Native American/Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month

Welcome to our digital exhibit celebrating Native American/Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month. This page is a companion to the physical display in the HKS Library, last available in November 2023. Harvard affiliates can request books via HOLLIS, for pick-up at the library of your choice.

In this book display, you'll find literature and memoirs about Native American and Indigenous identities and experiences, as well as books on Native American and Indigenous politics, activism, and history.

More on Native American/Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month from the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging:

"Native American/Indigenous People Heritage Month was created to uplift the cultures, histories and accomplishments of indigenous peoples as well as raise awareness of the unique challenges they have faced both in the past and in modern times. The idea was first championed by Jerry C. Elliott, a member of the Cherokee / Osage tribes who was one of the first Native Americans to work at NASA. He penned legislation recognizing one week as Native American Awareness week in 1976 which was passed by President Ford. In 1990, Congress and George H.W. Bush officially recognized the whole month of November as Native American Heritage Month to honor the month that Native Americans concluded their traditional harvest season.

We at HKS are committed to finding new avenues to support Indigenous communities through research and new policies. We encourage the HKS community to learn about the history and contemporary challenges Indigenous communities face and take action to address the inequities that persist."

During Native American/Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month and beyond, we wish to share an Acknowledgment of Land and People, courtesy of the Harvard University Native American Program and leadership from the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag:

"Harvard University is located on the traditional and ancestral land of the Massachusett, the original inhabitants of what is now known as Boston and Cambridge. We pay respect to the people of the Massachusett Tribe, past and present, and honor the land itself which remains sacred to the Massachusett People."


The books in this display were drawn primarily from the following sources:

Recommended Guides

For a curated selection of databases, research journals, Harvard collections and projects, research protocols, and more related to Native American and Indigenous Studies, we recommend the following guides created by Julie Fiveash, Librarian for American Indigenous Studies at Tozzer Library.

Harvard Initiatives

  • In Focus: Native American Heritage Month - curated resources from across Harvard including people, scholarship, community resources, institutional history, and more.
  • Harvard Project on Indigenous Governance and Development - housed at the HKS Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Project " is the recognized leader in practical research, teaching, leadership development, policy analysis, and pro bono advising for Native communities."
  • Harvard University Native American Program - "bring[s] together Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students and interested individuals from the Harvard community for the purpose of advancing the well-being of Indigenous peoples through self-determination, academic achievement, and community service."
  • Native and Indigenous Caucus - HKS student organization that "provide[s] a space for Native, Indigenous, and First Nations peoples along with our allies to learn about contemporary issues affecting indigenous communities around the world, educate the HKS student body, and build solidarity in service of helping our communities thrive."
  • Seen and Unseen: Representations of Native Americans in Art, Advertising, and Commerce - HBS exhibit that "explores representations of Native Americans in the popular imagination through a selection of advertising trade cards, currency, illustrations, and sculpture from Baker Library Special Collections and the HBS Art and Artifacts Collection."

From the Political Buttons Collection

The Political Buttons at HKS Collection includes over 1,500 political buttons from the 20th and 21st centuries, representing U.S. political campaigns at every level, ballot initiatives, social issues and movements, and political demonstrations. Curated selections from our Political Buttons Collection are available as interactive digital exhibits, including Decades of Resistance: Political Movement Pins. Below is an excerpt from the Indigenous Rights/Anti-Pipeline section of the exhibit.

White, circular button that reads "Stop the Pipeline" in red block text. Below the text, a fist is smashing a pipeline."Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline began in late 2014, but it was not until 2016 that the protests gained significant momentum and media attention. The proposed pipeline received significant pushback from members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for the threat it posed to the region's clean water and ancient burial grounds. From April to November 2016, the #NoDAPL occupation grew to 15,000 protesters who staged a sit-in on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

White, circular button that reads "I stand with Standing Rock" in black text. The black text encirles the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe logo.On September 3, 2016, security officers hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline attacked protestors, many of whom were Native, using pepper spray and guard dogs to inflict damage. Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman and her crew captured the violence on video, which soon went viral online. Subsequent actions against the peaceful protestors, including the clearing of an encampment by police in riot gear and the use of water cannons on protesters in freezing weather, continued to attract national attention. Though President Obama denied an easement for the pipeline's construction, in early 2017 President Trump authorized construction to proceed. The camp at Standing Rock was cleared on February 22, 2017, and construction on the pipeline was completed in April 2017."

Read more about:


Novels, Memoirs & Poetry

Click on the circular "i" icons to view book descriptions. Click on the Harvard shield icons to access ebooks (Harvard Key required).

Politics, Activism & History

Click on the circular "i" icons to view book descriptions. Click on the Harvard shield icons to access ebooks (Harvard Key required).