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CACFP Resources and Ideas for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 7, 2022

CACFP Resources for Indigenous Peoples Day 4x3 v2

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated in the United States on the second Monday of October. This holiday celebrates Native American peoples and gives honor to their histories and cultures. Many tribes are represented in the CACFP, and this can be an exciting day to dive into indigenous-centered media, foods and crafts!

Indigenous Created Media

If screens are allowed in your child care setting, check out “Molly of Denali.” “Molly of Denali” was created by Alaska Native writers and advisers. It’s also one of the first children’s television programs to have a Native American lead.

This PBS series is available online, and many episodes have viewing guides, background reading and informational texts for young learners. We recommend “Grandpa’s Drum” for inclusion in your Indigenous Peoples’ Day materials, but there are many to choose from!

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal

Told in powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative story about family, history, culture, and traditions, new and old, illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Juana Martinez-Neal. (from the publisher)

We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell and Frane Lessac

The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah. (from the publisher)

CACFP creditable snacks and meals for Indigenous Peoples' Day

This Creamy Wild Rice features wild rice, the state grain of Minnesota. It is harvested in Northern Minnesota on the Ojibwa lands. This form of wild rice has been an essential component of Native American diets for generations.

This Great Garden Soup recipe is based on a traditional Native American stew consisting of squash, beans and corn, known as the Three Sisters. Squash, beans and corn are known as the three sisters because of the tradition of planting them together in the garden for the sake of soil health and a good crop yield. This delicious CACFP creditable soup makes for a filling and warm lunch or dinner.

Painted buffalo hide craft

Read the book Buffalo Wild! By Diedre Havrelock to introduce this educational and fun craft in which children can learn about the importance of buffalo to the people of the Plains.

  1. Read Buffalo Wild!
  2. Have children prepare their “hide” by opening and crumpling flattened brown paper grocery sacks repeatedly. Once the sacks feel worn and supple, help the children smooth them flat.
  3. Guide the children to use markers or crayons to decorate their hide with things that Native Americans made from buffalo.

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day! We’re wishing you a wonderful day of education and celebration, lifting up the unique cultures and voices of tribes across the United States. Looking for some inspiring stories from tribal organizations within the CACFP? Check out CACFP Inspire: Andre Laranang of United Indians of All Tribes Foundation and Genia Boutwell of Poarch Band of Creek Indians.