In a technological age, it is easy to forget the power that books and libraries hold. This year’s Native American Heritage Month book exhibit features amazing Indigenous authors with titles published as recently as 2021! Many of the books discuss crucial topics in Native and Indigenous communities such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Land Acknowledgements, sovereignty, and intellectual property. The Labriola Center is excited to share information about Indigenous issues with our continuously growing collection of Open Stacks books.
Last year’s theme, #Landback made a statement in the library. The exhibit this year builds off #LandBack in hopes that an Indigenous book exhibit will be an annual feature of Native American Heritage Month. Both years, Labriola worked to ensure that these were student-curated book exhibits as well as Indigenous student-curated. Because of this standard, the #LandBack book exhibit gained recognition. The attention helped spread awareness of the issues discussed in the descriptions for each book exhibit. Sharing the exhibits on social media, ASU's Library Channel, and throughout ASU's campuses helps to further Labriola's goal of educating and informing both Indigenous and non-Indigenous People.
Even in 2021, there is a lack of knowledge of Native and Indigenous peoples' history and community. This lack of understanding often results in Indigenous issues going unnoticed by the general public. It can even result in insensitive actions by ignorant individuals that deeply hurt Indigenous people. Our hope with this display is for Native and Indigenous people to be seen, heard, and understood.
The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.