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​Voices: Native American Heritage MonthPhotograph of multicolored corn in rows like a rainbow

Communities are comprised of a diversity of experiences and perspectives and the voices that emerge from those experiences and perspectives. We believe that these voices make for a richer, more meaningful experience for all.

Join Phoenix Public Library in enjoying and learning from the many voices of our community through monthly themes meant to educate, entertain and inspire.

In November, we celebrate our vibrant and diverse Native American communities.

​Attend a program

The Ancient Hohokam Ballgame of Arizona

Saguaro Library
Saturday, November 10 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

The ancient Hohokam culture of Arizona constructed at least 200 ball courts more than 800 years ago. These oval depressions were likely used to play a ball game that originated in southern Mexico, where the game was played with a rubber ball and had a very important role in reenacting the creation of humans in this world. This presentation will describe the recorded Hohokam ball courts located within Hohokam villages scattered throughout Arizona, summarize what archaeologists propose they were used for, and discuss how these public structures may relate to what is known about the Mexican rubber ball games, which are still played today.

This program is made possible by Arizona Humanities, in partnership with the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library, Saguaro Branch.

Arizona 101: Who Are the Sobaipuri O'odham: The Sobaipuri Legacy at the San Xavier/Wa:k Community

Burton Barr Central Library
Saturday, November 10 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Much has been learned about the Sobaipuri-O'odham over the last couple of decades and their actual history differs substantially in many ways from commonly held notions. The archaeological and ethnohistoric research of the presenters provides new perspectives on where and how they lived, how long they occupied the valleys of southern Arizona, their relationship to the Hohokam, and so on. Special reference will be made to the Sobaipuri of San Xavier del Bac or Wa:k where descendant populations reside. Archaeologist Dr. Deni Seymour is joined by her associates Elder Tony Burrell and Cultural Specialist David Tenario of Wa:k in presenting their video entitled “Who Are the Sobaipuri O’odham?” followed by interactive lectures and discussions. Through these means they strive to promote understanding of the human experience through the eyes of the Wa:k O’odham and their ancestors. Using discussions and interviews with Wa:k O’odham community members, the video and subsequent discussions highlight the issues of how public policy, politics, and economic interest have influenced our understanding of the Wa:k O’odham and how their heritage has been shaped and in some cases erased.  

Sponsored by the Friends of Phoenix Public Library.

Meet the Phoenix Indian Center

Burton Barr Central Library
Wednesday, November 14 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Meet with staff from the Phoenix Indian Center and learn more about their programs, especially the Job Preparedness program. The Job Preparedness Program offers Job Readiness workshops and 1 on 1 individualized support and career coaching with a Workforce Specialist. Information table will be near the PHXWorks room on the second floor.

The program is open to American Indians, Alaskan Natives and Hawaiian Natives.


Ancient Southwestern Native American Pottery

Juniper Library
Saturday, November 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.

In this presentation, Mr. Dart shows and discusses Native American ceramic styles that characterized specific peoples and eras in the U.S. Southwest prior to about 1450, and talks about how archaeologists use pottery for dating archaeological sites and interpreting ancient lifeways. He discusses the importance of context in archaeology, such as how things people make change in style over time and how different styles are useful in identifying different cultures and dating archaeological sites. His many illustrations include examples of ancient pottery types made throughout the American Southwest from about 2,000 to 500 years ago. 

​Read to celebrate


​Check out a Culture Pass

Use your Phoenix Public Library card to check out a Culture Pass for free admission to the following cultural institutions in celebration of Native American Heritage Month.

Heard Museum

Pueble Grande Museum & Archaeological Park

Explore Arizona

It's road trip weather! Venture out into your own back yard with cultural institutions that honor and celebrate Native American history and culture.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Arizona Museum of Natural History

Huhugam Heritage Center

Mesa Grande Cultural Park

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Homolovi State Park 

Wupatki National Monument

Tusayan Ruin at Grand Canyon National Park

​Learn more

Visit the official web portal for Native American Heritage Month; a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. 


National Museum of the American Indian

A diverse and multifaceted cultural and educational enterprise, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. The NMAI cares for one of the world's most expansive collections of Native artifacts, including objects, photographs, archives, and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.

Heard Museum

Located in central Phoenix, the mission of the Heard Museum is to be the world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art, emphasizing its intersection with broader artistic and cultural themes.

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