Thanksgiving Break: Native American Awareness

Map of Iroquoian and Algonquian tribes in and around the present day state of New York (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public domain | Smithsonian Institution)

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of the holiday’s ambivalent impact on Native Americans. 

Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving like any other U.S. holiday. Yet, for many Indigenous communities, Thanksgiving is a reminder of loss. Since 1970, the United American Indians of New England organized the annual Day of Mourning in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The National Day of Mourning is a day to remember your ancestors and bring awareness to socio-cultural issues affecting Indigenous peoples today. This year marks their 50th commemoration. 

During this Thanksgiving break, the Library encourages you to learn about Indigenous peoples and their histories. We offer countless scholarly resources written by and about the rich, diverse Indigenous communities in the U.S.  

In honor of the National Day of Mourning and Native American Heritage Month, I highlighted research databases and books related to Indigenous peoples that you can find at Stony Brook University Libraries. 

Databases:

New York Times (Historical) Archive 

Online access to page images and fulltext articles from the New York Times as far back as the first issue in 1851. Search this database for local and national news about Indigeous peoples and communities. This is an excellent resource for historical information about local tribes in New York state. 

American Indian Newspapers 

From historic pressings to contemporary periodicals, explore nearly 200 years of Indigenous print journalism from the U.S. and Canada. With newspapers representing a huge variety in publisher, audience and era, discover how events were reported by and for Indigenous communities.

Inter-University Consortium of Social and Political Research (ICPSR)

More than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences. It hosts 16 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields. This is an excellent database for social science research about Indigenous demographics. 

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection (AASA)

One of our new databases, AASA is the largest collection of North American-focused historical periodicals available for purchase. Comprised of over 10 million pages, this collection contains approximately 7600 distinct periodical titles, all published between 1691 and 1877. The collection touches on a range of subject areas, including, but not limited to: science, technology, medicine, Native American and African American populations, law, politics, government, music, the arts, literature, language, publishing, agriculture, business and industry, advertising and marketing, religion, philosophy, social movements, military matters, and leisure activities.

Books:

Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformations of Native America by David J. Silverman

Thundersticks reframes popular understanding of the historical relationships between Indigenous peoples and guns. David J. Silverman argues that Indigenous peoples valued these weapons for their efficiency as tools of war rather than the pyrotechnic terror guns inspired. 

The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (Turtle Island Mountain Band of Chippewa)

In this work of fiction read about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and a nearby Native American reservation.

An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz provides a historical overview of 400 years of Indigenous history. At its heart, her book is about making visible the genocidal nature of American policies imposed on North America’s first peoples. 

Like a Hurricane: The American Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee by Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche/Choctaw) and Robert Allen Warrior (Osage)

Paul Chaat Smith and Robert Allen Warrior discuss the successes and failures of the American Indian Movement. They present insider accounts of how local groups coalesced to form a national movement for change. 

Dana Reijerkerk

Knowledge Management & Digital Asset Librarian at Stony Brook University Libraries
Posted in About Us