The Santa Clarita Public Library has partnered with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (FTBMI) on a very exciting new project! We received funding from the American Indian Library Association through their Talk Story Grant to purchase books that will provide awareness and representation of Indigenous cultures and tribes in North and South America. We are calling the project Yawáyro, which means awareness and belief.
We used the money from the grant to purchase picture books and non-fiction titles appropriate for children aged birth through elementary school. These books will be sorted into kits of four themes: identity, representation, family, and history. Discussion questions and background info on the people groups represented in the books will be included in each kit. The kits will circulate at each of the three Santa Clarita branches as well as the two Tataviam Tribal offices in San Fernando and the Antelope Valley.
It is so important that children be able to see themselves represented in literature and other media. It is also critical that the non-indigenous public be exposed to accurate historical and current information about the people on whose land we live. We are excited that these kits might provide many opportunities for learning, discussion, and awareness for families in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding area.
We will be hosting a launch party on November 5 from 6-7:30 PM at the Old Town Newhall Library. We hope you will be able to join us! We will have representatives from the FTBMI and the City of Santa Clarita on hand to celebrate with stories, songs, dance and other activities!
For parents or teachers interested in learning more about Native American representation in children’s literature, please check these resources: