Saturday, August 19, 2006

Must-have reference books about American Indians

There are three encyclopedia's on American Indians that every school library ought to have. Each one includes a wealth of information, maps, photographs, and a bibliography for each entry. In each one, a good many of the entries are by American Indian scholars, researchers, and widely respected Native people. Ask your library to buy a new copy of each one. Get new personal copies for yourself (if you can afford it), but if not, get a used copy. They are:

The Native North American Almanac: A Reference Work on Native North Americans in the United States and Canada is edited by Duane Champagne, former director of American Indian Studies at UCLA. It is huge---with over 1000 pages---and used copies of it are available for under $20. The second edition was published in 2001 by Gale.

Native America in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia, edited by Mary B. Davis, Joan Berman, Mary E. Graham, and Lisa A. Mitten. It was published in 1996 by Garland Publishing, and is 787 pages in length. Used copies are available on line for as little as $20.

One of the editors, Lisa A. Mitten, maintains the excellent website "Native American Sites" that has the following subsections:
--Information on Individual Native Nations
--Native Organizations and Urban Indian Centers
--Tribal Colleges, Native Studies Programs, and Indian Education
--The Mascot Issue
--Native Media - Organizations, Journals and Newspapers, Radio and Television
--Powwows and Festivals
--Native Music and Arts Organizations and Individuals
--Indians in the Military
--Native Businesses
--General Indian-Oriented Home Pages

Encyclopedia of North American Indians, edited by Frederick E. Hoxie, former director of the Newberry Library in Chicago. It is 765 pages long, and was published in 1996 by Houghton Mifflin. Used copies are available for around ten dollars.

I find these encylopedia's helpful when I come across something in a children's book that I want to look up, or double check, or if I want more information on something that is mentioned in a children's book.

No comments: