Throughout November, Native American Heritage Month commemorates the historical contributions that Native Americans have made in the United States, and helps raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people face. LA County Library is celebrating Native American Heritage Month with a variety of special events and activities at several community library locations throughout LA County, to recognize Native American traditions and culture. Events include art workshops, storytelling, book readings, film viewings, dance performances and more.

LA County Library Director Skye Patrick says that opportunities to spotlight and share information about Native American heritage gives library customers a chance to learn about a culture they may not be familiar with.

“Libraries are a trusted source of information; we have the potential to educate, spark dialogue, and generate interest and support for Native Americans and Native American issues,” said Patrick. “Celebrating Native American Heritage Month supports the Library’s inclusivity of all cultures, while offering an opportunity to show our appreciation and respect to Native people.”

Some scheduled Native American Heritage Month library events include a documentary, Incident at Oglala, at West Hollywood Library; a storytelling program, When Animals Were People, at Malibu Library; and a music appreciation event, Ancient Homeland, at Sunkist Library.

In addition to special programs and events, LA County Library also helps preserve Native American culture with its American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at its Huntington Park Library location.

“Because Los Angeles County has one of the largest Native American populations– more than 100,000 according to the 2010 Census– the AIRC was established to meet the needs of Native Americans in Los Angeles County, and to make information available to the larger community,” said Patrick.

The AIRC houses unique archives including books, journals, periodicals, multimedia and other formats. It is the largest public library collection of its kind in the U.S.

For a complete list of Native American Heritage Month events and more information on the American Indian Resource Center, please visit colapublib.org/native.