About Us

Oyate is a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed with honesty and integrity, and that all people know that our stories belong to us. For Indian children growing up in the 21st century, it is as important as ever for them to know who they are and learn about the histories that they come from. For all children, it is time to know and acknowledge the truths of history. Only then will they come to have the understanding and respect for each other that now, more than ever, will be necessary for life to continue.

The great Lakota leader, Tatanka Iotanka—Sitting Bull—said, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we will make for our children.”  Our work is to nurture in our children a sense of self and community. Our hope is that they will grow up healthy and whole.

Our work includes critical evaluation of books and curricula with Indian themes, conducting workshops on “Teaching Respect for Native Peoples,” administration of a small resource center and reference library; and distribution of literature and learning materials for children, youth, and their teachers. We try to emphasize in our inventory the lifting up of writing and illustration by Native people from across North America.

Our hope is that by making many excellent books available will encourage many more, especially from Native writers and artists. Oyate, our organization’s name, is the Dakota word for “people.” It was given to us by a Dakota friend.

We invite you to learn more about our work by clicking on the pages to the left.


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