Native Voices


Suggested Readings

The following bibliographies, curated by the National Library of Medicine, offer several examples of readings by or about Native peoples and their concepts of health and illness. They are organized mostly by age groups, albeit many young adults may find readings listed under "Books for Adult Readers" accessible and insightful.

Books for Adult Readers


  • Allen, Paula Gunn (Laguna Pueblo and Lakota). Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman’s Sourcebook. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.
  • Bell, Betty Louise (Cherokee). Faces in the Moon. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994.
  • Chief Eagle, Dallas (Lakota). Winter Count. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003. Originally published in 1967.
  • Highway, Tomson (Cree). Kiss of the Fur Queen. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000. First published in Canada by Doubleday in 1998.
  • Momaday, N. Scott (Kiowa/Cherokee). House Made of Dawn. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1999. First published by Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1966.
  • Power, Susan (Lakota). The Grass Dancer. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1995.
  • ___. The Zuni Man-Woman. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991.
  • Sarris, Greg (Pomo). Grand Avenue. New York: Hyperion, 1994.
  • Silko, Leslie Marmon (Laguna Pueblo). Ceremony. New York: Penguin Books, 1977.
  • Vizenor, Gerald (Anishinabe). Heirs of Columbus. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1991.
  • Young Bear, Ray A. (Mesquakie). Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1992.


  • Black Elk, Nicholas (Oglala Sioux) and John G. Neihardt. Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1961.
  • Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Sacred Plant Medicine: The Wisdom of Native American Herbalism. Rochester: Bear & Co., 2006.
  • Cuero, Delfina (Kumeyaay) and Florence Connolly Shipek. Delfina Cuero: Her Autobiography, An Account of Her Last Years, and Her Ethnobotanic Contributions. Menlo Park: Ballena Press, 1991.
  • Deloria Jr., Vine (Standing Rock Sioux). The World We Used to Live In: Remembering the Powers of the Medicine Men. Golden: Fulcrum Publishing, 2006.
  • Hensley, William L. I??ia?ruk (Iñupiaq). Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2009.
  • Hungry Wolf, Beverly (Blackfoot). The Ways of My Grandmothers. New York: Morrow, 1980.
  • Lame Deer, John (Lakota) and Richard Erdoes. Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972.
  • Low, Sam. Hawaiki Rising: Hokule’a, Nainoa Thompson, and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Hawai’i: Island Heritage Publishing, 2013.
  • McMaster, Gerald (Plains Cree and Blackfoot) and Clifford E. Trafzer (Wyandot). Native Universe: Voices of Indian America. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, in association with National Geographic, 2004.
  • Mehl-Madrona, Lewis (Cherokee/Lakota). Coyote Medicine: Lessons from Native American Healing. New York: Fireside, 1997.
  • ___. Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process. Rochester: Bear & Co., 2007.
  • Niethammer, Carolyn. I’ll Go and Do More: Anne Dodge Wauneka, Navajo Leader and Activist. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.
  • Roscoe, Will. Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998.
  • Silko, Leslie Marmon (Laguna). Storyteller. New York: Seaver Books, 1981.
  • Snell, Alma Hogan (Crow). Grandmother’s Grandchild: My Crow Indian Life. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.
  • ___. A Taste of Heritage: Crow Indian Recipes and Herbal Medicines. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006.
  • St. Pierre, Mark and Tilda Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota). Walking in the Sacred Manner: Healers, Dreamers, and Pipe Carriers—Medicine Women of the Plains Indians. New York: Touchstone, 1995.
  • Standing Bear, Luther (Lakota). My People the Sioux. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998. Originally published in 1928.
  • ___. My Indian Boyhood. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988. Originally published in 1931.
  • Warren, William W. (Anishinabe). History of the Ojibway People. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1984. Originally published in 1885.

In addition, the following websites provide bibliographies of works by numerous Native American authors:

  • ipl2: Native American Authors
    • This website provides relevant information on several Native American authors, including biographical information, bibliographies of their published works, and links to resources. Native American Literature.
  • Native American Literature—Selected Bibliography

Books for Young Audiences

  • Alexie, Sherman (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene). The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2007. Reprinted 2009.
    • This novel recounts the trials of a Native American teenager who decides to transfer to an off-reservation high school in an attempt to gain a better education. His Native peers on the reservation look upon him as a “traitor,” while his peers at his new high school regard him as an outsider. (Grade levels: 7-10)
  • Erdrich, Louise (Anishinabe). Love Medicine. 1984. Revised Edition, New York: The McGraw Hill Companies, 2000.
    • All of Erdrich’s novels focus on issues of medicine, health, and disease. Love Medicine, in particular, explores the loss of Native American spirituality and cultural identity in a set of inter-related chapters narrated by different characters. (Grade levels: 10+)
  • Hogan, Linda (Chickasaw). Power. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998.
    • All of Hogan’s novels revolve around issues of the sacred and healing. In Power, a sixteen-year-old Native American girl witnesses the killing of her clan’s sacred animal, the Florida panther, by her spiritual mentor.(Grade levels: 10+)
  • Gravelle, Karen. Soaring Spirits: Conversations with Native American Teens. New York: F. Watts, 1995.
    • This non-fiction publication includes photos and interviews with 17 teens who discuss growing up Native American today. (Grade levels: 7-12)
  • Wall, Steve, and Harvey Arden. Wisdomkeepers: Meetings with Native American Spiritual Elders. Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Publishing, Inc., 1990. Reprinted 2006.
    • This non-fiction work chronicles Wall and Arden’s photographing and interviewing tribal elders from 20 Native nations over the course of ten years. (Grade levels: 6-12)

In addition, the following websites provide bibliographies of books about or by Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Hawaiian Natives for all levels of K-12 grades:

  • American Indian Library Association—American Indian Youth Services Literature Award
  • Caldwell, Naomi, Gabriella Kaye and Lisa A. Mitten. “‘I’ is for Inclusion: The Portrayal of Native Americans in Books for Young People.” American Indian Children’s Literature: Identifying and Celebrating the Good. Washington, D.C.: American Indian Library Association, 2007
    • This PDF file provides an annotated bibliography of several Native American literature titles. Works included fall under the categories of books by Native authors for young people, books on contemporary Native Americans by Native as well as non-Native authors, and portrayals of Pocahontas/Jamestown.
  • Anthropology Outreach Office, Smithsonian Institution— “A Critical Bibliography on North American Indians for K-12”
    • This website is a wonderful resource that provides an annotated bibliography of literature pertaining to North American Indians. Titles included fall under the categories of traditional stories, biographies, fiction, and non-fiction, while each section is divided by hemispheric region (e.g., Great Basin, Plateau, Northeast, Arctic, etc.)

Books for Scholars

  • Allen, Paula Gunn (Laguna Pueblo/Lakota). Pocahontas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003.
  • ___. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.
  • Apess, William (Pequot) and Barry O’Connell, ed. On Our Own Ground: The Complete Writings of William Apess. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992.
  • Charon, Rita. Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Cruikshank, Julie, ed. Life Lived Like a Story: Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
  • Klein, Laura F. and Lillian A. Ackerman. Women and Power in Native North America. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
  • LaDuke, Winona (Ojibwe). Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming. Cambridge: South End Press, 2005.
  • Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket, Colville Federated Tribe). Mourning Dove: A Salishan Autobiography. Edited by Jay Miller. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.
  • Sarris, Greg (Pomo). Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
  • Webster, Kelly, ed. Library Services to Indigenous Populations: Viewpoints and Resources. Chicago: Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, American Library Association, 2005.
  • Weaver, Jace (Cherokee). That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Winter, Joseph C. Tobacco Use by Native North Americans: Sacred Smoke and Silent Killer. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000.

Related Websites

  • Alaska Native Knowledge NetworkTraditional Health, Medicine and Healing
    • This web page includes materials that describe traditional health, medicine and healing practices of Alaska Native people and their applicability today. There are also links to different organizations that support healthcare of Alaska Natives.
  • Library of Congress
    • 1492: An Ongoing Voyage
      • This online exhibition describes both pre- and post-contact America, as well as the Mediterranean world at the same time. Compelling questions are raised, such as: Who lived in the Americas before 1492? What was the effect of 1492 for Americans throughout the Western Hemisphere? The online exhibit is divided into six sections and includes images of twenty-two objects from the original exhibit.
    • Immigration: Native Americans
    • Native American Heritage Month – For Teachers
      • This lists classroom resources on Native American topics from Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for Humanities, National Gallery of Art, and National Museum of the American Indian websites.
  • National Archives: Archives Library Information Center – Indians/Native Americans
  • National Museum of the American IndianNative Words, Native Warriors
    • During WWI and WWII, hundreds of American Indians joined the United States armed forces and used words from their traditional tribal languages as weapons. This companion website to the traveling exhibition Native Words, Native Warriors features a presentation, gallery, lesson plan, and many additional resources.
  • PBSWayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey
    • Through interviews, training sessions, archival images, and sailing footage, Wayfinders reveals how the legacy of wayfinding connects modern Polynesians to their past and helps them face the challenges of the future. This companion website to the film provides further exploration of the film’s major themes and subjects, as well as information about Pacific Island geography, culture, history, archaeology, linguistics and celestial navigation.

Exhibit Overview

The following overview was developed by the National Library of Medicine for the Native Voices: Concepts of Health and Illness traveling exhibit.

  • Download the exhibit overview (PDF)

Sample Attendee Evaluation Forms

As a part of the final report, host sites will be expected to provide information on attendance figures and submit other relevant feedback gathered in connection to the exhibit and programs. To assist with this process, ALA’s Public Programs Office and the National Library of Medicine have developed a set of sample evaluation forms. These forms are designed to help grantees collect valuable feedback from program participants, exhibit attendees and community partners. Please feel free to customize these forms to best suit your needs.

  • Exhibit Evaluation Form (PDF)
  • Exhibit Evaluation Form Alternative (MS Word)
  • Program Evaluation Form (MS Word)
  • Evaluation Form for Community Partners (MS Word)

Orientation Webinar Archive

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