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Talk Story Deadline is February 1, 2012

2012 Grant Information & Application Sponsored by APALA & AILA

Program Overview
Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture is a literacy program that reaches out to Asian Pacific American (APA) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) children and their families. The program celebrates and explores Asian Pacific American (APA) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) stories through books, oral traditions, and art to provide an interactive, enriching experience. Children and their families can connect to rich cultural activities through Talk Story in their homes, libraries, and communities. This grant is aimed to give financial support to libraries and community organizations who want to introduce a Talk Story program into their library, focusing on APA or AIAN cultures.

Talk Story grant funding is available due to the generous support of Toyota Financial Services.

Libraries and community organizations that serve children and their families are eligible to apply. We encourage libraries and community organizations to work together on a Talk Story program.

Please submit an Application and 500 word essay detailing what your library or community organization would do with the award and what types of programs highlighting APA or AIAN cultures you are interested in planning for your community. You may apply for either an APALA grant OR an AILA grant.

Applications must be received by Feburary 1, 2012
Award will be announced by March 15, 2012

For more information and for the application visit us at

November is Native American Heritage Month


Native American Heritage Month

Here are a few interesting news articles and resources to help inspire you:

1. "Incentives And Cultural Bias Fuel Foster System : NPR", n.d., - 3 part investigative report from National Public Radio on American Indians in foster care.

2. Menkart, Deborah. "Deepening the meaning of heritage months." Educational Leadership 56, no. 7 (April 1999): 19-21.

Abstract: Heritage month programs may actually reinforce stereotypes. When planning heritage events, schools should develop learning objectives; address values, history, and current power relationships shaping cultures; employ food and dance in context; include all Americas; portray present-day Native Americans; and examine overall school curriculum and policies.

3. Library of Congress collections for American Indian history and culture.

4. "Celebrating American Indian Heritage | People & Places | Smithsonian Magazine", n.d.,

Abstract: In honor of this year's National American Indian Heritage Month, explores the tragic history of the Cherokees' struggles with Andrew Jackson, takes a look at modern Native artists and investigates how to cook Native foods.

I would love to know what your organization does to celebrate American Indian Heritage Month.



The other day, as I was perusing my many blog feeds, I noticed a familiar name, Sasha Houston Brown. I've worked on different project in the Twin Cities with Sasha so I was surprised to see her name on Racioulicous. Of course, I had to stop and read the post.

Sasha wrote a letter to the CEO of Urban Outfitters, calling them out for their inappropriate line of "Navajo" merchandise. You can see the letter here.

Over the next couple of days I was amazed at how viral this letter had become. it was crossing Facebook pages from friends who live in other parts of the world. I was on Yahoo! checking email and noticed that "Urban Outfitters" was trending. I clicked on it, and sure enough, it was more discussion about Sasha's letter. Tonight, I saw a small video on ABC news.

This was a great reminder to me about the impact that one person can have by speaking out and standing up for their beliefs. For those of us who have careers that revolve around social justice issues, it can easily be discouraging and tiring some days. Sometimes, I find myself feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. That was one of the reasons I began working on this blog. I started in the summer, but haven't launched it until now because I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed. I have to say that seeing Sasha's letter reminded me that it is important to speak out. To share experiences and resources. So, I finally took the tape off the package and put this blog out there.

Being that we are talking about libraries here, I thought I would provide a few resources that may shed more light on the Urban Outfitters/Navajo issue.


  1. Website: Who Owns Native Culture?
  2. Brown, Michael F. 2003. Who owns native culture? Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

  4. Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990