For Kids

Native Americans

11/01/2018 | U.S. History

Edward S. Curtis Chronicles Native NtionsEdward S. Curtis was an American photographer born in 1868. His specialty was taking pictures of the American West and Native Americans. He had a vision to document as much Native American tradition and culture as he could before their way of life disappeared.

In Native Nations you will learn about Curtis's life, but also learn about how he became interested in documenting the lives of the people he saw and why he felt it was so important to capture these images. Thank goodness he did! The book includes many of his photographs. These are not re-enactments. These are not models or actors dressed in traditional clothes. These are photographs taken of real people in the actual time period. The images Cradle-Boardcapture what a person would have seen at the time with his or her own eyes. Curtis was a photo-journalist long before anyone thought to use that term. Listed below are more websites and books to help you learn about Native Americans.

To give you a start looking at what their life was like, you can look at some historical artifacts like this cradleboard which is part of the collection of Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Cradleboard - "Native American mothers, aunts, and grandmothers demonstrated their love and hope for infants by creating elaborately decorated cradle covers or cradleboards. They used beads, pain, wood, or tacks to make special carriers for their infants. Mothers carried their babies in the cradleboards, like this one, or strapped it to the side of a horse. It was easy to prop the cradleboard with the infant near a tree or dwelling while the mother performed daily chores. Many elders believed cradleboards "socialized" infants when worn because it brought the child to the eye level of the adults." More Native American Artifacts at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Websites, Activities & Printables:

US History in Context Logo

U.S. History in Context: Native Americans is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. It will show you biographies, magazines, videos and more about Native Americans.

Novelist K-8 Logo

NoveList K-8: Stories about Native Americansis a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read about Native Americans. Click on “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.


Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or text a librarian at 317 333-6877.

U-X-L Encyclopedia of Native American TribesNative Americans a Visual ExplorationHands on History Native AmericansBuckskin Dresses and Pumpkin BreechesLooks Like Daylight Voices of Indigenous KidsBones on the GroundChildren of the TipiBefore ColumbusExploring the Life, Myth and Art of Native AmericansDo All Indians Live in TipisTurtle IslandNative American HeroesSequoyahHiawatha and the PeacemakerRed CloudTecumsehUndefeated Jim ThorpePaiute PrincessChester Nez and the Unbreakable CodeSitting BullThe Rough Face GirlThe Legend of the Indian PaintbrushThe Legend of the BluebonnetBuffalo Bird GirlCrossing Bok ChittoHow Raven Got His Crooked NoseTricksterThe Birchbark HouseMakoonsGhost HawkIn the Footsteps of Crazy HorseFatty LegsHow I Became a GhostThe Spirit Trackers

Indiana Books & WebsitesFocus on Indiana:

The Miami, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Mascoutens, Delaware (Lenape), Shawnee were some of the Native Americans that lived in Indiana before settlers came here. One of the most well-known Native Americans from Indiana is the Miami Chief, Little Turtle. The websites and books below will help you learn more about Native Americans who lived in Indiana.

The MiamisSalt

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