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Native American Literature: Home

This guide is designed to supplement the DiPietro Library Book Display and artifacts exhibit celebrating Native American Heritage Month (November).


Be sure to check out DiPietro Library's Native American Heritage Month Display during the month of November.

For a detailed library guide about conducting research on Native American Literature, please visit the EN492 Native American Literature guide.

What is Native American Heritage Month?

  • November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
  • The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.
  • Heritage month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Source: National Congress of American Indians

What is Native American Literature?

  • Native American literature, also called Indian literature or American Indian literature, begins with the traditional oral and written literatures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
  • Traditional Native American literature includes ancient hieroglyphic and pictographic writings and an extensive set of folktales, myths, and oral histories.
  • The written Native American literary tradition, including European literary genres such as poetry and fiction, began in the early eighteenth century as Native Americans began to publish historical and cultural accounts of their peoples during the nineteenth century.
  • From the 1960s onward, the production of many new Native American literary texts created an era of awakening that created a new voice and a new place for Native American writers in the American imagination. This era is called the Native American Renaissance by literary critics.

Source: Britannica

Source: Encyclopedia of the Great Plains

Joy Harjo | 2019-2020 United State Poet Laureate

Meet Joy Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation and the first Native American Poet Laureate for the United States.

For featured articles and related resources about Harjo, access the web resources page of this guide.