Virtual Book Club – Native American Voices

For this week’s virtual book club, we’re looking at books written by indigenous peoples. What better time than now, especially with the controversy around changing the name of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Though the First Nations peoples who lived in Ohio were largely forced out of the state by settlers, it is estimated that 0.3% of Ohio’s population is American Indian – around 350,000 people, or the total population of Toledo. Find more information here, from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Below we’ve got books to start the discussion, local organizations that need your support, and some more information about the Native American mascot debate. Click on any title to be taken to our catalog, where you can put a hold on the book to be picked up at the Library. Hoopla links are included in the captions where available, and as always, books from Hoopla are ready whenever you are with your library card number and PIN. 

Books to start the discussion 

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
The Only Good Indians: a Novel by Stephen Graham Jones

Local organizations to support: 

Lake Erie Native American Council

Cleveland American Indian Movement

North American Indian Cultural Center

Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance

Lake Erie Professional Chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society

More information:  

For more information on the psychosocial effects of Native American mascots, see this scientific journal article from Race Ethnicity and Education, here. The American Psychological Association has also recommended the retirement of these mascots, which you can find here. Lastly, find here an opinion column on Native American mascots published last week on Cleveland.com.

Check back next week for another installment of our virtual book club on difficult topics!

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