I want to be vulnerable and share the feelings I am processing after listening to the podcast This Land hosted by Rebecca Nagle, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. While listening, I have realized just how little I know and have been taught about the history of … PAUSE… for a moment about terminology:

What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, Indigenous, or Native?

All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, “Native American” has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms “American Indian” or “Indigenous American” are preferred by many Native people. Native peoples often have individual preferences on how they would like to be addressed. When talking about Native groups or people, use the terminology the members of the community use to describe themselves collectively.


THIS… I know very little of the history of American Indians. I was talking with Broad Streeter Charlyn Bohland who recommended the podcast to me and she shared this;


“Bryan Stevenson tells us that we can’t move to reparation or restoration until we tell the truth about our history. We have to name the harms. He says,


‘The big problem we have in the United States is that we don’t actually know our history. We don’t know about the centuries of racial injustice. We don’t know about the native genocide. You say “native genocide” and people have no idea what you’re talking about. They think you’re saying something radical.

Once you know that history, you begin to think differently about who we are. We got comfortable with creating a Constitution that talks about equality and justice for all, but didn’t apply to millions of Indigenous people who were on this land. And so until you understand that history, you can’t begin thinking about, well, what are your responsibilities now? What are your obligations now? What would it take to recover from that kind of violence, that kind of destruction that we did to millions of Indigenous people?’


The Podcast This Land speaks the truth about the history of the harms and how they persist to this day.”


As Christians, we long to see the fullness of God’s Kingdom: justice and mercy for all, all created in God’s own image. We must face the sin of racism. This podcast helped me realize I need to know our history, this needs to be part of my anti-racist journey for myself and as a parent… and certainly as a Christian. My truth is that I know little about tribal sovereignty, tribal culture and lifestyles, geographic locations of tribes today, ICWA adoption law, and the systemic approach to disband and remove power from tribes still today.


My kindergartener recently came home from school retelling the same Thanksgiving story I heard in kindergarten 30 years ago.

We have to do better.

We have to name hard truths to move forward and this can begin today.


How to get started?  Here are some lists of resources for all ages to dive into this important, truth-telling work as recommended by myself and the Columbus Public Library.


Do you have any resources you would add to this list? Share them in the comments of this blog!


-Written by Brittany Porch




Books for Adults (fiction and nonfiction)

  • The Wildest Ride by Marcella Bell
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
  • Poet Warrior, a Memoir by Joy Harjo
  • Red Paint, An Ancestral Autobiography by Sasha Taqweseblu LaPointe
  • First Nations Version An indigenous Translation of the New Testament
  • The Night Watchman by Louise Erdich


Books for Children

  • The Navajo Code Talkers by J. Patrick Lewis and Gary Kelley
  • When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett
  • Look, Grandma! Ni, Elisi! By Art Coulson and Illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight
  • Explore Native American Culture with 25 Great Projects by Anita Yasuda and Illustrated by Jennifer K Keller
  • First People, An Illustrated History of American Indians by David C. King and Consulted by Peter M. Whiteley


Sources I cited in this blog:


  1. Rosemary Tolliver December 1, 2021 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    I share all those feelings.
    In September I read a book called Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, who teaches environmental science and is an enrolled member of the Potawatomi Nation. I read about the importance and beauty of goldenrod and asters while in northern Michigan, where they bloomed together by the side of the highway, and where we were able to visit the Ojibwa Historical Center. We can do better…

    • Brittany Porch December 2, 2021 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the book recommendation. We have to do better…

  2. Jim Wilson December 1, 2021 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this! Some good books about the horrors of the treatment of native people by the early U.S. include Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory by Claudio Saunt and Surviving Genocide by Jeffrey Ostler. Tecumseh and the Prophet by Peter Cozzens is an excellent account of native leaders in the Ohio area.

    • Brittany Porch December 2, 2021 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jim. I am very interested in tribal connections locally. I have been looking at https://www.naicco.com/.

  3. Betty Lou Stull December 1, 2021 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    This evening I listened to Isabel Wilkerson, author of Caste, as she spoke on an OSU diversity.program. It is the second time I have heard her speak, and both times she has emphasized that we don’t know our history. Therefore, we don’t have eyes to see what is still happening. For example, after the January 6 incursion at the capitol building, a crew of janitors was mobilized for the cleanup. All were black except the police officer in charge. He was white, and the only one not wearing a mask. We have a long way to go, and denial seems to be rampant. Your resources can help educate, but only if they are accessed.

    • Brittany Porch December 2, 2021 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      Knowing our history is important work… we must find many ways for people to dig into that work from books, lectures, podcasts or story-telling. Thanks for the comment Betty Lou!

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