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  • Writer's pictureRachel Red-Horse

Native Authored Books to Read

In another celebration of Native American Heritage Month we're sharing our favorite books for the older crowd.

Young Adult Books

1. The Power of Style by Christian Allaire

Written by the fashion and style editor at Vogue this book breaks down fashion choices and their importance culturally and socially.

2. Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

This multi-award winning dystopian novel is the first in a series about a world destroyed by climate change where Indigenous people are hunted for their bone marrow.

3. The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson

The first book of "The Misewa Saga". Two Indigenous foster children separated from their communities and homes meet and discover a secret world in the attic of their new Winnipeg foster home.

4. Redbone by Christian Stabler, Sonia Paoloni, & Thibault Balahy

The story of the Native rock band behind the infamous snagging song, "Come and Get Your Love". Read about the civil rights movement and finding identity through the story of these pioneers.

5. Apple Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth

Eric Gansworth turns this age old slur into a beautiful autobiographical reclaiming of heritage and a balancing of two worlds.

6. Fire Keeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Daunis Fontaine is looking forward to leaving for college and leaving a place where she never fit in. Tragedy strikes and she must put plans for college behind her. Luckily she meets Jamie, a handsome hockey player. Things get interesting after that...

7. Indigenous Originated by 9th & 10th grade All Nations students

A collection of poems, essays, short stories, and illustrations written by 9th and 10th grade students of the All Nations program at South High School in Minneapolis.

8. Jim Thorpe by Joseph Bruchac

The story of an amazing athlete who played professional football and baseball and won olympic medals for track andfield. Read this to learn about the hardships he faced, and how he found his calling.

9. Looks Like Daylight by Deborah Ellis

In this book the author introduces you to nine different young adults through a series of interviews. Each of these children has a strong voice and unique story.

10. I Will See You Again by Lisa Boivin

In this biographical novel the author travels to bring her brother, who has died overseas, home. It is laced with memories and Dene traditions which bring her comfort as she grieves.

Adult Books

1. Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer

From the author of "Braiding Sweetgrass" comes another book that weaves the science of ecology with the knowledge of Indigenous peoples.

2. Conflict Resolution for Holy Being by Joy Harjo

A collection of poems and songs that merge history and modern day struggles by the first Native American Poet Laureate.

3. Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Simpson

This collection of short stories from acclaimed writer and activist examines life in modern Native communities and society.

4. The True Story of Pocahontas by Dr. Linwood Custalow & Angela L. Daniel

Written by two members of Pocahontas' tribe this book is the oral history that has been passed down through the generations so the truth would be kept alive.

5. One Native Life by Richard Wagamese

Richard Wagamese has an incredible writing voice and it shines in this autobiography. He examines his childhood in foster care and his adulthood while reconnecting with his roots.

6. Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

A poignant coming of age memoir told in poems. Terese processes her upbringing, and the trauma it brought.

7. Native American DNA by Kim Tallbear

What does it mean to be Native American? Who can say they are? This in depth look at genetic testing, the science and the ethics behind it tries to answer these questions.

8. 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph

This book based on an article that went viral is the guide to understanding "The Indian Act". This act has controlled the lives of Indigenous people since its creation, Joseph helps to bridge the gap between the constraints and how to escape them.

9. Nation to Nation by Susan Shown Harjo

"Nation to Nation" explores the world of treaties between the United States and Indigenous Peoples. Examine the motivations behind the creation of treaties and how they continue to affect lives to this day.

10. Red Paint by Sasha LaPointe

Sasha LaPointe tells of her life through the punk scene of the Salish Coast and her desire to make her ancestors proud as a Coast Salish woman. This is a story of how to find yourself while forging your way in the world.

  1. Nedi Nezu (good medicine) by Tenille K. Campbell

Love in Indian Country, what does that look like as a woman? This collection of poetry focuses on intimacy and the spaces it holds in decolonial love.

12. Mohawk Interruptus by Audra Simpson

This book combines political theory with ethnographic research among the Mohawk community of Kahnawà:ke. Simpson looks into Indigenous sovereignty of the Mohawk people while they live under settler colonialism.

13. An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

The true story of the genocide committed against the Indigenous Peoples of the United States has conveniently been left out of the standard teachings. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz changes that with this book told from the perspective of those People.

14. Marie Mason Potts by Terri A. Castaneda

Marie Mason Potts, a Mountain Maidu, was one of the most influential Native activists of her time. This books looks at her life from her childhood at residential schools, marriage, and activism at the state and national level.

15. 1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

An in depth look at the Americas, and what they were truly like before Columbus set food on the land. This book looks at the advances of the native people of the Americas and puts a new perspective on the story we thought we all knew.

Indigenous Owned Bookstores

We love to support Indigenous owned businesses whenever we can so we've compiled a list of bookstores where you can shop for many of these titles and so much more. Click on the links below to start your shopping!

  1. Birchbark Books -Minnesota based bookstore open daily, also available for online purchases

  2. Massy Books - Located in Vancouver's Chinatown they are open in person and online for orders

  3. Na Mea Hawai'i - Based in Honolulu this store sells so much more than books! Definetley a place to stop in and see if you get the chance

  4. Red Planet comics -This Santa Fe store is the only Indigenous owned comic book store, they also sell regular books.

  5. Red Salmon Arts/Casa de Resistencia Books - this bookstore in Texas is not just a bookstore but a cultural arts organization as well.

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