Suggested Reading and Viewing

Mission to North America (MNA) recommends the following books and articles for their insight into Native American history and culture. This recommendation does not imply agreement with or endorsement of the practices or beliefs of the authors.

Click here for a printable PDF of this list.


1491 New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
500 Nations by Alvin M. Josephy,Jr (Illustrated History of North American Indians)
American: The Life Story of a Great Indian by Frank B. Linderman (Written in 1930—Chief Plenty-coups of the Crow nation tells his story to Linderman)
Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux by Black Elk, John G. Neihardt
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce by Kent Nerburn
Chief Joseph by Bill Dugan
Children of the Indian Boarding Schools by Holly Littlefield (for children, very informative)
Converting the West—a Biography of Narcissa Whitmanby Julie Roy Jeffrey
Custer Died for Your Sins by Vine Deloria, Jr.
Dances With Wolvesby Michael Blake (fiction)
Dull Knives of Pine Ridge by Joe Starita
Education for Extinction (American Indians and the Boarding School Experience 1875-1928) by David Wallace Adams
Foreign to FamiliarA Guide to Understanding Hot and Cold Climate Culturesby Sarah A. Lanier
God is Red by Vine Deloria, Jr.
God’s Warrior by Alta Tanis
Grieving Indian by Arthur H. with George McPeek
If Only the Rod Had Been Round by Bridget Harris Volden, As told to Ruth Thielke
James Mooney’s History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee by James Mooney
Killing Custer by James Welch with Paul Stekler
Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog (adult reading)
Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (fiction)
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
Mourning Dove, A Salishan Autobigraphy edited by Jay Miller
Native Roots, How The Indians Enriched America Jack Weatherford
Native American, A History in Picturesby Arlene Hirschfelder (Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc)
Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn
On the Rez by Ian Frazer
One Church Many Tribes by Richard Twiss
Our Stories Remember by Joseph Bruchac
Out of Bondage: Finding the Path out of Indian Religion and Into the Kingdom of God, by Adolphus Kootenay
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
Rez Road Follies by Jim Northrup
The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie
The Education of Little Tree by Forest Carter (fiction)
The Wisdom of the Native Americansedited by Kent Nerburn
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Through Indian Eyes, the Untold Story of Native American Peoples Reader’s Digest Association, Inc
Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nationby John Ehle
What Every Church Member Should Know about Povertyby Bill Ehlig & Ruby K. Payne, Phd.
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
Whiteman’s Gospel by Craig Stephen Smith
Wolf At Twlight by Kent Nerburn


Education of Little Tree (excellent family movie)

Smoke Signals (for adult viewing—movie made by Native Americans about Native Americans.  Will give you insight into how the history of Native America affects the modern Indian’s struggles.)

Last of the Mohicans (There are many similarities in the traditional Cherokee culture and the Mohicans.  This film was made near Cherokee and many of the cast members were Cherokee.)

Into the West
 (Six hours, Produced by Stephen Spielberg)Excellent for families, some violence but made to be used in schools. Drama/documentary, historically accurate.

The Appalachians Excellent for families.  Insightful into Native American and mountain culture.

500 Nations Excellent!!!  Book also available—see above.

500 Nations is an eight-part documentary that explores the history of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times through the period of European contact and colonization, to the end of the 19th century and the subjugation of the Plains Indians of North America. 500 Nations utilizes historical texts, eyewitness accounts, pictorial sources and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations which flourished prior to contact with Western civilization, and to tell the dramatic and tragic story of the Native American nations’ desperate attempts to retain their way of life against overwhelming odds.”

We Shall Remain, America Through Native Eyes, PBS Home Video 5-part series, Excellent 


“Spirit—the Seventh Fire takes you on a journey of self-discovery through live concert, epic film and spectacular Native American dance.  Spirit travels with its own intimate, state-of-the-art climate-controlled theater equipped with comfortable seating, surround sound, and a unique panoramic projection system.  The live band, Native dancers in full regalia, and vista-screen movie interact in a way that bring the adventure of reconnection to our First Nations not just to life, but into your life. Spirit—the Seventh Fire is truly unique and immersive experience not to be missed.” Available now on DVD 


Tribes by State:

Department of the Interior List:

Alphabetical list of Tribes in Lower 48 and Alaska: