Important Books for Better Understanding Native Americans

Books for Understanding Native Americans IMAG0009The best stories transport us to another place or time and yet often relate to our current situation in life. Partnership With Native Americans offers a list of suggested readings that do just that in both a historical and contemporary context.

One book on the suggested reading list has particular significance in the way in which it explores the life of one of the most iconic figures in Native American and U.S. history. “The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History” by Joseph Marshall III is unique in that it is what it says it is: a Lakota history.

Joseph Marshall III was raised on stories of the legendary Crazy Horse growing up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. This experience undoubtedly impacted the way in which he composed “The Journey of Crazy Horse.” Borrowing largely from the vibrant oral history shared with him as a child and as an adult researching for this book, Marshall writes not about the legend that inspired the monument but about a common man who took electrifying action in a time that threatened to exterminate the Lakota way of life.

Books for Understanding Native Americans IMG_1324Another book from our suggested reading list that is good for anyone looking to demystify the myths and stereotypes about the historic and contemporary lives of Native Americans is “Do All Indians Live in Tipis? Questions and Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian.”

Readers of “Do All Indians Live in Tipis?” will find answers to numerous questions ranging from serious to hilarious like:

  • “What’s wrong with naming sports teams Indians, Braves, etc.?”
  • “Why do some people think Indians do not laugh or smile?”
  • “How can I find a shaman (or medicine man) who will teach me?”
  • “How many Indian tribes are officially recognized in the U.S. today?”

If you are looking to learn more about Native American history and culture from a Native American perspective, “The Journey of Crazy Horse” and “Do All Indians Live in Tipis?” are great places to start. These books were written exclusively by Native Americans.

What other books would you recommend for better understanding Native Americans?

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