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Midwest Matters February 6th, 2023
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A Time to Reflect on Native American Heritage

Posted by on November 14th, 2022 Posted in: Public Health, Public Libraries, Resource Sharing
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November is Native American Heritage Month. As the National Congress of American Indians notes, it’s not only an occasion for all of us to celebrate the diverse cultures, traditions, histories, and important contributions of American Indians. It is also a fitting time to educate each other about tribes, raise awareness of the challenges American Indians have faced historically and face today, and share how tribal citizens are addressing these challenges.

American Indians in the US are often identified as BIPOC and viewed as one race or ethnic group among many, but it is important to remember that they are also sovereign nations with distinct governments. Currently, there are 574 federally recognized American Indian nations, with 229 located in Alaska alone. The Region 6 states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are home to 32.

This summer, I began making in-person visits to the eight tribal college libraries in the region. I began with the three located in my home state of Minnesota, and in September I visited one of the two libraries located in Wisconsin. The librarians are truly forces in their field – they address the needs of their students, faculty, and administrators while also serving as public libraries for their reservations. I’m looking forward to continuing my visits to the three libraries located in Michigan in the Spring, and am eager to identify new ways NNLM can support their health information needs.

Many local and national events are occurring throughout the month – just a few are listed below. You’ll also find links to resources for information on Native American tribes, their health, and ways everyone can support authentic indigenous representation.





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Erica Lake is the Medical & Academic Library Outreach Coordinator for NNLM Region 6.

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM012346 with The University of Iowa.

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