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6 Constructive Ways To Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

Let's *not* watch Pocahontas on repeat all month.

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Happy Native American Heritage Month! Here are a few ways to celebrate and engage with American Indian and Alaska Native cultures this November.

6. Read.

Indian Country Today Media Network / Via

Sherman Alexie has written a wide variety witty, insightful, and deeply personal fiction and poetry based on his experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Sports fans will love Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story (LeAnne Howe), history lovers get their fix with Carlos Montezuma and the Changing World of American Indians (Peter Iverson), and romance seekers revel in Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine.

5. Watch.

Fandor: Barking Water / Via

There many beautiful, thoughtful films about American Indian and Alaska Native cultures that were written, produced, and directed by Native authors and filmmakers. For insight into Alaska Native and Aboriginal heritage, check out The Fast Runner trilogy (Isuma TV), and for a modern look at life in the far North catch On the Ice (directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean and starring Josiah Patkotak and Frank Qutuq Irelan). Other titles include Barking Water (directed by Sterlin Harjo and starring Bebe Harjo, Gabriel Pelayo, and Frederick Schroeder), Smoke Signals (written by Sherman Alexie and starring Adam Beach and Evan Adams) and Turquoise Rose (directed by Travis Holt Hamilton and starring Deshava Apachee, Donavon G. Barney, and Ethel Begay).

4. Laugh.

View this video on YouTube

1491s, Dartmouth College / Via

Check out the 1491s, a sketch comedy group that comments on modern and historical American Indian and Alaska Native concerns. For live comedy, keep on the lookout for Tatanka Means or the Ladies of Native Comedy to perform in your hometown.

1. Eat.

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Jim Horn / Via

Jim Horn, a retired chef and member of the Pikunii and Blackfeet tribes, writes a fantastic blog on Native American Restaurants that feature the best of American Indian cuisine. He also includes a page on traditional Native American recipes with a modern twist, including blue corn cornbread.

Emily Bieniek / Via

There are many ways to celebrate Alaska Native and American Indian cultures in your community. Check out your local library, museum, or Park Service location for panel discussions, film screenings, book discussions, and much more.

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