Native Americans in History

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

The middle-grade volume Native Americans in History by Jimmy Beason (Rockridge Press, 2021) shares the powerful stories of Native American leaders, artists, activists and athletes from history and today. The ninety-page volume is easily readable and nicely formatted for either reference or a straight readthrough. The fifteen people discussed receive about 5 pages of text each, with a beginning illustration and a question to ponder and a way to “find out more” at the end of each chapter. The end matter provides a thorough glossary and additional resources section.

I loved how this volume provides such a variety of Native Americans throughout history to inspire and instruct. So much of the time in our homeschool lessons, Native Americans are regulated to the “Thanksgiving” lessons. This volume shows the influence, resistance, and determination of the brave indigenous individuals who stood up to violence or discrimination in order to accomplish great things.

Many of those featured in this volume were not very familiar to me, and for those that were, I learned a lot. They include the following:

  • Sequoyah
  • Tecumseh
  • Sitting Bull
  • Geronimo
  • Zitkala-Sa
  • Jim Thorpe
  • Maria Tallchief
  • Susan LaFlesche
  • Bertha Parker Cody
  • Vine Deloria Jr.
  • Russell Charles Means
  • Wilma Pearl Mankiller
  • Suzan Shown Harjo
  • John Bennett Herrington
  • Debra Anne Haaland

Learning about the atrocities and discrimination of the past against any group of people is never comfortable, but it should be essential. I’m grateful for the increasing awareness of people from marginalized groups, and Native Americans in History is an important book for showing an indigenous perspective on the past and present.

Reviewed on January 30, 2023

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}