Native American stories are as varied as the trees on the Earth and yet have many common themes, whether told by the Inuit of Alaska or the Seminole of Florida. Traditional Native stories are based on honoring all life, especially the plants and animals we depend on, as well as our human ancestors.
Most stories talk about the living beings within a specific tribe’s homeland—the raven of the Pacific Northwest, the coyote from the desert, the buffalo of the Plains, the beaver of the Eastern woodlands. Stories explain why and how certain local plants and animals came to be, such as Narragansett storyteller Tchin’s lesson of why rabbits have such long ears. Other stories explain ceremony and ritual, such as Hoskie Benally’s story “The Five Sacred Medicines”.

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From an award-winning Native American storyteller comes this captivating re-telling of a Cherokee legend, which explains how strawberries came to be. Long ago, the first man and woman quarrelled. The woman left in anger, but the Sun sent tempting berries to Earth to slow the wife's retreat.

This tale conveys to readers how a morning glide through still lake waters in a canoe, amid haze and reeds, can be more valuable than actually reaching any destination. An Ojibway boy and his Mishomis, or grandfather, rise early; after a canoe ride across the lake, they climb a rocky ledge—the grandfather’s favorite place to be at noon. At night they walk through the dark forest. The animals they encounter—loon, eagle, timberwolves—are not hunted, but observed and respected. Their presence makes the day significant and draws the boy and his elder together in a shared experience.

A Boy Called Slow is the true childhood story of the famous Native American warrior Sitting Bull, and his struggle to earn a name that showed his courage and bravery. As the story begins, we are transported to the winter of 1831 among the HunkPapa band of the Lakota Sioux tribe.

In this beloved Eskimo legend, an idle sleepyhead becomes the champion who saves his people from famine and disaster.

Retells the legend of Clamshell Boy, who rescues a captured group of children from the dreaded wild woman Ishcus. Includes information on the customs and lifestyle of the Makah Indians.

The Legend of Minnesota tells the story of an enduring friendship between an Ojibwe girl and a Dakotah boy, and how their kindness toward one another gives the beautiful land of Minnesota its name.

The story focuses on a young Native American girl who has a deep affinity for wild horses. She cares for the horses that her tribe relies on for the nomadic hunting of buffalo. One day, the herd stampedes due to a thunderstorm, while the girl is among them.

This fascinating picture book biography tells the childhood story of Buffalo Bird Woman, a Hidatsa Indian born around 1839. Through her true story, readers will learn what it was like to be part of this Native American community that lived along the Missouri River in the Dakotas, a society that depended more on agriculture for food and survival than on hunting. Children will relate to Buffalo Bird Girl’s routine of chores and playing with friends, and they will also be captivated by her lifestyle and the dangers that came with it.

A poor boy becomes a powerful leader when Mother Earth turns his mud pony into a real one, but after the pony turns back to mud, he must find his own strength.

In the world of Inuit traditional stories, animals and humans are not such different creatures. Animals can speak to, understand, and form relationships with humans. In The Orphan and the Polar Bear an orphaned boy who is abandoned on the sea ice by a group of cruel hunters is discovered and adopted by a polar bear elder. While living in the polar bear’s village, the orphan learns many lessons about survival, but most importantly, he learns something about himself and his own place in the world.
Jingle Dancer

Tink, tink, tink, tink, sang cone-shaped jingles sewn to Grandma Wolfe's dress.

Jenna's heart beats to the brum, brum, brum, brum of the powwow drum as she daydreams about the clinking song of her grandma's jingle dancing.

Jenna loves the tradition of jingle dancing that has been shared by generations of women in her family, and she hopes to dance at the next powwow. But she has a problem—how will her dress sing if it has no jingles?

Two abandoned children occupy themselves by making a sunflower hummingbird which comes to life and brings them food and water and reunites them with their family.

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