Hau and Boozhoo! Throughout the month of November, we’re celebrating Native American Heritage Month by inviting our members to discover the rich cultures, traditions, and histories of the Indigenous communities in Minnesota and beyond. Girl Scouts of all levels can earn the Native American Heritage Month Celebration Fun Patch by participating in fun, engaging activities that honor the cultures and contributions of Native Americans.
Keep reading for resources to help your Girl Scout explore Native American history, art, stories, and more!
What is Native American Heritage Month?
Native American Heritage Month, which takes place each November in the U.S., is a celebration of the many important achievements and contributions of Native Americans. It is a time to amplify Native voices, raise awareness about the issues facing their communities, and recognize their unique experiences. Join us in celebrating our Native American members, volunteers, Girl Scouts, and partners!
How do I earn the fun patch?
The Girl Scout Native American Heritage Celebration Fun Patch is designed for Girl Scouts of all levels and their leaders to honor the rich and diverse cultures of Indigenous people across America. Girls and leaders have a variety of activities to choose from to earn this fun patch, and we encourage girls of all identities to participate. Download the NAH Month Activity Sheet in English and Spanish to learn more.
Resources to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
Here are some great ways to celebrate Native American Heritage Month with your Girl Scout or troop.Museums, Cultural Centers, and Exhibits
“In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now” Exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art: A sweeping exhibition that traces the intersecting histories of photography and diverse Indigenous cultures from the Rio Grande to the Arctic Circle. Presenting over 150 photographs of, by, and for Indigenous people, “In Our Hands” welcomes all to see through the lens held by Native photographers. On view now through January 14, 2024.
“Our Home: Native Minnesota” Exhibit at the Minnesota History Center: Native Americans—Dakota, Ojibwe, as well as people from other tribal nations—have dwelled in Minnesota for thousands of years and still live here today. This exhibit shares their stories, enduring presence, and deep connection to the land. On view now.
Dakota Sacred Hoop Walk at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Twin Cities digital artist Marlena Myles, a member of the Spirit Lake Dakota tribe, presents an augmented reality art exhibition that educates and connects visitors to Dakota history, culture and significance of the land through art and storytelling. Visitors use their cell phones to view digital images and audio. On view now.
“Aabijijiwan / Ukeyat yanalleh” Exhibit at All My Relations Arts: This collaborative exhibition from multimedia artists Karen Goulet (Ojibwe) and Monique Verdin (Houma) is a loving tribute to Misi-ziibi (Mississippi River), which both women call home. On view now through January 13, 2024.
“Mdewakanton: Dwellers of the Spirit Lake” Exhibit at Hoċokata Ti Cultural Center: This exhibit provides visitors with a cultural experience that enhances their knowledge and understanding of the Mdewakanton Dakota people and their history. On view now.
Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post: Explore the story of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe through museum exhibits, objects, demonstrations, and tours, and shop for locally made Native American arts and crafts in the restored 1930s trading post.
Coldwater Spring/Mni Owe Sni: Between Minnehaha Park and Fort Snelling lies Coldwater Spring, an area that was once played a significant role for Native Americans traveling and conducting commerce along the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. Visitors to the park can walk the crushed limestone trail, admire the diverse wildlife, and reflect on the rich history of the area. Open year-round.
Indian Mounds Regional Park: The landscape of this St. Paul park has been a sacred site and place of burial for over a thousand years. The place has deep significance to the Upper Sioux Community, Lower Sioux Community, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and other descendants of those who are buried here. It is a place of reverence, remembrance, respect, and prayer. Open year-round.
Wokiksuye K’a Woyuonihan: Located at Fort Snelling State Park across from the Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center, this memorial honors the 1,600 Dakota people, many women and children, who were held here in concentration camps following the 1862 U.S.-Dakota Conflict. More than 130 Dakota people died while held in captivity that winter. When you visit, please be respectful of this sacred place. Open year-round.
Pipestone National Monument: For centuries, Native Americans have traveled to the pipestone quarries of this Southern Minnesota monument to obtain red pipestone, used in the making of sacred pipes for prayer and ceremony. Pipestone is also a great spot for activities like birdwatching, photography, and hiking! Open year-round.
Reconciliation Park: This Mankato park sits near the infamous site of the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakota warriors. The park features a large buffalo monument made from local Kasota limestone that symbolizes the heritage and survival of the Dakota people. With a theme of “Forgive Everyone Everything,” the park was dedicated in 1997 to promote healing between Dakota and non-Dakota peoples. Open year-round.
Franklin Avenue East, aka the Native American Cultural Corridor: This Minneapolis street is a hub for Native American art, cuisine, and culture. View murals and other artwork created by local Native artists and visit Native-owned businesses such as Gatherings Café and Pow Wow Grounds Coffee.
Owamni: Decolonizing your dining experience, this Minneapolis restaurant uses ingredients from Indigenous food producers and have removed colonial ingredients from their menu, including wheat flour, cane sugar and dairy. Owamni welcomes you to experience the true flavors of North America.
Birchbark Books: Good books, Native arts, jewelry, and community events. Owned by local author Louise Erdrich, Birchbark Books is operated by a spirited collection of people who believe in the power of good writing, the beauty of handmade art, the strength of Native cultures, and the importance of small and intimate bookstores.
“For the People” Play at the Guthrie Theater: The first Native-created play to run at the Guthrie, “For the People” is a family-friendly comedy set in the Minneapolis Native community on Franklin Avenue. Created in partnership with the local Indigenous community, this play examines the myriad facets of contemporary Native life with humor and joy. Runs through November 12, 2023.
Bowwow Powwow: A playful picture book about a young Native girl who experiences the wonder of storytelling and the powwow. The story is accompanied by a companion retelling in Ojibwe and brought to life by vibrant illustrations. For ages three to seven.
We Are Water Protectors: Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, this bold and lyrical picture book issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption. For ages three to seven.
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids: A collection of intersecting short stories and poems set at a powwow that bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. For ages eight and up.
Surviving the City: A haunting graphic novel about womanhood, friendship, colonialism, and the anguish of a missing loved one. For ages twelve and up.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Drawing on her life as an Indigenous scientist, and as a woman, author Robin Wall Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. Nonfiction.
TV, MOVIES, DOCUMENTARIES
The Past Is Alive Within Us: The U.S.- Dakota Conflict: This documentary examines one of the most difficult chapters of Minnesota’s history: the state’s involvement in the U.S.-Dakota War as the Civil War was simultaneously raging. It looks at the subject through the lens of public memory. Rated TV-PG.
Keep Talking (2017 Film): A documentary about four Alaska Native women fighting to save Kodiak Alutiiq, an endangered language now spoken by less than forty remaining fluent Native Elders. Instead of getting swept up in the wake of historical trauma, these women overcome personal demons and build toward a brighter future.
Wildhood (2021 Film): In this coming-of-age drama, a rebellious two-spirit teenager runs away from home to find his birth mother and reclaim his Mi’kmaw heritage. Rated PG-13, contains mature themes.
Molly of Denali (TV Series): This animated PBS Kids series follows the adventures of 10-year-old Molly Mabray, a curious and resourceful Alaska Native girl whose family runs the Denali Trading Post, a store and community hub in a rural Alaskan village. It is the first nationally distributed children’s program to feature Native American and Alaska Native lead characters.
Wapos Bay (TV Series): A lighthearted stop-motion animated series about growing up in a remote Cree community in Northern Saskatchewan. Available for free on YouTube.
Reservation Dogs (TV Series): This FX comedy drama follows the exploits of four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma who go to extraordinary lengths in order to get to the exotic, mysterious and faraway land of California. Rated TV-14, contains mature themes.
Young and Indigenous: This family-friendly podcast explores Indigenous culture, tradition, music, language, and other topics from the perspective of the tribal youth of the Lummi Nation, who created and host the podcast.
Gone Native: A series of comedic digital shorts that shines a satirical light on some of the weird, ignorant microaggressions that many Native Americans experience. Their top videos include Spirit Animals and Other Appropriative Terms and Native Themed Sports Mascots.
How to Be an Ally to Indigenous Peoples: CBC Kids News contributor Isabel DeRoy-Olson explores what it means to be an ally. In this video, she speaks to two experts, Larissa Crawford and Cindy Blackstock, to ask them what an ally means, what allies do, and how we can all be better allies to Indigenous people.
Native Land: Using this app created by an Indigenous-led nonprofit, you can access a searchable map of former and current Native territories around the globe. Start by typing in your own address to discover which Indigenous groups once lived in your area. Available on web and mobile (for iOS and Android).