52 Books, Documentaries & Movies to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

| November 1, 2022 | 7 min read
52 books, documentaries & movies to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions of Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native communities, as well as honoring their historical legacy. November is also a month for awareness and acknowledgement of the inequities and erasure that Native American communities have faced, and continue to face, in the U.S.

Native American workers experience ongoing marginalization in the labor force. In analyzing Bureau of Labor Service (BLS) data, the Brookings Institute found that in January 2022, the unadjusted unemployment rate among Native American workers was 11.1% compared to the nation’s topline rate of 4.4%. The Brookings Institute points out that “the January 2022 unemployment rate for Native American workers was higher than the unemployment rate for white workers in June 2020, just two months after the unemployment peak — a period widely considered a national crisis.” Prior to February 2022, the BLS did not report monthly data on American Indian and Alaska Native unemployment, and Native American workers are still excluded from the BLS monthly jobs report due to issues of sample size, meaning there is no federal monthly baseline for Native American labor market metrics. A Great Place to Work survey found that American Indian and Alaska Native employees have the lowest levels of belonging at each level in an organization and their sense of feeling seen and valued decreases as they move up in the organization. Compared to white employees, Indigenous employees feel 1.3x less belonging at the individual contributor level, 1.5x less belonging at the frontline manager level, 1.9x less belonging at the mid-level manager level, and 7x less belonging at the executive level.  

Stats like these are why Syndio is committed to providing data-driven solutions to drive progress around equitable pay, representation, and opportunity for every worker. To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, our team has put together this collection of books, poetry collections, graphic novels, documentaries, movies, and TV shows that showcase Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native stories, traditions, voices, and experiences. 

 

Nonfiction books

 

American Indian Stories book coverAmerican Indian Stories 

by Zitkála-Šá

Get the book

 

 

 

Seven Fallen Feathers book coverSeven Fallen Feathers:  Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City

by Tanya Talaga

Get the book

 

 

 

Waterlily book coverWaterlily

by Ella Cara Deloria

Get the book

 

 

 

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee book coverThe Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

by David Treuer

Get the book

 

 

 

Braiding Sweetgrass book coverBraiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

By Robin Wall Kimmerer

Get the book

 

 

 

Keepunumuk- Weeâchumun's Thanksgiving Story book coverKeepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten

Get the book

 

 

Code Talker book coverCode Talker: The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

by Chester Nez and Judith Schiess Avila

Get the book

 

 

 

Crazy Brave book coverCrazy Brave: A Memoir

By Joy Harjo

Get the book

 

 

 

Native American Heritage Month: Heart Berries book coverHeart Berries: A Memoir

by Terese Marie Mailhot

Get the book

 

 

 

Tallchief American's Prima Ballerina book coverTallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina

By Maria Tallchief

Get the book

 

 

 

Haa k̲usteeyí, Our Culture- Tlingit Life Stories book coverHaa Ḵusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories

By Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer

Get the book

 

 

 

The Truth About Stories book coverThe Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative

by Thomas King

Get the book

 

 

 

 

Black Elk Speaks book coverBlack Elk Speaks

by John G. Neihardt

Get the book

 

 

 

Custer Died for Your Sins book coverCuster Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto

by Vine Deloria Jr.

Get the book

 

 

 

Killers of the Flower Moon book coverKillers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann

Get the book

 

 

 

 

Fiction

House Made of Dawn book coverHouse Made of Dawn

by N. Scott Momaday

Get the book

 

 

 

Native American Heritage Month: The Night Watchman book coverThe Night Watchman

by Louise Erdrich

Get the book

 

 

 

The Plague of Doves book coverThe Plague of Doves

by Louise Erdrich

Get the book

 

 

 

How I Became a Ghost book coverHow I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story

by Tim Tingle

Get the book

 

 

 

There There book coverThere There

by Tommy Orange

Get the book

 

 

 

Moon of the Crusted Snow book coverMoon of the Crusted Snow

by Waubgeshig Rice

Get the book

 

 

 

Night of the Living Rez book coverNight of the Living Rez: Stories

by Morgan Talty

Get the book

 

 

 

The Seed Keeper book coverThe Seed Keeper

by Diane Wilson

Get the book

 

 

 

Shell Shaker book coverShell Shaker

by LeAnne Howe

Get the book

 

 

 

Firekeeper's Daughter book coverFirekeeper’s Daughter

by Angeline Boulley

Get the book

 

 

 

Elatsoe book coverElatsoe

by Darcie Little Badger

Get the book

 

 

 

Native American Heritage Month - Ceremony book coverCeremony

by Leslie Marmon Silko

Get the book

 

 

 

 

Poetry & graphic novels

Native American Heritage Month: An American Sunrise poetry collection coverAn American Sunrise: Poems

by Joy Harjo

Get the poetry collection

 

 

 

The Death of Sitting Bear poetry collection coverThe Death of Sitting Bear: New and Selected Poems

by N. Scott Momaday

Get the poetry collection

 

 

 

Bone Light poetry collection coverBone Light

by Orlando White

Get the poetry collection

 

 

 

Hyperboreal poetry collection coverHyperboreal

by Joan Naviyuk Kane

Get the poetry collection

 

 

 

This Place 150 Years Retold graphic novel coverThis Place: 150 Years Retold

Anthology by 11 Indigenous authors 

Get the graphic novel

 

 

 

The Barren Grounds grahpic novel coverThe Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga

Writing by David A. Robertson

Get the graphic novel

 

 

 

Documentaries

Without a Whisper documentary posterWithout a Whisper — Konnón:Kwe

Watch on: PBS Short Film Festival

 

 

 

 

Warrior Women documentary posterWarrior Women

Watch on: Warrior Women Project 

 

 

 

 

Mankiller documentary posterMankiller

Watch on: Gumroad

 

 

 

 

Native American Heritage Month: Words from a Bear documentary posterN. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear

Watch on: PBS, Amazon Prime Video 

 

 

 

 

We Breathe Again documentary posterWe Breathe Again

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video 

 

 

 

 

If I Go Missing documtary posterIf I Go Missing

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video 

 

 

 

Shiloh documentary posterShiloh

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video 

 

 

 

We Shall Remain documentary posterWe Shall Remain (Documentary Series)

Watch on: PBS, Amazon Prime Video  

 

 

 

 

 

Movies

Smoke Signals movie posterSmoke Signals

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV

 

 

 

 

Songs My Brother Taught Me movie posterSongs My Brother Taught Me

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Apple TV

 

 

 

 

Te Ata movie posterTe Ata

Watch on: Netflix

 

 

 

 

Indian Horse movie posterIndian Horse

Watch on: Netflix

 

 

 

 

Powwow Highway movie posterPowwow Highway

Watch on: The Criterion Channel

 

 

 

 

Wind River movie posterWind River

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV 

 

 

 

 

Dances with Wolves movie poster

Dances with Wolves

Watch on: Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV

 

 

 

 

TV Shows & Comedy Specials

Alaska Daily tv show posterAlaska Daily

Watch on: ABC

 

 

 

 

Reservation Dogs tv show posterReservation Dogs

Watch on: Hulu

 

 

 

Dark Winds tv show posterDark Winds

Watch on: Roku, AMC+, Amazon Prime Video

 

 

 

 

Rutherford Falls tv show posterRutherford Falls

Watch on: Peacock