Celebrate Indigenous Voices

Readers seeking more knowledge about Indigenous cultures and history during National Indigenous History Month may wish to read some of these incredible books for adults, teens, and children by Indigenous authors.

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The barren grounds

The barren grounds

Robertson, David, 1977- author
2020

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything -- including them.

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Braiding sweetgrass

Braiding sweetgrass

Kimmerer, Robin Wall, author
2020

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings - asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass - offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

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The break

The break

Vermette, Katherena, 1977- author
2016

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break , a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house. She calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. People who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night.

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Broken circle : the dark legacy of Indian residential schools

Broken circle : the dark legacy of Indian residential schools

Fontaine, Theodore, 1941- author.
2022

"A new commemorative edition of Theodore Fontaine's powerful, groundbreaking memoir of survival and healing after years of residential school abuse. Originally published in 2010, Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools chronicles the impact of Theodore Fontaine's harrowing experiences at Fort Alexander and Assiniboia Indian Residential Schools, including psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse; disconnection from his language and culture; and the loss of his family and community. Told as remembrances infused with insights gained through his long healing process, Fontaine goes beyond the details of the abuse that he suffered to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of Indigenous children suffer from this dark chapter in history. With a new foreword by Andrew Woolford, professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba, this commemorative edition will continue to serve as a powerful testament to survival, self-discovery, and healing."-- Provided by publisher.

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Call me Indian : from the trauma of residential school to becoming the NHL's first Treaty Indigenous player

Call me Indian : from the trauma of residential school to becoming the NHL's first Treaty Indigenous player

Sasakamoose, Fred, 1933-2020 author
2021

Fred Sasakamoose, torn from his home at the age of seven, endured the horrors of residential school for a decade before becoming one of 120 players in the most elite hockey league in the world. When people tell his story, this is usually where they end it. Sasakamoose's story was far from over. He paved a way for youth to find solace and meaning in sports for generations to come. This ground breaking memoir intersects Canadian history and Indigenous politics, and follows his journey to reclaim pride in an identity that had previously been used against him.

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The case of the missing auntie

The case of the missing auntie

Hutchinson, Michael, 1971- author
2020

The Mighty Muskrats have a new case to solve: to find the whereabouts of their grandpa's long-lost sister. Once in the bright lights of the big city, the cousins get distracted, face off with bullies, meet some heroes and unlikely teachers, and experience many of the difficulties First Nations kids can face in the city. The Muskrats' search for their missing auntie takes them all the way to the government, and reveals hard truths about their country's treatment of First Nation families.

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Fatty legs : a true story

Fatty legs : a true story

Jordan-Fenton, Christy, author
2010

The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact.

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I will see you again

I will see you again

Boivin, Lisa, 1970- author, illustrator.
2020

When the author learns of the death of her brother overseas, she embarks on a journey to bring him home. Through memories and dreams of all they shared together and through her Dene traditions, she finds comfort and strength. The lyrical art and story leave readers with a universal message of hope and love.

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Lake of the Prairies : a story of belonging

Lake of the Prairies : a story of belonging

Cariou, Warren, 1966-
2003

A provocative memoir that confronts issues of discrimination, sense of self, privilege and community, based on the author's experiences in Northern Saskatchewan.

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Moccasin Square Gardens : short stories

Moccasin Square Gardens : short stories

Van Camp, Richard, author
2019

The characters of Moccasin Square Gardens inhabit Denendeh, the land of the people north of the sixtieth parallel. These stories are filled with in-laws, outlaws and common-laws. Get ready for illegal wrestling moves ("The Camel Clutch"), pinky promises, a doctored casino, extraterrestrials or "Sky People", love, lust and prayers for peace. While this is Van Camp's most hilarious short story collection, it's also haunted by the lurking presence of the Wheetago, human-devouring monsters of legend that have returned due to global warming and the greed of humanity.

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The Prairie Chicken dance tour

The Prairie Chicken dance tour

Dumont, Dawn, 1978- author
2021

The Prairie Chicken dance troupe is all set for a fifteen-day trek through Europe, performing at festivals and cultural events. But then the performers all come down with the flu. And John Greyeyes finds himself abruptly thrust into the position of leading a hastily-assembled group of replacement dancers. A group of expert dancers they are not. As the gang makes its way from one stop to another, absolutely nothing goes as planned and the tour becomes a string of madcap adventures.

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The reason you walk

The reason you walk

Kinew, Wab, 1981- author
2017




Secret path

Secret path

Downie, Gordon, 1964-2017, author
2016


Seven fallen feathers : racism, death, and hard truths in a northern city

Seven fallen feathers : racism, death, and hard truths in a northern city

Talaga, Tanya, author
2017

Over the span of ten years, seven high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave their reserve because there was no high school there for them to attend. Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city that has come to manifest, and struggle with, human rights violations past and present against aboriginal communities.

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Shi-shi-etko

Shi-shi-etko

Campbell, Nicola I., author
2017


Siksikaitsitapi : stories of the Blackfoot People

Siksikaitsitapi : stories of the Blackfoot People

2022

In 'Siksikaitsitapi', seven Blackfoot authors share their stories that come from both from legend and from their personal experiences, with many of the stories in both Blackfoot and English languages. The book is illustrated with beautiful full-colour pictures and photos which help convey their stories from Blackfoot traditional and contemporary traditions and cultures. The Blackfoot Confederacy is made up of the Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, and Amskapi Piikuni Nations of Southern Alberta and Montana. These stories were originally published as separate books in the Calgary Public Library, Treaty 7 language series.

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Sky Wolf's call : the gift of Indigenous knowledge

Sky Wolf's call : the gift of Indigenous knowledge

Yellowhorn, Eldon, 1956- author.
2022

"From healing to astronomy to our connection to the natural world, the lessons from Indigenous knowledge inform our learning and practices today. How do knowledge systems get passed down over generations? Through the knowledge inherited from their Elders and ancestors, Indigenous Peoples throughout North America have observed, practiced, experimented, and interacted with plants, animals, the sky, and the waters over millennia. Knowledge keepers have shared their wisdom with younger people through oral history, stories, ceremonies, and records that took many forms. In Sky Wolf's Call, award-winning author team of Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger reveal how Indigenous knowledge comes from centuries of practices, experiences, and ideas gathered by people who have a long history with the natural world. Indigenous knowledge is explored through the use of fire and water, the acquisition of food, the study of astronomy, and healing practices."-- Provided by publisher.

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The summer of bitter and sweet

The summer of bitter and sweet

Ferguson, Jen, author.
2022

"Lou has enough confusion in front of her this summer. She'll be working in her family's ice-cream shack with...her former best friend, King, who is back in their Canadian prairie town after disappearing three years ago...But when she gets a letter from her biological father...Lou immediately knows that she cannot meet him...While King's friendship makes Lou feel safer...when her family's business comes under threat, she soon realizes that she can't ignore her father forever"-- Provided by publisher.

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Those who dwell below

Those who dwell below

Johnston, Aviaq, author.
2019

Haunted by the creatures of his past, Pitu tries to return to normal life as his new role as shaman, but soon he learns he must travel to the bottom of the ocean to appease Nuliajuk, the vengeful sea goddess.

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When we were alone

When we were alone

Robertson, David, 1977- author
2016