American Indian Pathfinder
Grade 9
Madison Library District
 (Image Credit: www.rif.org)
Who were the American Indians? Are there still Indian tribes in the United States today?
 In order to understand the role American Indians played in the history of our country, we must first learn who they are, where they came from, and how they lived before Europeans entered their world and changed it forever.
This guide provides resources that help 9th grade students and teachers adhere to the following Idaho Content Standard for U.S History II (Grades 9-12):
Goal 1.3: Identify the role of American Indians in the development of the United States. (http://www.sde.idaho.gov/ContentStandards/ssstandards.asp) 
This pathfinder will introduce you to the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere before Columbus ever left Spain and Cortez ever hungered for gold. The following resources are included to aid in your research: Dewey Decimal call numbers, Sears Subject Headings, books, periodicals, databases, videos, and websites.
***Please Note: According to http://www.dictionary.com, American Indians are also referred to as Native Americans.  
       Dewey Decimal Call Numbers
           The following call numbers can be used at the Madison Library District:
  •  970 General History of North America
  •  J970 -General History of North America (Junior)                                                          
  •  J973-Genearl History of North American United States (Junior)                                   

       Sears Subject Headings 
  •  Indians of North America (subdivided topically):
                              -Social life and customs
                      -Civilization and culture
                      -Songs and music
     Alternative Search Terms
         The following search terms/keywords can be used in search engines such as Google and Yahoo:
  • American Indians
  • American Indian tribes
  • American Indian History
  • American Indians Today
  • Native American History
  • Trail of Tears
  • Native American Tribes
  • North American Indians
  • Native American Indians
  • History of American Indians

      Printed Materials     



      The following can be checked out from the Madison Library District:


      Hakim, J. (1999). A History of Us, Book One: The First Americans. (2nd ed). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

      Call #: J973 Hakim, Joy

      This book explores the 3 groups of people whose lives collided and eventually formed the American nation: Native Americans or Indians, early Europeans, and the Spanish. The author discusses the customs, lifestyles, and habits of various Native American tribes such as the Anasazi and Iroquois. There are excellent drawings and actual photos of American Indians. Written by a teacher, it is educational and entertaining. 


      Sonneborn, L. (1999). The New York Public Library: Amazing Native American history. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

      Call #: J970.004 SON

      The book is divided into sections where American Indians were once located: MesoAmerica, Northeast, Southeast, Plains, Southwest, California, Northwest, and the Subarctic. Each section then answers questions frequently asked about Indians such as, What was the Mayan calendar? or Did the Spanish kill all the Aztec? Readers are introduced to the customs and events that took place in the world of the first Americans. Also, the last chapter talks about Native Americans today and the challenges they face which helps the reader learn about current Native American issues.


      Aveni, A. (2005). The first Americans: The story of where they came from and who they became. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.

      Call #: 970.01 Aveni, A.

      Aveni helps readers explore a day in the life of many Native American tribes. Excerpts from primary historical documents such as Columbus’ journal and the first Thanksgiving proclamation are included as well as a North American map showing where the tribes were located. The final chapter discusses the techniques used in studying early Native Americans such radiocarbon dating. There are also excellent illustrations by S. D. Nelson.


            Philip, N. (Ed.) (2000). A Braid of lives: Native American childhood. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.

      Call #: J970.3

      Real testimonies and stories from Native Americans are woven together into a well-written narrative complete with photographs. Explores such topics as hunting, family life, and assimilating into white culture.


      Philip, N. (Ed.) (1997). In a sacred manner I live. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.

      Call #: J970 INA.

      A collection of wise thoughts spoken by various Native Americans such as Sitting Bull and Geronimo; includes such topics as Native Americans being forced westward.





      The following can be viewed at the Madison Library District:


      Markowitz, H. (Ed.). (1995). American Indians Encyclopedia. (Vols. 1-3). Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, Inc.

      Call #: R 970 AME v. 1

      This encyclopedia is organized into three volumes alphabetically with such entries as tribe names and individual Native American names. Edited by Harvey Markowitz, the encyclopedia is easy to navigate through and includes excellent illustrations, maps, and charts.


      Curtis, E. S. (2006). Visions of the First Americans. (D. Gulbrandsen, Ed.). London: Compendium Publishing.

      Call #: Oversize 970.004 Curtis, Edward.  

      A tribute to a photographer who spent more than 30 years photographing Native Americas at the turn of the 20th century, this book is an excellent look into the homes and lives of many Native American tribes. The book is divided up into sections and gives a historical framework for when the pictures were taken and how the tribes were living when Curtis encountered them.




      Journal Articles

      The Madison Library District does not have many journal articles, and what can be found is obtained through using the electronic databases. The following full-text articles are found searching for "Native Americans and history" in the Proquest Central Database (see below for database details) and address the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian:


      Kuckkahn, T. (2005). Celebrating the Indian way of life. American Indian Quarterly, 29(3/4), 505-510.

      The author attends the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. Native American heritage and culture is celebrated as Kuckkahn meets other Indians converging in the nation's capital to celebrate their history.


              Lujan, J. (2005). Museum of the Indian, not for the Indian. American Indian Quarterly, 29(3/4), 510-517.
              The author addresses his interpretion of the National Museum of the American Indian, believing it focuses more on Native      
              communities telling their own histories instead of third-party groups presenting their interpretations of Native American history.
              Cobb, A. (2005). The National Museum of the American Indian: Sharing the gift. American Indian Quarterly, 29(3/4), 361-384.
              The author gives an historical overview of the road Native Americans have traveled in order to finally receive a museum dedicated
              to their history. Despite hardship, the author claims Native Americans have held their heads high and triumphed against adversity.


      Electronic Databases

      The following databases can be accessed (after creating a login and password) through LiLI (Libraries Linking Idaho), an online service providing full-text articles from magazines, professional journals, newspapers, and reference books. LiLI can be accessed from the Madison Library District's homepage, or the following link- http://www.lili.org/portal/index.php


      Research Library

      Provides information and more than 2,700 full-text titles on topics such as multi-cultural and social science. This database is a useful source for information on Native Americans.

      Gale Virtual Reference Library

      Offers reference sources on various topics such as American decades and the Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. Reference material can be found about American Indians.

      Idaho Digital Resources

      Provides information on various Idaho topics. One with particular significance is the link to the Shoup papers, which illustrate the growing Indian-white relations in Idaho in 1877.




           Multimedia Resources
            The following DVD's can be checked out from the Madison Library District:                                                                   


      Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West

      Special Edition National Geographic, 2004

      Call #: DVD 917


      Recreates Lewis and Clark's expedition across the unchartered western United States. Viewers will learn about Sacagawea, the Indian guide who led Lewis and Clark, as well as other Indian tribes the duo encounter on their journey.



      Dawn of the Maya

      National Geographic, 2005

      Call #: DVD 972


      Scholars and archaeologists uncover the temples and cities of the ancient Maya, revealing a culture more sophisticated than many believe.


      Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

      PBS Home Video, 1997

      Call #: DVD 917


      Follows Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea in the first exploration of the West.





      Web Resources

      The following websites provide information on Native Americans:


              Southeast Idaho's Vacation  & Lodging Guide
                 Colonists and Native Americans 
              Offers historical documents such as the First Thanksgiving Proclamation, the history of Jamestowne, and other Native American

              Native American Indian Resources
              Provides links to various Native American topics such as stories, art, schools, and food. Many of the sites are authored by 
              Native Americans. Also lists over 300 websites pertaining to Native American culture.

             Native North America
             Contains pages on such Indian tribes as the Sioux, Navajo, and Inupiat, and other tribes from the United States and Canada.

             National Musuem of the American Indian
             The homepage for the Smithsonian museum dedicated to preserving the life, literature, history, arts, and languages of
             Native Americans. Provides information on the museum's exhibits as well as other Native American information.

             American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Digital Collection
             Contains a collection of over 2,300 photographs and 3,800 pages of text about Native Americans from the pacific northwest. Topics
             covered include work, education, clothing, and crafts.

              U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month
             Facts and statistics of American Indians; last updated November, 2008. Includes the following topics: population, income, house
             ownership, and language.





      The following website provides a comprehensive list of Native American organizations and urban Indian centers:




      The following link takes you to the homepage for NCAI: National Congress of American Indians. The webpage offers a list of national Indian organizations as well as federal/state recognized Indian tribes:




       Created by Sarah Haynie-An M.L.I.S student at Drexel University, INFO 684, Spring Quarter 2009