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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.

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.

Land Acknowledgement

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.

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.

We’ve also compiled a list of books located at the Bellingham Public Library on Salish History and Culture for researching and reading about the tribes native to the Pacific Northwest. Some of these titles can be checked out, and other may be used only in-library.

Library Staff Recommends:

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman

“A brilliant collection of recipes that will instantly win the hearts of any lover of food rights activism, sustainability, foraging and/or delicious recipes. I had no idea how scrumptious sumac berries are!” – Siena, Public Services Clerk

Adult Nonfiction


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

Adult Fiction

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

“I adored the tenacious and stalwart heroine, Maggie, a young Navajo monster-slayer trying to keep her community safe after a supernatural disaster tears the world apart. Indigenous culture and mythology are brilliantly woven together in this singular post-apocalyptic adventure.” – Siena, Public Services Clerk

Adult Fiction

Whatcom READS! 2024 Book

Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha taqwšeblu LaPointe

Winner of a 2023 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association award, Red Paint traces LaPointe’s personal story of trauma, healing and the search for home. In her April 2022 review for Cascadia Daily News, Lisa Gresham of the Whatcom County Library System called the memoir “a vulnerable and luminous debut set against the backdrop of Coast Salish ancestral land.” The book presents a wide range of discussion and event opportunities leading up to the author’s visit in March 2024.

Click here for more information about Whatcom READS!

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:

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

“This book had everything I needed. I adored the adaptability and temerity of the protagonist. The story and setting instantly sucked me into their orbit. Indigenous urban fantasy is quickly becoming a favorite genre of mine. And ghost dogs?! Yes, please!” – Siena, Public Services Clerk

Young Adult Fiction

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.

Be a Good Ancestor by Leona Prince and Gabrielle Prince and illustrated by Carla Joseph

“Sweet and sincere, this is a beautiful story about taking care of the planet that takes care of us.” – Siena, Public Services Clerk

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!

Library Staff Recommends:

Rhymes for Young Ghouls directed by Jeff Barnaby

“A grim yet powerful look at the horrors that came from residential schools. Filled with sincerity and fury, this tale of resilience and resistance is unlike any other movie I’ve seen.” – Siena, Public Services Clerk

Adult Drama

Bellingham Native American Heritage Events in November

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month at Western Washington University with multiple events in November

“During Native American Heritage Month and every month, WWU is committed to seeking out and encouraging Native histories and knowledge; to being purposeful and proactive in our inclusion of Native voices and knowledge; and to discover new ways to inspire and promote a new generation of Native intellectual change agents.

We invite all of our community to take part in a host of opportunities in support of Native and Indigenous learning and advancement, from Native lectures and dialogues to sporting events and film screenings.” Click here for more info and a list of events in November

graphic for The Aunties: Women of the Salish Sea

MBT Presents The Aunties: Women of the Salish Sea

Nov. 10, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

The Aunties: Women of the Salish Sea, a live Indigenous storytelling event honoring Aunties in Indigenous communities, told live from Mount Baker Theatre’s Main Stage. The Aunties include: Dian Million, Heather Jefferson, Rena Priest, and Kendra Mylnechuk Potter. Get tickets here

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