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Blog Round-Up: Primary Source Highlights for Native American Heritage Month

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November is a month set aside to explore and acknowledge the experiences and contributions of Native Americans to our nation. The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog has published a number of posts highlighting primary sources related to the rich traditions of Native Americans. As you and your students study and ponder these images, songs, texts, and recordings, you might consider: How many of the items were created by Native Americans? How many were created about Native Americans?

Dancing with Audience Members at a Concert at the Library of Congress

Primary Sources for Native American Heritage Month: Search tips and strategies for finding newspaper articles and pictures, sound recordings, and more in the Library’s rich collections of digitized primary sources.

Sights and Sounds of the Omaha Indians: Documenting Native American Celebrations: The Library of Congress American Folklife Center has worked to preserve the culture of America’s people. Through on-site recordings and unposed images we are able to experience the language, the songs, the stories and the performances of Native Americans.

Sioux chiefs

Edward S. Curtis and The North American Indian: Photographs offer a snapshot of a particular time and place, telling a careful viewer as much about the photographer as about the subjects of the pictures. That’s often particularly true when the photographer isn’t a member of the group being photographed. One example from the Library of Congress’s collections is Edward S. Curtis, who dedicated most of his career to photographing Native American cultures and traditions to publish in a multi-volume book titled The North American Indian.

National History Day: Choosing Standout Topics Using Library of Congress Primary Sources: This time of year, thousands of students are selecting topics for their 2014 National History Day projects. In this guest post, Lynne O’Hara, Director of Programs for National History Day, offers pointers for using free online primary sources from the Library of Congress to choose a topic that stands out from the crowd, including a discussion of select resources related to Native American citizenship.

Why is it important to understand whether an item was created by or about the group being represented? Let us know in the comments how your students respond to these primary sources.


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