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Bellingham Public Library Celebrates Native American Heritage Month in November

November is recognized nationally as Native American Heritage Month. As it does every month, Bellingham Public Library honors the heritage and sovereignty of all Indigenous peoples, throughout our community, our continent and our world.

We acknowledge that we gather on territory that has been the traditional and ancestral homeland to the Lhaq’temish (the Lummi people), the Nooksack people, and other Coast Salish tribes of this region Since Time Immemorial.

We honor our shared responsibility to this land and these waters, we commit to learning from Indigenous wisdom, and we strive to repair and deepen our relationships as neighbors and friends.

Our Library staff listens to the voices of Indigenous Storytellers, and provides thoughtful reading, listening and watching recommendations for adults, teens and children on the topic of Native American Heritage.

Native American Heritage Books for Adults

Bellingham Public Library has a wide range of relevant titles for adults. Fiction works written by Indigenous authors or featuring Indigenous characters; historical nonfiction that reveals the beauty, the pain, and the truth of the Native American experience; poetry that will captivate and awaken the reader’s imagination.

Check out the Indigenous Voices: Books for Adults list on the Library’s website and browse the Library’s display shelves in-person in November for more options.

Library Staff Recommends:


Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

Mapping the Interior is a short novel that is remarkably mysterious, expansive, and heartbreaking. Author Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfoot) is a powerhouse, both in the number of stories pouring out of him and in his talent. I recommend reading all of his writing, particularly if you’re a fan of dark or suspenseful fiction.” – Jenni, Community Relations Specialist

Adult Fiction

Books by First Nations author Eden Robinson

“Anything by Eden Robinson is great!” – Linda, Public Services Clerk

Native American Heritage Books for Teens

Take a look at the Native Voices list for Middle Grade and YA books by Native American and First Nations authors for some great suggestions.

Library Staff Recommends:

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

“Madness reigns in Cherie Dimaline’s future world. The bulk of humanity has lost the ability to dream. This spells out bad news for those who do dream; North America’s Indigenous peoples. As those who can’t dream forcibly take what they need from the dreamers, 15-year-old Frenchie and his companions wonder if they will ever gain safe haven before ‘the Recruiters’ catch up.” – Suzanne, Public Services Librarian

Young Adult Fiction

Native American Heritage Books for Children

BPL’s Children’s Librarians have put together some fantastic recommendations for Native American Heritage Month for kids of all ages. Take a look at the Staff Picks page of the Libary’s website where you’ll find the Indigenous Voices: Books for Kids list.

Library Staff Recommends:


Still this Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie & Julie Fett

“Gorgeous illustrations accompanied with lyrical text celebrating seasons and Indigenous traditions. This one can be read or you can sing it! So beautiful.” – Bernice, Children’s Librarian

Recommended for ages 3 and up.


Berry Song by Michaela Goade

“This book delights in every way! I am completely drawn in by the joy and reverence for the abundance of berries and the caring and connection with all living things.” – Julie, Children’s Specialist

Recommended for ages 3 and up.

The Sea in Winter by Christine Day

“Middle schooler Maisie, who is Makah/Piscataway, grapples with the repercussions of an injury that sidelines her passion for ballet. On a family road trip to the Olympic Peninsula Maisie contemplates resilience and reinvention, taking inspiration from her Makah ancestors. One of the reasons I was drawn to this story is I grew up on the Olympic Peninsula.” – Mandee, Children’s Specialist

Recommended for ages 8 – 12

I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner (Cree) & illustrated by Michaela Goade (Tlingit)

“I can never get enough of this tender story about welcoming a little one into the world and celebrating the interconnectedness of all living things. Each page glows with beauty and belonging.” – Ali, Children’s Librarian

Highly recommended for all members of expecting families, or as a read-aloud for kids ages 4 – 8. 

Since Time Immemorial Kits

Since Time Immemorial Kits serve as an access point for learning and exploration. Each kit comes in a rolling container and contains an assortment of books, cds, learning activity and resource notebook.

Native American Heritage in Film

Kanopy, a film streaming service that all library patrons can access for free, has curated some great lists featuring Native Americans stories. Whether you enjoy documentaries or feature films, there’s something for everyone. Log in to Kanopy and take a look at these selections!

Local Events in November

Community Voices Film Fest

Nov. 5, 2022, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Connecting Community and Bellingham Public Library honor digital stories of local Indigenous Storytellers at the Squalicum Boathouse in Zuanich Park. Space is limited. Get free tickets to join us from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at this free event.

North Cascades Institute Presents A Free Evening of Poetry with Rena Priest Online

Nov. 12, 2022, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. (register for link to event)

“Join us online for a free poetry reading with Washington State’s Poet Laureate Rena Priest, the first Indigenous poet laureate of our Evergreen State.

Priest is a member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation, and she earned degrees from Western Washington University and Sarah Lawrence College. Her literary debut, Patriarchy Blues, was honored with a 2018 American Book Award, and her second collection, Sublime Subliminal, was published as the finalist for the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award.”

Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival presents an encore screening of Daughter of a Lost Bird

Nov. 14, 2022, 5 p.m. at Pickford Film Center

Nov. 17 – 20 and Nov. 24 – 27 online

The documentary directed by Brooke Swaney, member of the Blackfeet/Salish Nation sold out at the May festival. The 67-minute film follows the story of Kendra Mylnechuk Potter who was adopted into a white family and raised with no knowledge of her Native parentage. This beautiful and intimate film follows Kendra on her journey to find her birth mother and return to her Lummi homelands. 

The Burke Museum in Seattle presents Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattoing of the Pacific Northwest

Nov. 6, 2022 – Apr. 16, 2023

Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest takes a closer look at the rich history and artistry of Indigenous tattooing of the Northwest coast. Photographs, cultural belongings, and contemporary art reveal how these previously disrupted and banned traditions have endured through the efforts of the Indigenous artists featured in this exhibition. Experience their stories and celebrate the resilience of Indigenous tattoo practitioners and those who wear the visual language of their ancestors on their bodies.”

Native Arts 360

Project 562

Children of the Setting Sun Productions

Lummi Seafood Market

Off the Rez Native Food Truck and Cafe

Northwest Treaty Tribes website

Indian Country Today digital news

Red Planet Books & Comics