Sunday, November 3, 2019

A New Way to Celebrate - New Book! - Native American Heritage Month

It is time for a new way to celebrate in honor of Native American Heritage Month and it would be appropriate to mention Native American artists from around the country and the world.

Often times, we as Natives are portrayed as something that is from the past especially during November, Native American heritage month. When in fact we are alive and thriving and there are many artists that are underrepresented or never mentioned in mainstream media.

In my recent research to find all of the children's books that were written and created by Native Americans, I found that there are very few lists that reflect this underrepresented population. I know there are more books!

It is imperative that we honor the artist of today, in the month of November, instead of highlighting the events of the past. We cannot change the past but we can focus on the future. There are many more artists that are not being supported and do not have the ability to promote their work beyond the mainstream media that focuses on only Native American artist by Native American artist.

I was surprised to see that each list that I found was very short.  I added my book to these lists but the lists were sporadic and underrepresented in media. I am aware that there are many Native American groups on social media where people can showcase their work, but it needs to go beyond those small focused groups and books and art must be supported by the schools, daycares and any other outlets that would showcase the Native American artist of today.

We are aware and it is obvious that we are very underrepresented in movies, commercials and television and especially as a subject of books, however, there are many artists that should be acknowledged and encouraged to publish their stories.

There are many of us that have the talent to tell stories however, there is no one to push us to publish these stories. I have decided to publish this book for my children and grandchildren so they could have this story from me in their hearts and to be able to pass this down like any other books that they love.

I have found a little over 40 books that were written by Native American authors and I am extremely excited that I can join such a small group of talented authors, but I know that there are many more. It took a lot of courage for me to put my story in print, but I did it. It takes a lot of courage for humble people to publish their stories, but it is important that we encourage each other to tell our story and give each other access to be able to be published.

I wrote “Tale of the Turkeys’ Detailed Tale” and this is just the beginning. Like all others, I have many stories in my heart that I would like to publish so that I can share them all with my children and my grandchildren and for future generations, as a part of my legacy. 

Please support Native American artists whether it be purchasing paintings and prints, books, or art, especially during the honorable Native American Heritage Month. It is an honor to be able to share my book and my talents with the world. If we do not share it with you, then you will not remember us.

Please encourage the schools and teachers to focus on the books and stories written by Native American Authors of today and steer away from the stories that were told about us as if we no longer exist today.  

It is time for a new way to celebrate Native American Heritage Month! We are still here!

Thank you and God bless.

Tyrese Gould Jacinto

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