It’s easy to pass by November as just another month. Another month of holiday prep, getting ready for finals, and drowning in tasks.

But, this month isn’t just another month — it’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the stories of Native people, past and present, now and during the whole year.

Native American Heritage Month, first observed federally in 1990, runs the entire month of November, as a way of honoring and celebrating the traditions, languages, and history of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian peoples.  

We also must remember Native people across the U.S. face significant discrimination and the painful shock wave of their land being stolen. During this month and every month, it’s important to learn about this history and find ways to interact with Indigenous culture.

Making Native food and recipes and purchasing cookbooks by Native authors is a good place to start. We’ve rounded up some amazing cookbooks by Native American authors that are striving to uplift indigenous ingredients, flavors, and cooking styles in a colonized nation, each with their own unique approach and perspective.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman

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Sean Sherman, an award-winning chef, activist, and founder of The Sioux Chef, a company focused on revitalizing Native American food systems, wrote this cookbook to challenge thoughts about what is considered a ‘staple’ in the food world — no dairy, sugar, or domestic beef and pork. Sherman uses wild and foraged indigenous American ingredients, like duck, fish, and wildflowers, to cook up fresh, tasty dishes like cedar-braised bison and roasted corn sorbet. In sharing modern indigenous cuisine of Dakota and Minnesota, Sherman reminds us that you don’t need to travel far to find quality ingredients and flavors.

Native Harvests: American Indian Wild Foods and Recipes by E. Barrie Kavasch

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Kavasch is an author of Powhatan descent who has written a number of books, including Enduring Harvests and Native Harvests. She not only shares an in-depth knowledge of Native American recipes, but teaches you how to gain a closeness to nature. From stewed wild rabbit to acorn coffee, this cookbook is a detailed look into Native American cuisine accompanied by beautifully hand-drawn illustrations

Seed to Plate, Soil to Sky: Modern Plant-Based Recipes Using Native American Ingredients by Lois Ellen Frank

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The title says it all — Frank will take you on a culinary adventure, centered around eight Native American plants (corn, beans, squash, chiles, tomatoes, potatoes, vanilla, and cacao) that changed the world’s food landscape forever. With over 100 Southwest plant-based recipes that include green chile enchilada lasagna, corn masa, and pumpkin corn soup with ginger lime cream, Frank will have your mouth watering page after page, and will challenge you to rethink the typical connotation of “plant-based.”

New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian by Freddie Bitsoie

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Bitsoie is an award-winning Navajo chef who created this cookbook in hopes of “talk[ing] about today’s recipes and where Native food is going.” This book is a look into how Native recipes and food can be made celebrated with modern flair, without doing away with their traditional aspects. And, Bitsoie doesn’t stick to one cuisine — he shares how to make spice-rubbed pork tenderloin, cherrystone clam soup, all recipes that span across various Native American peoples’ traditions and cultures. 

Original Local: Indigenous Food, Stories, and Recipes From the Upper Midwest by Heid E. Erdwich

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While locally grown foods have gained popularity in the past decade or so, Erdwich reminds us that Indigenous people have focused on the locally grown since the start. Erdwich breaks down essential ingredients like vegetables, herbs, and berries and how they are used in various regional Native nations across the Upper Midwest, such as Menominee, Potawatomi, and Ho-Chunk with recipes like maple baked cranberry beans and black and manoomin lasagna.