Native American Programming for Libraries

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Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 2:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Welcome, I’m so glad you are here!

Thank you for visiting and hopefully using this website.   To this day, Native Americans are represented by many old stereotypes.  Most Americans, even most people around the world think there is only one Indian. The brave in buckskins, feather in headband (or a full headdress).  This is not the truth.  In fact, it may represent more than one Indian Nation merged together to create the image.

There are over 150 Indian Nations in the United States and Canada. They are The First People. Their stories are many and varied, and yet, at the same time many are very familiar.  There are hundreds of tales.  Tales of creation, tales explaining life and manners, and of course, trickster tales.

This site is meant to be used by Children’s Librarians to help them present a culturally accurate and fun program for “their kids.”  I believe you could easily adapt any of these Storytime Programs for use in an elementary school.  In some cases, I have not yet found an appropriate song, craft, or book, which really represents the Native American theme.  In this case, I have substituted a craft and tried to fit it in with the theme.  I would appreciate your telling me if you know of something along the lines of the theme If I missed a favorite, or if you have suggestions!


The goal of this site is to create a reference for a full year of Native American Programming for the Children’s Services Librarian.  Every effort has been made to be historically and culturally accurate, show respect for the First People, and  educate and inform the performer and participants.

I hope this site helps you create a program for your children’s department that is thoughtful and helps ease the damaging stereotypes created over the years and perpetuated to this day.  Please use stereotypes carefully, explaining why they are problematic, or, better yet, don’t show them at all.


I have organized the programming to closely follow the festivals, dances and holidays of Native American Nations as listed in “Holiday Symbols” by Sue Ellen Thompson (Omnigraphcs, 2000).  Since events are held throughout the year, it seemed to flow best this way.

You will notice some events coincide with Christian, US Government, Pagan and other celebrations.  In many cases, this is due to the events of the season, planting, growing, harvesting, etc.  Throughout the world, people from all countries celebrate based upon these events.

In some cases, such as the Apache Girls’ Sunrise Ceremony, the festival occurs on the fourth of July because the US Government had disallowed any celebrations of the Apache, but allowed them to celebrate Independence Day.

Comments or suggestions

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding any of the content, find it offensive, or hold an image copyright I am not aware of, please contact me via the comments section.  I am trying to make this site as accurate and informative as possible.  I want it to continue to grow and educate.

I am not of any Native American heritage, but I do not believe this is an issue as I believe we are all the same under our skin, all one people.  I have tried to create this site with a Good Mind.


In researching and designing this site, I used the guidelines at to guide my decisions to use or not use any of the media found here, including images, articles, crafts, videos and books.  My thanks to Oyate for publishing their thoughts on children’s books.

Thanks to:

Dr. Laretta Henderson who pushes us to excel as Children’s Services Libarians because she knows children are not born with racist, biased or stereotyped ideas – they are taught them.

Together, we are changing the world, one child at a time!

Kent A. Barnard

All content is my responsibility.  If you find something that is problematic to you, please write to me, and we can find a substitute or solution.

Published in: on December 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment