Collection Spotlight: Native Americans: A Present-Tense People

We acknowledge that this space and greater university gathers on land that has long served as the site of meeting and exchange amongst a number of Indigenous peoples, historically the Shakori (sha-core-ee) and Catawba (kuh-taa-buh) people. 

It is also important to recognize the 8 tribes that currently reside in North Carolina, these include the Coharie (co-HAIR-ee), Lumbee, Meherrin (ma-HAIR-in), Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Haliwa Saponi (HA-lih-WAH suh-PONY), Waccamaw Siouan (WOK-uh-ma Soo-uhn), Sappony, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee. We honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this territory on which we gather.

In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, Duke University Libraries is co-sponsoring with the Native American Student Alliance (NASA) a Collection Spotlight this month called “Native Americans: A Present-Tense People.”

We took part of the inspiration for this spotlight from this year’s Summer Reading book There There by Tommy Orange“We’ve been fighting for decades to be recognized as a present-tense people, modern and relevant, alive.”  The fiction included in the spotlight are all by modern Native American authors, and the non-fiction books focus on modern history and culture.   Examples of some of the titles included are:

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems by Joy Harjo

Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation by Malinda Maynor Lowery

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot

Native Voices: indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations edited by CMarie Fuhrman and Dean Rader

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson

Indians on the Move: Native American Mobility and Urbanization in the Twentieth Century by Douglas K. Miller

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir by Deborah A. Miranda

Unsettling America: The Uses of Indianness in the 21st century by C. Richard King

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

“All the real Indians died off”: And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Please check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins!

You might also be interested in the current Nasher exhibit Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950’s to Now running until January 12th, 2020.  It is the first exhibition to chart the development of contemporary Indigenous art in the United States and Canada.  Check out the podcast “Native Voices: Darien Herndon” to learn more.  Darien Herndon is the current president of NASA.  There’s also a wonderful companion book by the curators Mindy N. Besaw, Candice Hopkins, and Manuela Well-Off-Man.

Finally please consider attending some of the upcoming events sponsored by NASA to celebrate Native American Heritage Month!

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