federal protections for forests and waterways in Indigenous lands, halted the expansion of tar sands extraction and the pipeline construction at Standing Rock, and demanded justice for murdered and missing Indigenous women.
Sweetest Kulu By Celina Kalluk "This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little "Kulu," an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants"
Cross Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC) American Indian Programs & Services The Cross Cultural and Gender Center exists to contribute significantly to the continued development of a safe and welcoming environment for the Fresno State community. They foster meaningful dialogue and activism that works to eliminate racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression.
Apple : Skin to the Core : a Memoir in Words and Pictures. By Gansworth, Eric
The term 'Apple' is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly 'red on the outside, white on the inside.' Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids By Cynthia L. Smith
This collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.
Remember By Joy Harjo
Picture book adaptation of US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's iconic poem
Surviving through the days : translations of Native California stories and songs : a California Indian reader Edit and Translation by Herbert W. Luthin
Bad Indians: a tribal memoir By Deborah A. Miranda
In this beautiful and devastating book, part tribal history, part lyric and intimate memoir, Deborah Miranda tells both the stories of her Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen family and the experience of California Indians as a whole through oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems. Reassembling the shards of her people's past, she creates a work of literary art that is wise, angry, and playful all at once, one that will break your heart and teach you to see the world anew.
Indian Cartography By Deborah A. Miranda
A psychic and emotional remapping of the Native American world of the West Coast. In lyric verse that is sometimes spare, sometimes dramatic, Miranda charts a homeward journey through the heart's territory --a land that has long been torn, disrupted, and colonized in the harshest sense of that word.
Kapaemahu By Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
Four individuals of dual male and female spirit bring their healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii, where they are beloved for their gentle ways and miraculous cures, and where they imbue four giant boulders with their powers.
Firekeeper's Daughter By Angeline Boulley
Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Firekeeper's Daughter is an electrifying thriller layered with a rich exploration of the modern Native experience, a reckoning of current and historical injustices, and a powerful celebration of community.
Little You By Richard Van Camp
Celebrating the joy babies bring into the world.
Native Ecology: Gregory Cajete This episode of The Green Interview features Gregory Cajete, a Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from the pueblos of New Mexico who has spent his life striving to harmonize indigenous ways of learning and knowing with western science and scholarship so that each tradition can be enriched by the other. Cajete is one of the foremost scholars in the field of sociocultural studies as it relates to Indian education and curriculum and native science.
Woman of Light By Kali Fajardo-Anstine "1890: When Desiderya Lopez, The Sleepy Prophet, finds an abandoned infant on the banks of an arroyo, she recognizes something in his spirit and brings him home. Pidre will go on to become a famous showman in the Anglo West whose main act, Simodecea, is Pidre's fearless, sharpshooting wife, who wrangles bears as part of his show. 1935: Luz 'Little Light' Lopez and her brother Diego work the carnival circuit in downtown Denver. Luz, is a tea leaf reader, and Diego is a snake charmer