This November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, a time for us to honor the history, culture, and traditions of Native Americans past and present.

On September 28, 1915, President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation that resulted in the first Native American heritage celebration in the United States; he declared the second Saturday of each May as American Indian Day. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Similar proclamations, with different names, have been issued every year since 1994. In 2016, President Barack Obama attended the eighth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, where he proclaimed November 2016 as National Native American Heritage Month and announced November 25, 2016, as Native American Heritage Day.

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, check out this selection of poems, essays, books, and more by and about Native American poets.

Contemporary Poems for Native American Heritage Month

Housing Conditions of One Hundred Fifty Chippewa Families” by Kimberly Blaeser
White Earth Reservation, 1938 …

America, I Sing Back” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
America, I sing back. Sing back what sung you in …

Nationhood” by Laura Da’
I am a citizen of two nations: Shawnee and American …

They Don't Love You Like I Love You” by Natalie Diaz
My mother said this to me...

Peace Path” by Heid E. Erdrich
This path our people walked …

Relic” by Jennifer Foerster
An atlas …

All the Tired Horses in the Sun” by Joy Harjo
Forever. …

Star Quilt” by Roberta J. Hill
These are notes to lightning in my bedroom …

Song for the Turtles in the Gulf” by Linda Hogan
We had been together so very long …

Compass” by Joan Naviyuk Kane
I let him do what he will to me—

The Reservation” by Adrian C. Louis
How do you …

Babejianjisemigad/Gradual Transformation” by Margaret Noodin
Chigaming gii jiisibidoon mikwambikwadinaa …

For-The-Spirits-Who-Have-Rounded-The-Bend IIVAQSAAT” by dg nanouk okpik
The seal talked to me with sharp eyes in my dream …

Acrobat” by Elise Paschen
The night you were conceived …

Whose Mouth Do I Speak With” by Suzanne Rancourt
I can remember my father bringing home spruce gum …

Kangi in My Attic” by Lois Red Elk
All night during this last decay of autumn moon …

Can You Feel the Native American in Me” by M. L. Smoker
We pull into dirt driveway in Lara’s blue Celica …

Burn” by Mark Turcotte
Back when I used to be Indian …

The Exile” by Michael Wasson
For now I can …

To See as Far as the Grandfather World” by Ray Young Bear
The photograph. On this particular March day …

Carrying Our Words” by Ofelia Zepeda
We travel carrying our words …

Classic Poems for Native American Heritage Month

To the American People” by Richard Calmit Adams
With your kind permission, your attention I will claim...

Songs of the Spavinaw” by Ruth Muskrat Bronson
I am the river of Spavinaw...

Morning on Shinnecock” by Olivia Ward Bush-Banks
The rising sun had crowned the hills …

A Tribute to the Future of My Race” by Laura Cornelius Kellogg
Not a song of golden “Greek” …

Ode to Sequoyah” by Alexander Posey
The names of Waitie and Boudinot—

Mount Shasta” by John Rollin Ridge
Behold the dread Mt. Shasta, where it stands …

Invocation” by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft
Rise bravest chief! of the mark of the noble deer …

What an Indian Thought When He Saw the Comet” by Tso-le-oh-woh
Flaming wonderer! that dost leave vaunting, proud...

A Song of a Navajo Weaver” by Bertrand N. O. Walker
For ages long, my people have been...

Read more poems for Native American Heritage Month.