Last year I went on a deep dive on how I can find better inclusive books for November. I had a moment of not wanting to read books about Christopher Columbus to my child (now children) that make him sound like a hero. I wanted to teach my children about indigenous people and the history of what happened and giving thanks to what we have (which is what this holiday has become).
I basically bought 15 books on Amazon to read them and then kept my top 5.
This is a beautifully illustrated story of two siblings getting into danger and connecting with their ancestors for help out of their situation. This is story is on the longer side, but is worth it.
What I love about this book is that you can read it in English and in the Navajo language. But the book is all about being kind to your friends, family, animals, and to your community. What an inclusive mindset.
Now I am just in love with this whole Karma Wilson series about this bear. It all started with Bear Feels Scared and we have about 5 books in this series now. BUT I absolutely LOVE Bear Says Thanks. Just a cute story about friends coming together to plan a meal and everyone gives what they can.
This story is about a girl's aunt who become an ogichidaquay, a female warrior, by joining the military. But they both connect through dance and the story has a lot of heart. I have never been a big supporter of teaching people to fight but this story does have a beautiful way of connecting dance to hard moments in life.
This book is a family favorite because we get to talk about what we are grateful for. I also love that this book has a phonetic guide on how to pronounce the Cherokee language. This book goes through seasons and has a repetitive pattern that is always fun for young children.
We are Water Protectors! A great book about "an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption." I love how they describe the "black snake" coming in and how they come together to fight for their resources. Beautiful illustrations in this book too.
All of these books have made their way onto our bookshelves and every year it makes me happy to know that we have made the change from "pilgrims and indians" and instead focus on indigenous people and their languages and practices. We also celebrate Thanksgiving by spending time with our family, eating traditional Thanksgiving food, but focusing on what did happen all those years ago to the indigenous people and talk about what we can do as European descendants to support the tribes that are still left in America.
What can you do? How can we change this holiday to be for the indigenous people?
Inclusion Starts With You and I want to help.