Explore Native American Heritage

November is Native American Heritage Month. Explore the history and traditions of Indigenous peoples with memorable events and powerful reads.

Events & book discussions

Native American Artist in Residence Mona Cliff | Sat & Sun, Nov 5 & 6 | noon – 4pm

Watch multidisciplinary visual artist Mona Cliff work with traditional Native American crafting methods such as seed bead embroidery and fabric applique. She is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre tribe (A’aninin/Nakota Nations) she is Frozen Clan (Aniiih) and of the Medicine Bear Clan (Nakota) of Ft. Belknap, Montana.

Cliff acquired a B.F.A in Printmaking from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. Honoring native culture, she has continued to work on her art combining contemporary subject matters with indigenous methods of crafting. Her art also focuses on how traditional arts are passed down between generations of women. Cliff pursues the concepts of generational knowledge while exploring other topics such as native futurism and identity.

Identity Quest Genealogy Conference | Sat, Nov 12 | 9am-5pm

Learn about the latest genealogy tools and family research tips at this free conference with national and regional genealogy experts. This event features a few Native American speakers and performers, and discussions on Native heritage and genealogy.

Identity Quest Heritage Celebration | Sun, Nov 13 | 12-5 pm

Experience music, art, dance and activities from a variety of cultures, including Native American speakers and performers, and discussions on Native American heritage and genealogy. You can also meet one-on-one with an expert to discuss your genealogy roadblocks. Stop by anytime and stay as long as you’d like.

TALK Book Discussion | Wed, Nov 16 | 7-8:30 pm

TALK book discussions immerse you in powerful stories and introduces new perspectives. Discuss with an open-minded group in person or register for a zoom link. In November we’ll discuss LaRose by Louise Erdrich. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and is the author of many novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books and a memoir of early motherhood. LaRose received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Her most recent book, The Night Watchman, won the Pulitzer Prize. This event is sponsored by Humanities Kansas and will be facilitated by Professor Emeritus Trish Reeves of Haskell University. If you need a book email talk@tscpl.org.

YWCA Racial Justice Book Club | Tue, Nov 22 | 7-8:30 pm

Join thoughtful discussions on topics of racial justice. Everyone is welcome. Our November title is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Need a copy of the book? Email mericsson@tscpl.org. Register for this discussion and stay updated about Racial Justice Book Club by signing up: ywcaneks.org/what-we-do/advocate/

Reading that celebrates Indigenous heritage

Add work by indigenous authors to your TBR (to be read) list all year around to embrace new perspectives, learn about our past, and celebrate indigenous heritage. Browse displays of books at the library or start with the librarian lists below of recommended titles about history, identity, family, trauma and nature.

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Miranda is your Readers Librarian. She loves to talk books, and to connect readers with their next great reads. Her favorite reads are poetry, literary fiction, and speculative science fiction, and she's passionate about promoting literature written by Kansas authors. She works with library programs that support and engage writers in our community, so ask her for more information about the Local Writers Workshop and Great Writers Right Here author fair. Miranda also facilitates TALK book discussions, co-leads the BookBites book discussion group, and serves as a member of the library's Top City Reads Together team.