May is American Indian Month in Minnesota

Join us as we celebrate American Indian Month in Minnesota. The theme for 2021 is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives.

Your library has resources about the Dakota and Ojibwe, who continue to reside in the area that is now Hennepin County.

There are also free virtual events that you can access and participate in from home.

Library online events

Dial-a-Story for Adults With Native Author Mona Susan Power

May 5-11
Call 612-543-8851 and listen to local Native author Mona Susan Power read her short story, "Wild Turnips," from her collection "Roofwalker." "Wild Turnips" is the story of a Dakota elder from North Dakota, reliving memories of her marriage and political activism while negotiating changes in the world around her.

Mona Susan Power is the author of three books of fiction, “The Grass Dancer,” “Roofwalker” and “Sacred Wilderness.” Her first novel was awarded the PEN/Hemingway Prize. She is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, currently settled in Minnesota where she's at work on three novels and a memoir. Call back the following week to hear a different story read by staff. Hosted by Minnetonka Library and Hennepin County Library’s Outreach service. Sponsors: Friends of the Hennepin County Library and Friends of the Minnetonka Library.

Vinyl Listening Party: Indigenous Rock

Thursday, May 6, 7-8:30 p.m.
Celebrate Minnesota American Indian Month during this eclectic DJ set highlighting First Nations musicians in the rock landscape. Discover your new favorite song, chat in real time with fellow music lovers, and dance along from home to records spun straight from Hennepin County Library's collection.

Register today or Ask Us. The link to the live online concert will be emailed to registrants in advance (within 48 hours of the event).

Vinyl Revival is a series of artist residencies, performances, workshops and listening opportunities. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

More Than a Single Story: In the Eye of the Beholder

Thursday, May 13, 7-9 p.m.
In this More Than a Single Story conversation, artists/activists/hair stylists Ebony J. Davis and Mahogany Plautz will lead a conversation with poets Mary Moore Easter and Saymoukda Vongsay, fashion designer Bris Carbajal, Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo Emmy-nominated multimedia artist Missy Whiteman and salon owner/hair stylist Fiona Buff on the issues of women of color and beauty. Collaborator: More Than a Single Story. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Register today or Ask Us. This program hosted by More Than a Single Story via Zoom. The link to the online discussion will be emailed to registrants in advance.

Voices Rising: Native Writers Reading and Celebration

Friday, May 21, 7-8:30 p.m.
Join us for an evening of celebration and readings by the Native Women Writers Group, the inaugural cohort of eight writers in the year-long intensive Native Authors Program. The evening will be hosted by All My Relations Arts Director Angela Two Stars (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota) with celebrated author and Native Authors Program mentor Diane Wilson (Dakota) facilitating.

2020-2021 Native Women Writers Group:

  • Tashia Hart (Red Lake Anishinaabe)
  • Teresa Peterson (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota)
  • Evelyn Bellanger (White Earth Ojibwe Nation)
  • Janice Bad Moccasin (Dakota/Lakota)
  • Annastacia Cardon (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)
  • Gabrielle Wynde Tateyuskanskan (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota)
  • Ruth Denny (Potawatomi & Ho-Chunk)
  • Rosetta Peters (Yankton, Crow Creek, & Oglala)

The Native Authors Program supports a year-long intensive writing cohort that encourages Native authors to complete book-length manuscripts for publication. Through mentorship and facilitation by celebrated Dakota author, Diane Wilson, as well as visits with acclaimed local authors, participants receive guidance in developing a manuscript, working with an editor, approaching a publisher, and more. The Native Authors Program creates a much-needed space for Native authors to learn and flourish.

In partnership with All My Relations Arts, a project of Native American Community Development Institute, and Hennepin County Library. Funded by MN Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Sign up today. The program will be hosted on All My Relations Arts Zoom account.

Indigenous Comic Speaker Series

Friday, May 28, 7-8 p.m.
Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. is an award-winning designer, writer, artist, and researcher who creates and studies Indigenous-led media. She is Anishinaabe with family from Bay Mills, Métis, and Irish. She is an Assistant Professor of Media and Information and Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures at Michigan State University. 

This will be on Zoom and will start with a interview video of Indigenous comic creator, Elizabeth LaPensée and a facilitated discussion will follow. All are welcome to help celebrate Indigenous Comics! The first 30 attendees will receive a copy of Sovereign Traces, Vol 1.

Click here to join event on Zoom at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 28.

Sisters Rising Virtual Film Screening

Saturday, May 29, 6-8 p.m.
In support of Minnesota’s American Indian Month theme: Murdered, Missing Indigenous Women & Relatives; Hennepin County Library will host a virtual screening of Sisters Rising film documentary about six Native American women restoring personal and tribal sovereignty in the face of an ongoing legacy of sexual and colonial violence.

Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women, and 86% of the offenses are committed by non-Native men. “Sisters Rising” follows six women who refuse to let this pattern of violence continue in the shadows. Their stories shine an unflinching light on righting injustice on both an individual and systemic level. The film is 59 minutes. View the film for free online until May 20 on PBS.

A facilitated panel discussion with the filmmakers will follow. 

Click here to join event on Zoom at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 29.

Additional events in the community

National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIW-R)

Wednesday, May 5, 2-4 p.m.
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul
Open mic and art installation at the Minnesota State Capitol. View an art installation from Artists C3, funded by Reclaim the Block and hear from MMIW-R survivors and other community members to share remembrances of people and words of support to engage in collective healing.

Please wear red, wear masks and social distance for the safety of our community. 

Ninga Izhichige Nibi Onji / I Will Do It For The Water

May 6-September 12
Minneapolis Institute of Art
This exhibition explores the importance of nibi (the Ojibwe word for water) as a life-giving force. For the past ten years, Ojibwe artist and community leader Sharon M. Day has been guiding Nibi Walks as extended ceremonies to pray for the water. Water is gathered in a copper vessel and carried by walkers along the length of the river, until they reach the confluence, where it is released to remind the river of its original state.

Mother’s Day Powwow

Saturday, May 8, 12-9 p.m.
Cedar Field in Minneapolis, 2500 Cedar Ave.
An event with singing and dancing, including a hand drum contest and a jingle dress healing dance. This event is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome. 

Honoring Our Life Givers Round Dance

Saturday, May 15, 1-7 p.m.
Cedar Field in Minneapolis, 2500 Cedar Ave.
An outdoor event featuring singers, dancers and a hand drum contest. A meal will be provided.

Division of Indian Work Spring Feast

Friday, May 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
1001 East Lake Street, Minneapolis
The Division of Indian Work is hosting a community resource fair. Attendees can get food and learn about the resources and programs and see the work organizations are doing in their community.

Book lists

Lists of recommended books selected by Hennepin County Library’s Makoce Team


  • Music video: On the Avenue – Tufawon is a local artist on the library's free music streaming service, MNspin; listen to his albums. He has written a song about the Franklin Avenue community. Watch the video.
  • Ojibwe language videos – Storytellers read from children's books that feature the Ojibwe language. Watch the videos.
  • Conversations with Robert DesJarlait (Endaso-Giizhik) - He is an Ojibwe fine artist, writer, and teacher from Miskwaagamiiwi-zaaga’igan (Red Lake Nation). He is the artist of “Red Lake,” a mural at the Franklin Library. He talked with us about his artwork, career and mentoring others. Watch the videos.

Online resources