Tribal Nations Maps Product Review and Native American Women for Women's History Month

For Women's History Month we took some books out of the library on various women. One group we have been reading about are some of the strong Native American women. After reading some of these books, we pulled out our Tribal Nations Maps that we won in November and looked at what the Natives called themselves where these women came from. Hazel LOVES looking at these maps!!

I think her favorite part is looking at the pictures and she really likes the ones of the different homes in the different areas. In the picture above she is pointing to the tipi. These maps are full of such interesting names, pictures and ways of life. They open the door to learn more about the various native cultures.  We have the United States maps and the Canadian map. We are going to donate the maps to the second grade at Hazel's school since they do a unit each fall on Native Americans. 

Aaron Carapella makes these beautiful maps and has them for Native America, Canada, Alaska and Mexico. He is also working on one of Central and South America. On these maps he uses the names that the natives called themselves whenever he can. These names are not the names we may have heard. Often the tribe names white people hear are the derogatory names given to the tribe by white settlers or other tribes. Aaron has done research to really find the names used by the original groups. He adds photographs of people and homes and activities so the viewer of the maps get a bigger picture. It takes time to really enjoy and view these maps. There are so many details on them. The quality of the maps is wonderful. They are thick paper and good quality. To me these are a must for any classroom or homeschool. 
Wilma Mankiller By Philkon Phil Konstantin (Own work) 
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
To go with these beautiful maps we looked at some picture books about some Native American women. We started with Wilma Mankiller.

 Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to be the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She served the Cherokee Nation for twelve years as an elected official. The first two years she was the Deputy Chief and the last ten she was the Principal Chief. As a young child she grew up in the Cherokee community and learned the ways of the Cherokee. Her family however moved to San Francisco and had a bit of culture shock. She married and had two children, but had difficulties being the wife her husband wanted. She went to college to become a social worker. She wanted to help her people better themselves. She and her husband divorced and she moved back to Oklahoma. There she found herself working for the Cherokee Nation and doing her best to show her people that they could work together to better themselves. Eventually she was talked into running for office and won. She was a strong leader and always continued to try to help the Cherokee people better their lives. (Source beside book: Wilma Pearl Mankiller)
Betty Mae Tiger Jumper
Betty Mae Tiger Jumper By State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory 
( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Our next book was on Betty Mae Jumper. Betty Mae Jumper was the first woman Seminole Tribal Leader.

Betty Mae Jumper was the first in her tribe to read English and the first female tribal leader of a national recognized tribe. She was born on April 27, 1923 to her mother Ada Tiger, a full-blooded Seminole and a member of the Snake Clan. Her father was a white Frenchmen. Seminole women are sent away at least a quarter of a mile from the camp when they are about to give birth. Usually other women accompany the pregnant woman to help with the delivery and afterwards. Betty Mae was delivered by her grandmother, Mary Tiger. In the 1920's the Seminoles still killed half breeds. They would put mud in the baby's mouth or throw them in the water. Her family was also among the early converts to Christianity which was just being introduced to the Seminole people. When the villagers came to kill Betty Mae her Uncle Jimmy and grandfather scared them off with their shotguns. Her mother packed up the family before Betty Mae was five to keep her daughter alive. In 1967 she would become the leader of the tribe that wanted to kill her as a child. She was the first Seminole to read and write English, graduate high school and she became a nurse and brought white man's medicine to her people. Now she is the mother of three children, grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of three.  She reminds the Seminole children to remember their heritage as she sees their language and culture slowly slipping away. (Source: Betty Mae Jumper: A Seminole Legend)

Next we read about Pocahontas. Now we have learned about Pocahontas previously as well as watched the Disney story. I liked that this book was a picture book that Hazel could easily follow and enjoy. It also stuck to the true history unlike Disney's version. 

Then we read about Sacagawea, an American hero. The United States has honored Sacagawea in so many ways including having her face on a coin. I wonder what Native Americans think about her though. She really helped the Americans learn about the Western part of the state while she traveled and eased things for Lewis and Clark. 

There are many other books on both Pocahontas and Sacagawea. These happened to be the books we first saw at our library. There are also other picture books to learn about even more Native American women.

  • Susan LaFlesche Picotte -- Omaha Doctor and Reformer
  • Helen Cordero -- Cochiti Pueblo Potter
  • Zitkala-S̈a -- Sioux Writer, Editor, Musician, Teacher and Political Activist
  • Susette La Flesche -- Omaha Writer, Lecturer, Interpreter and Artist
  • Sarah Winnemucca -- Paiute activist and educator
  • Native American Heroines: Sacagawea and Princess Scargo (legend)
  • Princess Scargo (Native American Legend from Massachusetts) 
  • Maria Tallchief -- Osage Nation and Scottish-Irish Descent First Native American Prima Ballerina 
Some other Native American women to check out, but I could not find children's books on:
  • Molly Mathilde (Marie Mathilde), ca. 1665-1717 
  • Molly Ockett (Marie Agathe), ca. 1740-1816
  • Molly Molasses (Mary Pelagie), ca. 175-1867
  • Molly Dellis (Mary Alice Nelson Archambaud), 1903-1977 
  • Penobscot Princess Goldenrod Dorothy Ranco Beatty (1903-1987)
  • Molly Spotted Elk (1903-?)
  • Winona LaDuke (1959 - )
  • And check out the list on Wikipedia
Finally although she is probably not officially a Native American, she is a Native Hawaiian. We really enjoyed reading about Princess Ka`iulani.
She fought to keep her kingdom of Hawaii as a sovereign nation and not let the haoles (white men/foreigners) take over. She was next in line to be queen when the United States annexed Hawaii.