We hope these selections serve to educate, celebrate, and encourage dialogue on the diverse nations, cultures, and experiences of Native peoples throughout North America. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month—and continue reading all year long—with nonfiction and fiction, from remembered histories to imagined futures, by Native authors.


I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

Edie has questions about her family. She knows her mom was adopted by a white family, but what are her ties to her Native American heritage? Edie stumbles on her families secrets and is able to discover more about her own heritage. This book is based on events in the author’s own life. Christine Day is a member of the Upper Skagit tribe.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla)


In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall

Jimmy and his grandfather head out on a summer road trip. Jimmy is blue eyed with light brown hair,  subjected to teasing by his peers. He doesn’t feel he fits in on or off the reservation. On this road trip, they trace the important places of their ancestors, and Jimmy learns about Crazy Horse,  sacrifice, and gains a greater connection to his ancestors.  Joseph  Marshall is a registered member of the Sicangu Lakota (Rosebud Sioux) and shares this heritage with the main characters of this story.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Overdrive Media on Demand)


Powwow: A Celebration Through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane

This is an informational book that explores the Powwow, which is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. “Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today. Learn more about the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.” Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane uses her own experience as a Anishinaabe dance to create this authentic look at this celebration. The author identifies as Anishinaabe, whose family is from Wiikwemkoong on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

Available formats: Book


The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe. Accompany her as she and her tribe live through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. Author Louise Erdrich draws on her own family’s experiences to tell this story. Erdrich is enrolled as a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)


How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story by Tim Tingle

This book is the first is a series that explores the impact of relocation on the Native Nations. A Choctaw boy tells the story of his tribe’s removal from the only land its people had ever known, and how their journey to Oklahoma led him to become a ghost–one with the ability to help those he left behind. Native author Tim Tingle is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Available formats: Book


The Grizzly Mother by Brett D. Hudson

“This story looks at how the animals, people, and seasons within an ecosystem are intertwined. To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the grizzly is an integral part of the natural landscape. Together, they share the land and forests that the Skeena River runs through, as well as the sockeye salmon within it. Follow mother bear as she teaches her cubs what they need to survive on their own.” The Grizzly Mother is the second book in the  Mothers of Xsan series. Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson, is a member of the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla)


 

Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell

When Regina’s Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.  Regina Petit’s family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known.  Now she must explore her identity and culture far from home, while navigating her family’s struggles to find work and survive in a new city.   Regina’s story is based of of  Native author Charlene Willing McManis’ Umpqua tribal heritage and her family’s own experiences.  McManis is enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Rond, while co -author Traci Sorell is an enrolled  citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Available formats: Book


The Case of Windy Lake by Michael Hutchinson

“Sam, Otter, Atim and Chickadee are four cousins growing up on the Windy Lake First Nation. They are inseparable. Nicknamed the Mighty Muskrats for their habit of laughing, fighting and adventuring together, the cousins find that each new exploit adds to their reputation. When a visiting archeologist goes missing, the cousins decide to solve the mystery of his disappearance. In the midst of community conflict, family concerns and environmental protests, the four get busy following every lead.” This is book one in the series. Native author Michael Hutchinson is a citizen of the Misipawistik Cree Nation in the Treaty 5 territory.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla)


Fatty Legs: A True Story by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. This story captures Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s unbreakable spirit as she was bullied by a teacher while working hard to reach her dream. Author Margaret Pokiak-Fenton is an member of the Inuit (Inuvialuit- Mackenzie Inuit) and wrote this book with her daughter-in-law.

Available formats: Book


Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family. Author Darcie Little Badger is a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas.

Available formats: Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla)


The Journey Forward: Novellas on Reconciliation by Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith

Two short novellas, designed as a”flip-book,” look at the impact of residential schools and reconciliation as youth and families navigate the stress of separation and find the strength to move past the pain. Author Monique Gray Smith is Cree, Lakota and Scottish, while author Richard Van Camp is member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith.

Available formats: Book


The Barren Grounds by David Robertson

“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.” Author David A. Robertson is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation and has ties to Swampy Cree.

Available formats: Book


 

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