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November is National Native American Heritage Month

November is National Navtive American Heritage Month. When I received this information by messenger from my publicist Peggy Washburn, I was inundated with a ton of memories. In 1972 I was hired by the Blackfoot School District to work as a Team Leader in a Federal Program initiated by Idaho State University. Our lab site was to be The Fort Hall Elementary School, which was located on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. I was the team leader of 5 interns completing their college on site The job of interns was to teach in the classroom and be involved in the Indian Community.

I grew to love and gained an understanding and respect for the Indian families and their children. One of my most vivid memories was our involvement in the world renown Shoshone-Bannock Festival Pow Wow. It was a celebration of the Indian Culture with their beautiful dancing in their native costumes. There was plenty of delicious food to eat, including their famous fry bread, which was my very favorite! We actively participated in, watching the parade, enjoying the games and rooting for the cowboys participating in the big rodeo.

The years passed and I became an Elementary Principal. Every Fall the Fort Hall Indian Dancers and Drummers performed for each of our elementary schools. The sound of the drumming echoing throughout the gym was phenomenal. Then the whole school participate with them in their dancing. This was truly a learning experience of the history of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe.

Another memory that comes to mind was how excited I was when it was announced that Randy’l Teton, a former student of Blackfoot School District, and a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe had been chosen to be the model for the girl on the Sacagawea Golden Dollar. According to Randy’l, the process took a long time from the time the pictures were taken and the Sacagawea Golden Dollar coin was minted. It was approximately a year or more. The dollar was minted from 2000 to 2008. This coin is unique in many ways. It is the only United States coin that has a likeness of a living person as well as an infant on it.

You can imagine my surprise when I visited the Idaho Historical Museum here in Boise to see the Trail Blazing Women of Idaho Exhibit. There in that exhibit was a picture and information about Randy’l Hedrou Teton.

After seeing her picture and info in the exhibit I became interested and did some research and found a video entitled Newsmakers: The fascinating story of how Randy'L Teton ended up on the dollar gold coin. It was so interesting with additional information about Randy’l. This exhibit is still at the museum until March 13, 2022.

Since November is designated Native American Heritage Month, let me talk about Kenneth Thomasma. He was an authors who came and presented to one of the elementary schools in Blackfoot. His books are very true to the Indian history and very enjoyable to read. They are good books to read aloud to your children or encourage them to read silently.

One of his most famous books is, “NAYA NUKI Girl Who Ran Away”. This book is a story about a young girl, who was captured by a rival Indian tribe. The only thing on her mind was to escape and get back to her Shoshoni tribe. As they traveled she watched for land marks, waited and stock piled items she might need when she ran away. When the opportunity arrived she and her friend Sacagawea ran. This story is about her making the journey to return to her people.

The Amazing Indian Children book series by Kenneth Thomasma includes books

Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran(Amazing Indian Children Series)

(Part of the Amazing Indian Children Series)

by Kenneth Thomasma

After being taken prisoner by an enemy tribe, a Shoshoni girl escapes and makes a thousand-mile journey through the wilderness to find her own people.

Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog (Amazing Indian Children Series)

(Part of the Amazing Indian Children Series)

by Kenneth Thomasma

Three hundred years ago the Blackfeet tribe wandered the northern plains in search of the buffalo they needed for meat and hides. The braves hunted on foot, which made stalking and killing the large animals very dangerous. The women and children followed, using backpacks and dogs to carry their belongings. Young Om-kas-toe longs for the day when he can take his place as a brave. He doesn't have to wait long for adventure, however. While serving as lookouts he and his twin sister discover a strange animal that has never before been seen by the Blackfeet tribe. The animal is a horse; the tribe calls it an elkdog. Life in the tribe is never the same after the first elkdog is discovered and captured. For many years the story of the twins and the first elkdog is told around Blackfeet fires.

Doe Sia: Bannock Girl and the Handcart Pioneers

This description may be from another edition of this product. Doe Sia, a ten-year-old Bannock girl, became known for her bravery when she and her heroic pet, Otterdog, saved a little boy from drowning. On the other side of the world in Denmark, Emma has also earned a reputation for courage by rescuing an elderly man from a burning barn. When Emma immigrates to America and joins the "Handcart Pioneers" she and Doe Sia meet and form an immediate bond. This bond is tested during a fierce mountain blizzard, in which Emma is sure she will die. But Doe Sia knows how to build a shelter from branches, get meat from a dead buffalo, and, most important, find her way back to her people. Together the girls face one of nature's greatest threats. Together the girls face one of nature's greatest threats. Together they must struggle to survive.

Another great book is The Truth About Sacajawea (Lewis & Clark Expedition)

by Kenneth Thomasma (Author), Agnes Vincen Talbot (Illustrator)

Other Interesting Books:

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story Hardcover – Picture Book, October 22, 2019

by Kevin Noble Maillard (Author), Juana Martinez-Neal (Illustrator)

Remember how I said that Fry Bread was my favorite part of the PowWow. This book actually has the recipe in it.

Sacagawea (Carter G Woodson Award Book)

by Liselotte Erdrich (Author), Julie Buffalohead (Illustrator)

We Are Water Protectors, March 17, 2020

by Carole Lindstrom (Author), Michaela Goade (Illustrator)

National Geographic Kids Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture: Stories, Timelines, Maps, and More

by Cynthia O'Brien

More than 160 tribes are featured in this outstanding new encyclopedia, which presents a comprehensive overview of the history of North America's Native peoples. From the Apache to the Zuni, readers will learn about each tribe's history, traditions, and culture, including the impact of European expansion across the land and how tribes live today. Features include maps of ancestral lands; timelines of important dates and events; fact boxes for each tribe; bios of influential American Indians such as Sitting Bull; sidebars on daily life, homes, food, clothing, jewelry, and games; Did You Know facts with photographs; and traditional Native stories. The design is compelling and colorful, packed with full-color photographs.

To help give kids the lay of the land, this reference is arranged by region, and all federally recognized tribes are included. With nothing comparable available, it is sure to be a valuable resource for kids, students, librarians, and families.

The Very First Americans (Grosset & Dunlap All Aboard Book)

by Cara Ashrose (Author), Bryna Waldman (Illustrator)North American Indians

North American Indians

by Douglas Gorsline (Author)

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story Hardcover – Picture Book, October 22, 2019

By Kevin Noble Maillard

Atlas of Indian Nations

by Anton Treuer (Author)

Notes about me:

Jylene Morgan is a retired educator. She is passionate about the importance of reading aloud to children from top quality children’s books. Writing about her life experiences she captivates her audience by telling the tales of her family’s adventures. The first several books are written about funny exchanges that occur when human and wild animal’s lives come together.

To read more about me, my passion for reading aloud to children and my books go to Make sure you join our mailing list so you receive Jylene's "Most Treasured Books List". Books by Jylene Morgan are available fully distributed, check out your local book store, Amazon, or


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