I went looking for Native poems for children, and it was actually kind of hard to find! Even some of those listed “for children” were more written for adults but not inappropriate for children.

The ones I did find were actually a little older. But I’d sure love to find Native-written poems for children!

The Clans

By Richard Calmit Adams (1864-1921)

When the waters were so mighty
As to reach the mountains high,
And it seemed that all creation
Surely then was doomed to die,
Came the turtle to our rescue,
Brought us safely unto land,
For the Manitou had sent him;
Now we’re called “The Turtle Clan.”

The Wolf band comes from children,
Whom a she-wolf nursed with care,
And thus restored the children
Who were giv’n up in despair.
Her wailing brought the hunters
To the babies where they lay;
So a band among the people
Is the Wolf Clan of to-day.

When the tribe was once in danger,
A wild turkey gave alarm,
And the warriors met the foeman
With the fury of a storm,
To a maiden, in a vision,
Did the turkey show the plan,
And we call all her descendants
To this day, the “Turkey Clan.”