The month of November is celebrated as Native American Heritage Month across the United States. During this time we honor and celebrate the importance of the indigenous peoples of this continent who have lived on these lands since time immemorial and who continue to thrive across the country today. Some basic background information about the history of Native American Heritage Month can be found here.
Various archive repositories, both local and national, are honoring the beauty of Native American archive collections. National repositories in Washington, DC have a created a web portal devoted to collections, exhibits, as well as resources for teachers. At the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives we are honored to be the stewards of various Native American collections that represent the breadth and scope of the tribal communities across Oregon and the greater Northwest. We honor their history and beauty that resonates in the past, present, and future generations.
For a comprehensive list of our Native American collections, see our Tribal Legacies project. The database presents a first step in providing extended access to materials pertaining to Native American ethnography and history in the University of Oregon Libraries. The digital collection brings together information from UO Libraries’ documents, maps, photographs, and manuscript collections. We previously highlighted this database when we celebrated Native American Day in September; more information can be found here .
Knight Library is also pleased to host an exhibit honoring Jim Thorpe, November 12th through January 31st: “The Greatest Athlete in History! An Exhibit Honoring Jim Thorpe.” Before Ashton Eaton, Dan and Dave, and Bruce Jenner, there was Jim Thorpe. This exhibit honors the life, legacy and contemporary issues associated with this multi-talented Sac and Fox sports and cultural icon, locating him firmly within Sac and Fox and Native American historical contexts. The exhibit can be seen on the first floor of Knight Library directly in front of the Circulation Desk.
In addition, across the University of Oregon campus there are numerous events being held in honor of Native American Heritage Month. You can see a full list compiled by the Native American Student Union here. The majority of these events will take place at the Many Nations Longhouse on campus.
Please join the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives in the important celebration.
Jennifer R. O’Neal
Corrigan Solari University Historian and Archivist