The Library Honors Native and Indigenous Cultures – Native people share culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways of life

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2018

Media Contact: Mindy Linetzky
(415) 557-4252;

Media Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;


The Library Honors Native and Indigenous Cultures

Native people share culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways of life


SAN FRANCISCO, CA November is National American Indian Heritage Month, and San Francisco Public Library is excited to honor the voices of indigenous and native peoples with a month long celebration titled First Person: Honoring Native and Indigenous Cultures.

More than 80 programs for all ages, in all library locations provide a platform for native people to share culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways of life. With First Person, there are opportunities to learn something new, have your curiosity stoked and enjoy the varied programs that honor and celebrate native people – all free at the library.

nativeculturesLearn about early contact between indigenous tribes and settlers of California by attending docent-led tours of the old Mission Dolores. Later in the month, author Elias Castillo discusses his book A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California Indians by the Spanish Missions. Try your hand at traditional Navajo beading. Take part in an interactive presentation on the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and view the VICE television series, Rise, about contemporary native and indigenous issues. Meet San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck (Cherokee/Euro-American) at special events that cover topics ranging from basket weaving to the debate around confederate monuments. View a rare collection of photographic prints of The North American Indian series by Edward S. Curtis.

The Library promises something for everyone during our First Person celebration. People of all ages are invited to see award winning Eddie Madril’s performance of the dances of the Plains Indians. Children can learn about traditional agricultural practices as they get hands-on with Sovereign Seeds, play Mayan Yucatec bingo games, enjoy Ohlone-Mutsun language coloring books, and learn plant identification led by park rangers. Also there are special Two-Spirit Storyhours with native authors. All ages can study Cherokee and Hawaiian online through Mango Languages, free with a library card. We also encourage everyone to learn about the edible, wild and native foods growing around the Bay Area during cooking demonstrations and food history programs.

Come into a neighborhood branch and take out a book or movie – read the November On the Same Page pick, Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, a memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation. Check out a list of Children’s Books on the Native North American Experience; recommended reads, music and movies for First Person 2018; and a curated list on Native American Cooking that’s not just for Thanksgiving.

View the First Person: Honoring Native and Indigenous Cultures program guide.


When Art Is Racist with Kim Shuck & Andrew Jolivette – Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library

Sewam Dance with Eddie Madril—Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m., Parkside Branch Library

First Nation Monuments & Funerary Places of the SF Bay—Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Sunset Branch Library

Activism & Aesthetics of the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz—Nov. 17, 3 p.m., Richmond Branch Library

A Cross of Thorns with Elias Castillo – Nov. 17, 4 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Exhibition: The North American Indian – Though Dec. 1, Main Library, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor

Sewam Dance with Eddie Madril

Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m., Parkside Branch Library

Nov. 3, 2:30 p.m., SFMOMA Public Knowledge


California and the Americas Food History with Chef Farais

Nov. 3, 3 p.m., North Beach Branch Library

Nov. 14, 3 p.m., Anza Branch Library


String Stories with Kim Shuck

Nov. 4, 2 p.m., Visitacion Valley Branch Library

Nov. 9, 3 p.m., Portola Branch Library

Nov. 10, 11 a.m., Merced Branch Library


Make Your Own Basket with Kim Shuck

Nov. 10, 2 p.m., West Portal Branch Library

Nov. 8, 4:30 p.m., Main Library, The Mix, 2nd Floor


Two-Spirit Storyhour

Nov. 17, 11 a.m., Main Library, Children’s Center, 2nd floor

Nov. 17, 2:30 p.m., North Beach Branch Library


Old Mission Dolores Tours— Space is limited, registration at branches required.

Nov. 3, 1 p.m., Noe Valley Branch Library

Nov. 10, 1 p.m., Eureka Valley Branch Library


Native American Beaded Bracelets

Nov. 3, 3 p.m., Mission Branch Library

Nov. 3, 11 a.m., Mission Bay Branch Library

Nov. 10, 2 p.m., Parkside Branch Library

Nov. 18, 2 p.m., Potrero Branch Library


Sovereign Seeds and Starts

Nov. 3, 2 p.m., Golden Gate Valley Branch Library

Nov. 10, 2 p.m., Sunset Branch Library

Nov. 17, 2 p.m., Park Branch Library

Nov. 28, 3:30 p.m., Anza Branch Library


Ohlone-Mutsun Language Coloring Book

Nov. 26, 2 p.m., Ocean View Branch Library

Nov. 26, 4:30 p.m., Ingleside Branch Library

Nov. 27, 11:15 a.m., Glen Park Branch Library

Nov. 27, 2:30 p.m., Marina Branch Library


Many more classes, films, performances, events and activities are listed in the First Person program guide. All programs at the San Francisco Public Library are free.


About San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles.