5 Book recommendations written by Indigenous authors

June 16, 2023

June is National Indigenous Heritage History month in Canada! Learning about Indigenous peoples, history and culture should be an all year long habit, but it can be intimidating to find a place to start. Here are a couple recommendations that are ranked as some of the best books written by Indigenous authors.


Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

In this book, the author shines a light on a new perspective on how to view nature and the environment, as well as how to face environmental challenges. It also explores and contrasts European and Indigenous understanding of plants, science and the world itself. This is a deeply motivating and moving book that will leave the reader astonished for how beautiful the author writes and all the wisdom they have received.



Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

This book is definitely heart wrenching; it follows the lives of five Indigenous children and the relationships between them after they were finally released from a residential school. The author captures the grief and intergenerational trauma they experience and how that inevitably affects their relationships with one another, with their parents and with their children. This book does have some triggering events but it remains a very important read for it gives a reader a tiny glimpse into what residential school survivors had to endure.


21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act by Bob Joseph 

This is a very informative book that allows readers to easily follow along the 21 laws of the Indian Act. Reading each law by itself is overwhelming, but the author created a good flow that outlines each law and then goes into detail about the problematic issues that surround that specific law. This book is very powerful for it will not hide the truth but rather speak the whole truth. Definitely a great starting place for those who want to learn more but are unsure where to begin.



This Place:150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-DammChelsea VowelKatherena VermetteJen StormNiigaanwewidam James SinclairDavid Alexander RobertsonRichard Van CampBrandon MitchellSonny AssuRachel Qitsualik-TinsleySean Qitsualik-TinsleyAlicia Elliott (Foreword)G.M.B. Chomichuk (Illustrator)Scott B. Henderson (Illustrator)Tara Audibert (Illustrator)Natasha Donovan (Illustrator)Kyle Charles (Illustrator)Scott A. Ford (Illustrator)Donovan Yaciuk (Illustrator)Andrew Lodwick (Illustrator)Ryan Howe (Illustrator) 

This comic is truly stunning in all aspects, both the story and the wonderful, engaging visuals. Within the book there is a collection of 10 different powerful stories. Each story is written by a different Indigenous author. The book explores the last 150 years and looks through the lens of an Indigenous eye. Each story is powerful, heartbreaking yet also hopeful. The material is easy to absorb and suitable for any age.


Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty 

This books is centered around one primary boy who grows up on a reserve in Maine. There are 12 short stories inside of the book and each one jumps around the lifespan of the main character. Each story is emotional and readers get to dive into the complexity of the characters lives and are able to feel what the characters feel. This is the first novel the author has written and he has done a wonderful job. He writes with such compassion and emotion that fully encompasses the reader.


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