November 11, 2011

Information Literacy, Primary Sources and Native Americans

Following up on an earlier post today, the Library of Congress also has many resources related to the experiences and contributions of Native Americans to our nation which would be useful for units during this Native American Heritage Month.

It would be interesting for students to consider  how many of the items were created by Native Americans versus how many were created about Native Americans?

New-York Tribune Article
on “The Iroquois Wampum”
A list of American Indian History exhibitions and collections includes primary sources.

Students should also learn that there are multimedia items (such as Omaha Indian Music and Florida Folklife from the WPA Collection, 1937-1942) and that items related to Native Americans are intertwined throughout many of the Library’s online collections that also focus on other topics.

For example, search the historic newspaper collections to analyze newspapers published by or dedicated to Indians of North America as well as articles and images published in newspapers serving a broader audience. To get started, search on terms such as Indian agency, Indian bureau, Indian war, or the names of particular groups or tribes, including Ojibwa, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Iroquois.

Native Americans narrate their personal experiences serving in conflicts from World War II to Iraq in audio and video interviews collected by the Library’s Veterans History Project in “Willing to Serve: American Indians.”

You can find primary sources and historical context for teachers and students in the presentation Immigration…Native American.

A listing of Primary Source sites on the Library website is at

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