Native American Heritage Month

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month celebrates native peoples past and present

Credit: Peter Bloomer

Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for Native American Heritage Month. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

Suzan Shown Harjo

By: Marilyn Huerta
Suzan Shown Harjo is a living hero.Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, she is an activist who has been fighting for Native American rights since the 1960s.


Watch the following films about Native American culture and activism.

Water Is Sacred

Produced by:Mentors: Tiana and Wakinyan LaPointe
2020 MHIFF Ocean Conservation Award student winner: When we pray with water, it helps our bodies and the earth, and we say Wopila Tanka (Immeasurable Thanks) for its medicine.

Mni Wikoni ~ Water is Life

Producer: Charles McMahon

The MY HERO Project celebrates the water protectors of planet earth.

Yellow Woman - A Hero Report Excerpt

Produced by:Betty Bailey & Camille Manybeads Tso

Camille Manybeads Tso tells an inspiring true story of Native American heritage.

Stories of TRUST - Arizona

Producer: Christi Cooper-Kuhn, Katie Lose-Gilbertson, Kelly Matheson
Young Navajo artist Jaime Lynn Butler campaigns to save the environment of her beloved American Southwest.

Smoke That Travels [Trailer]

Producer: Kayla Briët

"What happens when a story is forgotten? I'm making a film about my dad, Gary Wiski-ge-amatyuk, my family, and what it means to be Native American today."


These heroes, past and present, uplift the voices of their communities through action.

Chief Wilma Mankiller

By: Susannah Abbey
Chief Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Nyla Innuksuk

By: Wendy Jewell

Nyla Innuksuk is a young indigenous filmmaker who is pushing the boundaries of filmmaking, going beyond 2D (flattie) films to VR/AR and 360 with her Mixtape VR company. Check out her journey to date.

Women Heroes Noel Bennett and Tiana Bighorse

By: SUSAN Drennan GABRIEL Bunn

Two storytellers, elder Tiana Bighorse and young Noel Bennett, published Tiana's family history. Now elderly, Noel is collaborating with Tiana's great grandson.

Chief Joseph

By: Jennifer Beck

Chief Joseph led the Nez Perce tribe in an effort to keep their homeland. [This story is available in English and in Spanish.]

For Younger Readers - By Younger Readers

Christine Quintasket

By: Catherine from Trumbull
Christine Quintasket was the first published Native American woman author.

Baje Whitethorne

By: Olin Smith
Baje Whitethorne is a celebrated Navajo painter and author.

Listen & Read Along

The following stories have links so you can hear the audio as you read. Great for ESL students!

Sarah Winnemucca

By: Isabelle from Wallingford

Sarah Winnemucca was an advocate for Paiute rights.

Maria Tallchief

By: Rebecca Miller

Maria Tallchief was the first Native American prima ballerina in the United States.


Artists celebrate Native American leaders and recreate the traditions of this rich culture.

Chief Joseph Hinmton Yalektit by Robert Shetterly

By: Robert Shetterly
Portrait of Chief Yalektit by Robert Shetterly, Americans Who Tell the

Oren Lyons

By: Robert Shetterly -

Native American faithkeeper, human rights advocate, and environmental activist

A lyrical interpretation of enlightenment according to Native American traditions

Universal Enlightenment
Credit: Rex A. Begaye
Winona LaDuke is a Native American Harvard graduate economist, environmentalist, activist, author and executive director of Honor The Earth.
Winona LaDuke
Credit: K. E. Harleston

The Earth is a medicine, she gives everything to us. Again, the respect lies there, respecting life, what is important, even if it is not of our own.

- Native American Heritage -
Credit: Rex A. Begaye

AP News Stories

These AP news stories are about Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access pipeline.

Pipeline Opponents Ride Out Storm in Shelters, Casino

By: BLAKE NICHOLSON, Associated Press

Pipeline protesters vow to stay camped on federal land

By: JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press

Related Pages

Indigenous Peoples' Day

By: MY HERO Staff
October 9 is Indigenous Peoples' Day

International Day of the World's Indigenous People

August 9 is the International Day of the World's Indigenous People.


Our Curators


Artwork curated by MY HERO Arts Education and Gallery director Giselle Villatoro. 


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editor and Story Director Shannon Luders-Manuel. 


Newswire stories curated by MY HERO Newswire director Betty Bailey. 

Organizer created on 10/16/2013 7:15:40 AM by Becky Miller

Last edited 10/25/2021 12:23:43 PM by Laura Nietzer