At Red Sky, we have often been asked to provide resources for people to learn more about Indigenous arts and culture in Canada. This is our response to those requests. Our list is ever-evolving and we will continue to build and refine it.
We welcome your recommendations including films, documentaries, novels, poetry, non-fiction, and plays so that we can grow this Indigenous Canon which is available to everyone. Please send us your suggestion (with as much info as possible) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this helps to spread the word about Indigenous arts and culture in Canada to as many people as possible.
- Oka Crisis deepened understanding of land claims in Canada: 25th anniversary dredges up difficult memories for those involved, Written by Giuseppe Valiante and Peter Rakobowchuk, Canadian Press
- Lasting effects of trauma reaches across generations through DNA, Unreserved, CBC News
- Beyond 94 - Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, CBC News
- Point of View: THE SIXTIES SCOOP EXPLAINED, By Christopher Dart, CBC
- Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
- Full Circle: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Ways of Knowing, Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation
- Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Directed by Jeff Barnaby. 2013
Set on the fictional Red Crow Mi'gMaq reservation in the year 1976. By government decree, every Indian child under the age of 18 must attend residential school. In the kingdom of the crow, that means imprisonment at St. Dymphna’s. That means being at the mercy of “Popper” (Krupa), the sadistic Indian agent who runs the school.
- Indian Horse, Directed by Stephen Campanelli. 2017
An adaptation of Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, this moving and important drama sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s boarding schools or Indigenous Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of aboriginal people.
- The Lesser Blessed, Directed by Anita Doron. 2013
Fort Simmer, Northwest Territories is a tough place for teenager Larry Sole (Joel Evans) to grow up in. Larry, both fragile and angry, is seeking a place to belong. His tenuous relationships with his friends, his family, and his Indigenous identity have left him feeling vulnerable, and the violence and drugs that surround him threaten to pull him down.
- Smoke Signals, Directed by Chris Eyre. 1998
Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Thomas was saved by Arnold. Arnold soon left his family (and his tough son Victor), and Victor hasn't seen his father for 10 years. When Victor hears Arnold has died, Thomas offers him funding for the trip to get Arnold's remains, but only if Thomas can also go with him. Thomas and Victor hit the road.
- The Dead Lands, Directed by Toa Frase. 2014
Set in a small village in precontact Aotearoa (New Zealand), The Dead Lands is an original story that follows the journey of a young Māori boy named Hongi in his quest to avenge the death of his father, the chief of the village. Knowing that his father was killed unjustly, Hongi resolves to go after Wirepa, the warrior who murdered his father.
- Birds in the Earth, Directed by Marja Helander. 2019
Birds in the Earth is a short film based on dance, telling a bit of a melancholic story about Sámi people´s rights in today´s Finland, the Sámi being the indigenous people of Northern Europe. The story is told through the dance performances of two young Sámi sisters, Birit and Katja Haarla.
- Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Directed by Zacharias Kunuk. 2001
Igloolik at the dawn of the first millennium, when nomadic Inuit were masters of the frozen arctic. Evil in the form of an unknown shaman divides a small community of Inuit, upsetting its balance and spirit. Twenty years pass. Two brothers emerge from the evil order: Amaqjuaq, the Strong One, and Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner.
- FAST HORSE, Directed by Alexandra Lazarowich. 2018
FAST HORSE is a rare look at the world of bareback horse racing through the experience of one Siksika horseman, Alison RedCrow, as she strives to build a team and take on the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy. This old tradition is alive and well.
- Bedevil, Directed by Tracey Moffatt. 1993
Inspired by ghost stories she heard as a child from both her extended Aboriginal and Irish Australian families, Tracey Moffatt has constructed a sublime trilogy in which characters are haunted by the past and bewitched by memories.
- Bildaaban: The Dawn Comes, Directed by Amanda Strong
Accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shapeshifter and friend known as Sabe, Biidaaban sets out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban neighborhood in Ontario. Driven by the words of Anishinaabe writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Amanda Strong’s mesmerizing stop-motion animation intricately weaves together multiple worlds through time and space, calling for a rebellion.
- Four Faces of the Moon, Directed by Amanda Strong. 2016
This animated documentary follows the journey of an Indigenous photographer as she travels through time. She witnesses moments in her family's history and strengthens her connection to her Metis, Cree and Anishnaabe ancestors.
- Once Were Warriors, Directed by Lee Tamahori. 1994
A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts.
- Samson and Delilah, Directed by Warwick Thornton. 2009
A glue-sniffing boy and his girlfriend escape the government-controlled no-hope Aboriginal community they live in and go to the city, Alice Springs, looking for a better life.
- Angry Inuk, Directed by Alethea Arnaquq. 2016
In her award-winning documentary, director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins a new tech-savvy generation of Inuit as they campaign to challenge long-established perceptions of seal hunting. Armed with social media and their own sense of humor and justice, this group is bringing its own voice into the conversation and presenting themselves to the world as a modern people in dire need of a sustainable economy.
- My Father’s Tools, Directed by Heather Condo. 2016
Stephen continues producing traditional baskets to honor his father and thus finds peace in his studio as he connects with the man who taught him the craft.
- Two Spirited, Directed by Sharon A. Desjarlais. 2007
This short documentary presents the empowering story of Rodney "Geeyo" Poucette's struggle against prejudice in the Indigenous community as a two-spirited person (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender).
- Reel Injun, Directed by Neil Diamond. 2010
Reel Injun traces the evolution of cinema's depiction of Native people from the silent film era to today, with clips from hundreds of classic and recent Hollywood movies, and candid interviews with celebrated Native and non-Native film celebrities, activists, film critics, and historians.
- Keepers of the Game, Directed by Judd Ehrlich. 2016
Lacrosse was born in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory as a sacred game, traditionally reserved for men. Just on the reservation at Salmon River High in Fort Covington, NY an all-Native girls lacrosse team comes together, seeking to be the first Native women’s team to bring home a Section Championship. But first, they will have to overcome their crosstown rivals, Massena High. As the season comes to a head, the team is faced with increasing ambivalence in their own community and the girls must prove that the game of lacrosse is their rightful inheritance.
- AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock, Directed by Josh Fox and James Spione. 2017
The Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. While many may know the details, AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet.
- nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, Directed by Tasha Hubbard. 2019
On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system. Directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands
- Trick or Treaty, Directed by Alanis Obomsawin. 2014
Enlightening as it is entertaining, Trick or Treaty? succinctly and powerfully portrays one community’s attempts to enforce their treaty rights and protect their lands, while also revealing the complexities of contemporary treaty agreements.
- We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice, Directed by Alanis Obomsawin. 2016
Following a historic court case filed by the Assembly of First Nations and the Child and Family Caring Society of Canada against the federal government, Alanis Obomsawin exposes generations of injustices endured by First Nations children living on reserves and their families. Through passionate testimony and unwavering conviction, frontline childcare workers and experts including Cindy Blackstock take part in a decade-long court battle to ensure these children receive the same level of care as other Canadian children.
- There’s Something in the Water, Directed by Ellen Page and Ian Daniel
Based on Ingrid Waldron's incendiary study, the film follows Ellen Page as she travels to rural areas of the province that are plagued by toxic fallout from industrial development. As did Waldron, the filmmakers discover that these catastrophes have been precisely placed, all in remote, low income — and very often Indigenous or Black — communities. As the filmmakers observe, your postal code determines your health.
- Words from a Bear, Directed by Jeffrey Palmer
Words from a Bear examines the enigmatic life and mind of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Navarro Scott Momaday, one of Native America’s most celebrated authors of poetry and prose. The film visually captures the essence of Momaday’s writings, relating each written line to his unique American experience representing ancestry, place, and oral history.
- Colonization Road, Directed by Michelle St. John. Written by & Starring Ryan McMahon
Comedian Ryan McMahon travels Ontario's colonization roads learning about their impact on First Nations and settlers.
- Life in the City of Dirty Water, Directed by Clayton Thomas
Rooted in Indigenous storytelling tradition, the Life in the City of Dirty Water short doc is a series of intimate vignettes that weave together the remarkable life of Cree climate change activist, Clayton Thomas-Müller.
- Tribal Justice, Co-production by Vision Maker Media and American Documentary | POV
Two Native American judges reach back to traditional concepts of justice in order to reduce incarceration rates, foster greater safety for their communities and create a more positive future for youth. By addressing the root causes of crime, they are modeling restorative systems that are working.
- Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance-Directed by Alanis Obomsawin - 1993
On a July day in 1990, a confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Quebec, into the international spotlight. Director Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nerve-wracking days and nights filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. This powerful documentary takes you right into the action of an age-old Aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades.
- Hi-Ho Mistahey!
In this feature-length documentary, Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Shannen's Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education in safe and suitable schools for First Nations children. Strong participation in this initiative eventually brings Shannen's Dream all the way to the United Nations in Geneva.
- Where the Spirit Lives
A young Native Canadian (First Nations person) fights to keep her culture and identity when she is abducted to a residential school.
- Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools
Introduces indigenous identity and traces the ways in which it was eroded by government policies and institutions. These lessons will give viewers an understanding of the choices individuals, groups, and the Canadian government made that contributed to genocide.
- 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus
Based on the book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus By Charles C. Mann (Knopf, 2005), this series brings to life the complexity, diversity and interconnectedness of Indigenous peoples in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. Presented from an Indigenous-perspective the series is a journey along a timeline that dates from 20,000 years ago to 1491. The origins and history of ancient Indigenous societies in North, Central and South America are interpreted by leading Indigenous scholars and cultural leaders in the fields of archaeology, art history, ethnology, genetics, geology, and linguistics.
- The People of the Kattawapiskak River
The people of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a Cree community in northern Ontario, were thrust into the national spotlight in 2012 when the impoverished living conditions on their reserve became an issue of national debate. With The People of the Kattawapiskak River, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin quietly attends as community members tell their own story, shedding light on a history of dispossession and official indifference.
- New Fire, Lisa Charleyboy
From remote reserves to bustling big cities, join Urban Native Girl Lisa Charleyboy as she brings you to the surprising heart of the conversations important to Indigenous youth today.
- Unreserved, Rosanna Deerchild
Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation. Host Rosanna Deerchild takes you straight into Indigenous Canada, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing listeners to the storytellers, culture makers and community shakers from across the country.
- Coffee with Ma Ma, Kaniehtiio Horn and her mom, Kahentinetha Horn
My radical activist mother Kahentinetha Horn tells me stories of her very long adventurous life, always with the sense of humour that carried herthrough.
- Secret Life of Canada, Falen Johnson and Lea Simone Bowen
The Secret Life of Canada is a history podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't.
- This Land, Rebecca Nagle
An 1839 assassination of a Cherokee leader and a 1999 murder case – two crimes nearly two centuries apart provide the backbone to an upcoming 2019 Supreme Court decision that will determine the fate of five tribes and nearly half the land in Oklahoma.
- Métis in Space, Chelsea Vowel and Molly Swain
Métis In Space hilariously deconstructs the science fiction genre through a decolonial lense. Join hosts Molly Swain & Chelsea Vowel as they drink a bottle of (red) wine, and from a tipsy, decolonial perspective, review a sci-fi movie or television episode featuring Indigenous Peoples, tropes & themes.
- The Henceforward, Eve Tuck
The Henceforward is a podcast that considers relationships between Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples on Turtle Island. Through this podcast series, we take an open and honest look at how these relationships can go beyond what has been constructed through settler colonialism and antiblackness, we investigate what our mutual obligations and possibilities for contingent collaboration are, and much much more.
- Missing and Murdered, Conny Walker
MISSING & MURDERED is a CBC News original podcast hosted by CBC News investigative reporter Connie Walker.
- All My Relations, Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Keene
All My Relations is a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore our relationships— relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another. Each episode invites guests to delve into a different topic facing Native peoples today as we keep it real, play games, laugh a lot, and even cry sometimes.
- Treaties, reconciliation and Indigenous history in Canada
How well do Canadians know Indigenous history? What role did treaties play in forming our country? Are the stories told through truth and reconciliation changing our understanding of Canadian history? Join a live, interactive roundtable of Indigenous community leaders, educators and advocates. Moderated by award-winning journalist Duncan McCue, host of Cross Country Checkup on CBC Radio. Moderated by Duncan McCue. Featuring Panelists Ry Moran - Director, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR); Cynthia Wesley-Eskuimaux -Indigenous Chair on Truth and Reconciliation, Lakehead University; and Eldon Yellowhorn - Archeologist, Chair of First Nations Studies, Simon Fraser University
- Reconciliation and Education | Starleigh Grass | TEDxWestVancouverED
Starleigh Grass, Tsilhqot'in, is currently the Senior Policy Analyst for the First Nations Education Steering Committee. Her duties include sitting on the Province of BC's Curriculum Advisory Committee, Advisory Group on Provincial Assessment, and Competencies Consulting Group. As the mother of a child currently in public school, she is committed to increasing the education system's capacity to improve outcomes for Aboriginal learners.
- TEDX Boulder: Indigenous In Plain Sight, By Gregg Deal
Gregg Deal talks about the use of history as a tool while he navigates the restrictions thrusts upon his work as a contemporary artist while challenging those who hear his words to take responsibility for their knowledge and create room for this nation’s First Peoples.
- Blanket of Colonization
Blanket of Colonization is about the effects of Colonization in First Nations Communities and being raised in a single parent home.
- Bad Endings, by Carleigh Baker (Anvil Press, 2017)
In Bad Endings, Baker takes troubled characters to a moment of realization or self-revelation, but the results aren’t always pretty.
- The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline (Dancing Cat Books, 2017)
Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The Indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream.
- The Round House, by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2013)
One of the most revered novelists of our time—a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life—Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.
- Daughters are Forever, by Lee Maracle (Raincoast Books, 2002)
Daughters are Forever incorporates an innovative structure based on Salish Nation storytelling to depict the transformation of Marilyn, a modern-day Native woman who is alienated from her culture, family and self. By listening to the wind and the natural world, Marilyn begins to heal the deep-rooted, inherited hurt that has numbed her life-force. This is a moving and important work about First Nations people in the modern world, and the importance of courage, truth and reconciliation.
- Celia’s Song, by Lee Maracle (Cormorant Books, 2014)
Mink is a witness, a shape shifter, compelled to follow the story that has ensnared Celia and her village, on the West coast of Vancouver Island in Nu:Chahlnuth territory. Celia is a seer who — despite being convinced she's a little "off" — must heal her village with the assistance of her sister, her mother and father, and her nephews.
- Ravensong, by Lee Maracle (Press Gang, 2000)
Set along the Pacific Northwest Coast in the 1950s, Ravensong tells the story of an urban Native community devastated by an influenza epidemic. Stacey, a 17-year-old Native girl, struggles with the clash between white society’s values and her family’s traditional ways, knowing that her future lies somewhere in between. Celia, her sister, has visions from the past, while Raven warns of an impending catastrophe before the two cultures reconcile.
- Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel, by Lee Maracle (Women's Press Literary, 1990)
Lee Maracle's Bobbi Lee Indian Rebel tells the narrative of an Indigenous woman raised in North America who finds her strength despite the forces that challenge and oppress her. Grippingly honest, Lee's autobiographical exploration of post-colonial tensions in Toronto circa 1960-1980 sheds light on the existing racist and sexist sentiments affecting Indigenous women. Reflective of the struggles Indigenous communities face today, this book continues to hold a place within contemporary Indigenous and women's studies classrooms.
- Sanaaq: An Inuit Novel, by Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk (University of Manitoba Press, 2014)
Sanaaq is an intimate story of an Inuit family negotiating the changes brought into their community by the coming of the qallunaat, the white people, in the mid-nineteenth century. Composed in 48 episodes, it recounts the daily life of Sanaaq, a strong and outspoken young widow, her daughter Qumaq, and their small semi-nomadic community in northern Quebec.
- The Beadworkers: Stories, by Beth Piatote (Counterpoint, 2019)
Beth Piatote's luminous debut collection opens with a feast, grounding its stories in the landscapes and lifeworlds of the Native Northwest, exploring the inventive and unforgettable pattern of Native American life in the contemporary world Told with humor, subtlety, and beautiful spareness, the mixed-genre works of Beth Piatote's first collection find unifying themes in the strength of kinship, the pulse of longing, and the language of return.
- Murder on the Red River, by Marcie Rendon (Cinco Puntos Press, 2017)
Cash and Sheriff Wheaton make for a strange partnership. He pulled her from her mother's wrecked car when she was three. He's kept an eye out for her ever since. It's a tough place to live—northern Minnesota along the Red River. So there they are, staring at the dead Indian lying in the field. Soon Cash was dreaming the dead man's cheap house on the Red Lake Reservation, mother and kids waiting. She has that kind of power. That's the place to start looking.
- Girl Gone Missing, by Marcie Rendon (Cinco Puntos Press, 2019)
Her name is Renee Blackbear, but what most people call the 19-year-old Ojibwe woman is Cash. She has one friend, the sheriff Wheaton. In between classes and hauling beets, drinking beer and shooting pool, a man who claims he's her brother shows up, and she begins to dream the Cities and blonde Scandinavian girls calling for help.
- Moon of the Crusted Snow, by Waubgeshig Rice (ECW Press, 2018)
With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow.
- Trickster Trilogy, by Eden Robinson (Knopf Canada, 2017)
A teenage boy wades through the complications of a broken family, social pressure, drugs, alcohol and poverty and discovers the Haisla trickster Wee'jit. The story is set in Kitimat, British Columbia.
- Monkey Beach, by Eden Robinson (Penguin Random House Canada, 2000)
Lisamarie Hill on a quest to find her younger brother Jimmy, who is lost at sea. The narrative alternates between Lisa's journey to Monkey Beach to find Jimmy, and her reminiscences of growing up in the village of Kitimaat, British Columbia
- Tobacco Wars, by Paul Seesequasis (Quattro Books, 2010)
Set in the early 17th century, this novella follows the mythical and rollicking adventures of Pocahontas and playwright Ben Jonson. And as worlds are turned upside down and irrevocably altered - a new commodity - tobacco, intoxicates the old world at the same time as an 'Indian princess' undertakes her own age of exploration.
- Islands of DeColonial Love, by Leanne Simpson (ARP Books, 2013)
In her debut collection of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love, renowned writer and activist Leanne Simpson vividly explores the lives of contemporary Indigenous Peoples and communities, especially those of her own Nishnaabeg nation.
- Split Tooth, by Tanya Tagaq (Viking, 2018)
A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this.
- The Lesser Blessed, by Richard Van Camp (Douglas & McIntyre, 1996)
The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening coming-of-age story, depicting what it is to be a young Native man in the age of AIDS, disillusionment with Catholicism and a growing world consciousness.
- The Break, by Katherena Vermette (House of Anansi Press, 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.
- Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese (Douglas & McIntyre, 2012)
In late 1950s Ontario, eight-year-old Saul Indian Horse is torn from his Ojibway family and committed to one of Canada’s notorious Catholic Residential Schools. In this oppressive environment, Saul is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his Indigenous culture and he witnesses and experiences all kinds of abuse. Despite this, Saul finds salvation in the unlikeliest of places and the most favourite of Canadian pastimes — hockey.
- Accident of Being Lost, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (House of Anansi Press, 2017)
This Accident of Being Lost is the knife-sharp new collection of stories and songs from award-winning Nishnaabeg storyteller and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson.
- As we Have Always Done, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2017)
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking.
- The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway, by Edward Benton-Banai (Ingram, 1979)
A book on the history, philosophy, and teachings of the Ojibway people, as passed down to the present generation by parents, grandparents, and elders of the Lac Court Oreilles Reservation (Wisconsin), contains material from oral tradition and is named "Mishomis," the Ojibway word for grandfather. The 15 chapters recount Ojibway myths and legends, describe features of Ojibway life, such as the clan system, and discuss historic events, such as the migration of Anishinabe and happenings since the coming of French traders in 1544. The text is illustrated with many drawings and maps.
- Half-Breed, by Maria Campbell (Univ of Nebraska Press, 1982)
An unflinchingly honest memoir of her experience as a Métis woman in Canada, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed depicts the realities that she endured and, above all, overcame. This extraordinary account bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust. Laced with spare moments of love and joy, this is a memoir of family ties and finding an identity in a heritage that is neither wholly Indigenous or Anglo; of strength and resilience; of indomitable spirit.
- Clearing of the Plains, by James Daschuk (University of Regina Press (May 13 2013)
In arresting, but harrowing, prose, James Daschuk examines the roles that Old World diseases, climate, and, most disturbingly, Canadian politics—the politics of ethnocide—played in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of Indigenous people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald’s "National Dream."
- God is Red: A Native View of Religion, by Vina Deloria Jr. (North Amer Pr, 1994)
Deloria, a prominent Native American educator, lawyer, and philosopher, has updated his classic work on native religion. In God is Red Deloria argues convincingly that Christianity has failed today's society, and describes basic tenets that underlie Native religions. His other works include Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties and Custer Died for Your Sins.
- A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, by Alicia Elliott (Doubleday Canada, 2019)
The Mohawk phrase for depression can be roughly translated to "a mind spread out on the ground." In this urgent and visceral work, Alicia Elliott explores how apt a description that is for the ongoing effects of personal, intergenerational, and colonial traumas she and so many Native people have experienced.
- In Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask: Anishinaabe Botanical Teachings by Mary Siisup Geniusz (Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2015)
Mary Siisip Geniusz makes Anishinaabe botanical information available to native and non-native healers and educators and emphasizes the Anishinaabe culture that developed the knowledge and practice.
- Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions, 2015)
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.
- 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, by Bob Joseph (Indigenous Relations Press, 2018)
Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussions on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.
- A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice, Edited by Joshua Kahn, Toban Black, Stephen D'Arcy, Tony Weis (PM Press, 2014)
A Line in the Tar Sands offers a critical analysis of the impact of the tar sands and the challenges opponents face in their efforts to organize effective resistance.
- The Clay We Are Made Of: Haudenosaunee Land Tenure on the Grand River, by Susan B. Hill (University of Manitoba Press, 2017)
In The Clay We Are Made Of, Susan M. Hill presents a revolutionary retelling of the history of the Grand River Haudenosaunee from their Creation Story through European contact to contemporary land claims negotiations.
- The Inconvenient Indian, by Thomas King (Doubleday Canada, 2012)
Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King's critical and personal meditation on what it means to be "Indian" in North America.
- Myth of the Barrens, by Brenda Kolson (Lone Pine Publishing, 2009)
Myth of the Barrens is a true account of a young Metis woman's discovery of the land and ancient spirits of the Canadian North.
- Decolonizing Trauma Work: Indigenous Stories and Strategies, by Renee Linklater (Fernwood Publishing, 2014)
In Decolonizing Trauma Work, Renee Linklater explores healing and wellness in Indigenous communities on Turtle Island.
- I am Woman, by Lee Maracle (Press Gang, 1988)
A seminal book on racism and feminism in Canada, Maracle’s I am Woman confronts the legacy of colonialism with academic precision and seeks to empower Indigenous women and girls.
- My Conversations with Canadians, by Lee Maracle (Book Thug, 2017)
Lee Maracle’s My Conversations with Canadians presents a tour de force exploration into the writer’s own history and a reimagining of the future of our nation.
- Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, by Jessica McDiarmid (DoubleDay, 2019)
A searing and revelatory account of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls of Highway 16, and an indictment of the society that failed them.
- Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing, by Suzanne Methot (ECW Press, 2019)
With passionate logic and chillingly clear prose, author and educator Suzanne Methot uses history, human development, and her own and others’ stories to trace the roots of Indigenous cultural dislocation and community breakdown in an original and provocative examination of the long-term effects of colonization.
- Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun: Portraits of Everyday Life in Eight Indigenous Communities, by Paul Seesequasis (Knopf, 2019)
A revelatory portrait of eight Indigenous communities from across North America, shown through never-before-published archival photographs--a gorgeous extension of Paul Seesequasis's popular social media project.
- Accident of Being Lost, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (House of Anansi Press, 2017)
This Accident of Being Lost is the knife-sharp new collection of stories and songs from award-winning Nishnaabeg storyteller and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. These visionary pieces build upon Simpson's powerful use of the fragment as a tool for intervention in her critically acclaimed collection Islands of Decolonial Love.
- As We Have Always Done, by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking. She makes clear that the goal of Indigenous resistance can no longer be cultural resurgence as a mechanism for inclusion in a multicultural mosaic, calling for unapologetic, place-based Indigenous alternatives to the destructive logics of the settler colonial state.
- From Where I Stand: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a Stronger Canada, by Jody Wilson-Raybould and Murray Sinclair (Purich Books, 2019)
In this powerful book, drawn from speeches and other writings, Jody Wilson-Raybould urges all Canadians – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – to build upon the momentum already gained or risk hard-won progress being lost.
- Moose to Maccasins: The Story of Ka Kita Wa Pa No Kwe, By Madeline Katt Theriault (Natural Heritage, 2006)
Having been born in a tent on Bear Island, Lake Temagami, in 1908, Madeline Katt Theriault could recall an earlier independent and traditional First Nations lifestyle. In this book, the late author proudly tells of her youth and coming of age by sharing her vivid memories and drawing on exceptional old family photographs.
- The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, by Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Allen Lane, 2015)
In this culmination of Watt-Cloutier's regional, national, and international work over the last twenty-five years, The Right to Be Cold explores the parallels between safeguarding the Arctic and the survival of Inuit culture, of which her own background is such an extraordinary example.
- What We Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation, by Murray Sinclair, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Dr. Marie Wilson (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015)
This book outlines the The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s central conclusions about the history and legacy of residential schools and identify both the barriers to reconciliation and the opportunities for constructive action that currently exist.
- Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World, by Jack Weatherford (Ballantine Books, 1989)
After 500 years, the world's huge debt to the wisdom of the Indians of the Americas has finally been explored in all its vivid drama. Anthropologist Jack Weatherford traces the crucial contributions made by the Indians to our federal system of government, our democratic institutions, modern medicine, agriculture, architecture, and ecology, and in this astonishing, ground-breaking book takes a giant step toward recovering a true American history.
- Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, Edited by Jill Ahlberg Yohe and Teri Greeves (University of Washington Press, 2019)
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists explores the artistic achievements of Native women and establishes their rightful place in the art world.
- My Home As I Remember, edited by Lee Maracle and Sandra Laronde (Natural Heritage, 2000)
My Home As I Remember describes literary and artistic achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Metis women across Canada and the United States, including contributions from New Zealand and Mexico.
- Sky Woman: Indigenous Women Who Have Shaped, Moved, or Inspired Us, edited by Sandra Laronde (Theytus Books, 2005)
When Sky Woman fell from the upper world through a hole in the sky, earth was born. Since then, as Indigenous women, we have been resourceful, resilient and remarkable in our will to keep falling and moving forward.
- Sweetgrass Grows All Around Her, edited by Sandra Laronde and Beth Brant (Native Women in the Arts Canada, 1996)
This year's journal is inspired by a Mohawk woman named Teiohonstasen, meaning "Sweetgrass is All Around Her". Born in the early 1900's, she was highly regarded for her art work and her character within the Akwesasne community.
- Mitêwâcimowina: Indigenous Science Fiction and Speculative Storytelling, Edited by Neal McLeod (Theytus Books, 2016)
Many strange tales woven and crafted to keep the reader glued to the book until its final page.
- Before the Usual Time: A Collection of Indigenous Stories, Poems and Art, Edited by Darlene Naponse (Latitude 46, 2020)
Before the Usual Time is a collection of words and imagery from diverse voices grounded in the land that explore community in relation to time. Filmmaker/writer, Darlene Naponse, curates a gathering of expression about time that has passed, time that is now and time that comes.
- Bawaajigan: Stories of Power, Edited by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler and Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith (Exile Editions, 2019)
Bawaajigan—an Anishinaabemowin word for dream or vision—is a collection of powerful short fiction (urban-fantasy and high-fantasy; alternative histories, and alternative realities; brushes with the supernatural, the prophetic, the hallucinatory, and the surreal) by Indigenous writers from across Turtle Island.
- Love Beyond Body, Space & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology, Edited by Hope Nicholson (Bedside Press, 2016)
Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters.
- MOONSHOT: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Edited by Hope Nicholson (Alternate History Comics Inc, 2015)
MOONSHOT The Indigenous Comics Collection brings together dozens of creators from North America to contribute comic book stories showcasing the rich heritage and identity of indigenous storytelling.
- Writing the Circle: Native Women of Western Canada, an Anthology, Edited by Jeanne Perreault and Sylvia Vance (Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1993)
Writing the Circle is an anthology of contemporary Native American women's writing including short stories, poems, essays, and memoirs by writers in Canada's prairie provinces and western Northwest Territories.
- Strength and Struggle: Perspectives from First Nations, Inuit and Metis People in Canada, Edited by Rachel A. Mishenene and Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse (McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2011)
Strength and Struggle includes a rich array of short stories, poetry, music lyrics, graphic art, articles, essays, and other pieces that will have you laughing, crying, talking, and thinking. It's a true celebration of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis writing and art.
- Coming Home: Stories from the NorthWest Territories, by Richard Van Camp (Great Plains Publications, 2012)
Coming Home features eighteen stories by NWT writers that express the diversity of the region, speaking from many points of view.
- Impact: Colonialism in Canada, Edited by Warren Cariou, Katherena Vermette, Nilgaan James Sinclair (MFNERC, 2017)
A collection of fiction, poetry, essays and creative non-fiction, this anthology features works by over 20 Indigenous Canadian writers. The book focuses on the effects of colonialism in Canada from both historical and contemporary perspectives.
- Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, Edited by Jill Ahlberg Yohe and Teri Greeves (University of Washington Press, 2019)
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists explores the artistic achievements of Native women and establishes their rightful place in the art world.
- The Hours That Remain, by Keith Barker (Playwrights Canada Press, 2017)
The Hours That Remain explores the story of a woman haunted by the disappearance of her sister. Denise desperately seeks to find answers to Michelle’s disappearance. As she and her husband Daniel grapple with the loss, Denise is visited by Michelle in a series of visions that will help her to find the answers she is looking for.
- Dreary and Izzy, by Tara Beagan (Playwrights Canada Press, 2007)
When the Monoghan sisters lose their parents in a car accident, Deirdre remains as the sole caregiver to her older sister, Isabelle. Just as Deirdre is poised to enter university and begin exploring, for the first time, her own future and independence, she must choose how much of her own life she will sacrifice for the love of Isabelle.
- Jumping Mouse, by Columpa Bobb (Playwrights Union of Canada, 1998)
In this adaptation of a traditional story, young Curious Mouse and her best friend Companion set off on a brave journey to the Sacred Mountains, meeting a host of lively characters along the way, and discovering the true meaning of courage and friendship.
- The Unnatural and Accidental Women, by Marie Clements (Talonbooks, 2005)
The Unnatural and Accidental Women is a surrealist dramatization of a thirty-year murder case involving many mysterious deaths in the “Skid Row” area of Vancouver.
- Tales of an Urban Indian, by Darrell Dennis (Playwrights Canada Press, 2005)
Tales of an Urban Indian is a one-person play that follows the trials and tribulations of Simon Douglas, a young Native man who moves from his rural reservation to the big city of Vancouver.
- Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, by Tomson Highway (Fifth House Publishers, 1989)
On an Indian reserve (or "Rez"), the men band together to protest an all-girl hockey team. The men on the Rez see this encroachment of women as another assault on their identity, and the play touches on what an Indigenous identity means.
- The Rez Sisters, by Tomson Highway (Fifth House Publishers, 1988)
This award-winning play by Native playwright Tomson Highway is a powerful and moving portrayal of seven women from a reserve attempting to beat the odds by winning at bingo. And not just any bingo. It is THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD and a chance to win a way out of a tortured life.
- Manitoulin Incident, by Alanis King (Fifth House Publishers, 2020)
Set in Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron, the play spans the stormy decades of the mid-19th century where title to the region was hotly debated between French, English and Ojibwe. Tensions grew over these years and finally culminated in what is known as "The Manitoulin Incident", where armed government officials landed ashore to assert claims to the land through summons and expulsions.
- Where the Blood Mixes, by Kevin Loring (Talonbooks, 2009)
Though torn down years ago, the memories of their Residential School still live deep inside the hearts of those who spent their childhoods there. For some, like Floyd, the legacy of that trauma has been passed down through families for generations. But what is the greater story, what lies untold beneath Floyd’s alcoholism, under the pain and isolation of the play’s main character?
- Bears, by Matthew MacKenzie (Playwrights Canada Press, 2020)
As the prime suspect in a workplace accident, Floyd has to get out of town fast. Pursued by the RCMP, he heads through the Rockies for Burnaby, BC, along the route of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. By the time he reaches the Pacific, Floyd has experienced changes: his gait widening, muscles bulging, sense of smell heightening.
- The Breathing Hole, by Colleen Murphy (Playwrights Canada Press, 2020)
Stories of the Canadian Arctic intersect in this epic five-hundred-year journey led by a one-eared polar bear.
- The Almighty Voice and His Wife, by Daniel David Moses (Playwrights Canada Press, 2009)
Almighty Voice and His Wife shakes up a familiar story from the Saskatchewan frontier, reimagining it from the postmodern late twentieth century. The “renegade Indian story” transforms into both an eloquent tale of tragic love and an often hilarious, fully theatrical exorcism of the hurts of history. A modern classic about the place of First Nations people in Canada.
- Big Buck City, by Daniel David Moses (Exile Editions, 1998)
Big Buck City, part of his City Plays series is a farce that tells the story of Lena’s Christmas reunion in that city with her family just in time for the birth of her own miraculous child.
- The Moon and Dead Indians, by Daniel David Moses (Exile Editions, 1995)
In these linked plays, prize-winning playwright Daniel David Moses explores the frontier and discovers that the human face of the old West was more than cowboys and Indians.
- Coyote City, by Daniel David Moses (Exile Editions, 1998)
Coyote City, part of his City Play series is a tragedy which begins with a phone call from a ghost that sends a young Native woman, Lena, her family in pursuit, on a search in the city for her missing lover Johnny.
- Annie Mae’s Movement, by Yvette Nolan (Playwrights Canada Press, 2006)
Dying under mysterious circumstances, it is still unclear what really happened to Anna Mae back in the late 70s. Instead of recounting cold facts, this play looks for the truth in examining the life and death of this remarkable Aboriginal woman; that we cannot know the consequences of our actions; that we live on in the work that we do and the people we affect long after we have passed from this world.
- Children of God, by Corey Payette (Scirocco Drama, 2018)
Children of God is a gorgeous, powerful musical about an Oji-Cree family whose children were taken away to a residential school in Northern Ontario.
- God and the Indian, by Drew Hayden Taylor (Talonbooks, 2014)
While panhandling outside a coffee shop, Johnny, a Cree woman who lives on the streets, is shocked to recognize a face from her childhood, which was spent in a First Nations residential school. Desperate to hear the man acknowledge the terrible abuse he inflicted on her and other children at the school, Johnny follows Anglican bishop George King to his office to confront him.
- In a World Created by a Drunken God, by Drew Hayden Taylor (Talonbooks, 2006)
Jason Pierce, a 31 year old Canadian half-Native man, is paid an unexpected visit by Harry Deiter, who awkwardly introduces himself as Jason’s half-brother. What Harry wants from Jason is bizarre: to be compatibility-tested for a possible kidney donation to their dying non-Native father, a man Jason has no memory of ever meeting and who, after a brief and secret affair, abandoned Jason’s mother when he was two months old.
- Spirit Horse, by Drew Hayden Taylor
Spirit Horse is a powerful story that chronicles an incredible adventure involving two urban First Nations children. Angelina and Jesse’s lives are changed forever when their grandfather, who lives by the old ways on a prairies reserve, brings them a horse that has mysteriously appeared to him.
- Thunderstick, by Kenneth Williams (Scirocco Drama, 2010)
Jacob is an alcoholic reporter, his estranged cousin Isaac is a worldly photojournalist just recently returned to Canada-and their editor pairs them up to cover a story on Parliament Hill. When their car breaks down, stranding them in the woods in the middle of the night, Jacob and Isaac finally face up to their painful shared past, and come to terms with what has divided them for all these years.
- Café Daughter, by Kenneth Williams (Scirocco Drama, 2013)
Café Daughter is a one-woman drama inspired by a true story about a Chinese-Cree girl growing up in Saskatchewan in the 1950s and 60s.
- Calling Down the Sky, by Rosanna Deerchild (Bookland Press, 2015)
"Calling Down the Sky" is a poetry collection that describes deep personal experiences and post generational effects of the Canadian Aboriginal Residential School confinements in the 1950's when thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools against their parents' wishes.
- A Really Good Brown Girl, by Marilyn Dumont (Brick Books, 1996)
Marilyn Dumont's Metis heritage offers her challenges that few of us welcome. Here she turns them to opportunities: in a voice that is fierce, direct, and true, she explores and transcends the multiple boundaries imposed by society on the self. These are Indian poems; Canadian poems: human poems
- Living in the Tall Grass: Poems of Reconciliation, by Chief R. Stacey Laforme (UpRoute, 2018)
Chief Stacey Laforme gives a history of his people through stories and poetry to let Canadians see through the eyes of Indigenous people.
- Bent Box, by Lee Maracle (Theytus Books, 2000)
Bent Box is the first collection of poetry by Lee Maracle. The poems speak volumes of emotion ranging from quiet desperation to bitter anger to the depths of love.
- Hope Matters, by Lee Maracle, Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter (BookThug, 2019)
Hope Matters, written by multiple award-winner Lee Maracle, in collaboration with her daughters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, focuses on the journey of Indigenous people from colonial beginnings to reconciliation.
- Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney by Amand Garnet Ruffo (Coteau Books, 1996)
This unique, accessible collection of narrative poetry examines a dynamic, often contradicory, always fascinating man who reconstructed his character to deliver his message of conservation to the world.
- Witness I am, by Gregory Scofield (Nightwood Editions, 2016)
Witness, I Am is divided into three gripping sections of new poetry: "Dangerous Sound," contains contemporary themed poems about identity and belonging, rendered into modern sound poetry; "Muskrat Woman," is a breathtaking epic poem that considers the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women through the reimagining and retelling of a sacred Cree creation story; and "Ghost Dance," raids the autobiographical so often found in Scofield's poetry, weaving the personal and universal into a tapestry of sharp poetic luminosity.
- The Gathering: Stones For The Medicine Wheel, by Gregory Scofield (Polestar Book Publishers, 1993)
Winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry prize, Gregory Scofield bridges Native and non-Native worlds. The Gathering offers understanding and insight into the historical and contemporary displacement of Canada's Metis people.
- She Holds Up the Stars, by Sandra Laronde (Annick Press, 2022) A young Indigenous girl searching for a sense of home finds strength and courage in her gifts, her deepening connection to the land, and her own cultural awakening in this moving coming-of-age story. She Holds Up the Stars is a powerful story of belonging, reconciliation and the interwoven threads that tie us to family, to the land, and to our own sense of self.
- Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline (Cormorant Books, 2017) In a futuristic world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America's Indigenous people, and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world.
- Tomboy Survival Guide, by Ivan Coyote (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016) Tomboy Survival Guide is a funny and moving memoir told in stories, about how they learned to embrace their tomboy past while carving out a space for those of us who don't fit neatly into boxes or identities or labels.
- Nobody Cries at Bingo, by Dawn Dumont (Thistledown Press, 2011) In Nobody Cries At Bingo, the narrator, Dawn, invites the reader to witness first hand Dumont family life on the Okanese First Nation. Beyond the sterotypes and clichés of Rez dogs, drinking, and bingos, the story of a girl who loved to read begins to unfold.
- Running the Bases, by Paul Kropp (Doubleday Canada, 2005) Alan Macklin is your average 17-year-old guy with a simple goal. He wants to get a girl. But trial and error has made one thing perfectly clear: when it comes to the opposite sex, Alan keeps on striking out. Repeatedly. And painfully. He knows he needs help. His friend Jeremy proves useless, so he turns to someone who might actually have some good advice.
- Will’s Garden, by Lee Maracle (Theytus Books, 2008) This coming of age story of a young Sto: loh man is set in Sto: loh territory. Will takes the time to re-look at the women in his life, consider his future as a Sto: loh caretaker of the land in the modern world, while dealing with common issues of a teenager, problems with bullying, sexuality, love and illness.
- Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen (HarperCollins, 2002) After severely injuring Peter Driscal in an empty parking lot, mischief-maker Cole Matthews is in major trouble. But instead of jail time, Cole is given an alternative: a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island.
- April Raintree, by Beatrice Mosioner (HighWater Press, 1984) April Raintree is a revised version of the novel, In Search of April Raintree, written specifically for students in grades 9 through 12. Through her characterization of two young sisters who are removed from their family, the author poignantly illustrates the difficulties that many Aboriginal people face in maintaining a positive self-identity.
- Skraelings, by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley (Inhabit Media, 2014) In this adventurous novel - set in the ancient Arctic, but narrated for modern readers by an inquisitive and entertaining contemporary narrator - a young, wandering Inuit hunter named Kannujaq happens upon a camp in grave peril.
- Holes, by Louis Sachar (Yearling, 2000) Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
- Little Voice, by Ruby Slipperjack (Coteau Books, 2001) Eleven-year-old Ray feels like a misfit at school and in her family. Things have been hard for her family since her father's accidental death in a logging accident Then Ray gets the chance she's been longing for: to spend a summer in the bush with her beloved grandmother―fishing, camping, and living off the land. During this visit, guided by her grandmother's sure hands, compassionate wisdom, and unfailing sense of humour, Ray begins a marvellous journey.
- Deadly Loyalties, by Jennifer Storm (Theytus Books, 2007) An engrossing and compelling coming of age story depicting the gritty and often gruesome realities of life on the streets, Deadly Loyalties is an open and honest look at the violence and pressures teenagers face when trying to belong.
- The Night Wanderer, by Drew Hayden Taylor Annick Press, 2013) Newcomers to the Otter Lake native reserve don’t go unnoticed for long. So it’s no surprise that 16-year-old Tiffany’s curiosity is piqued when her father rents out her room to a complete stranger. But little do Tiffany, her father, or even her insightful Granny Ruth suspect the truth about their guest. The mysterious Pierre L’Errant has a dreadful secret. After centuries roaming Europe as a brooding vampire, he has returned home to reclaim his Native roots before facing the rising sun and certain death.
- Inside Out, by Terry Trueman (HarperTeen, 2004) In a busy coffee shop, a robbery goes wrong. Two gunmen hold seven hostages, including teenager Zach Wahhsted. What nobody realizes at first is that Zach is anything but ordinary and his troubled mind is more dangerous than any weapon.
- Tatsea, by Armin Wiebe (Turnstone Press, 2003) Set in Canada's Subarctic in the late 1700s, a time when the Dogrib people were under constant threat of attack by raiders supplied with European weapons. After Ikotsali saves Tatsea and her father following a hunting accident, Tatsea is obliged to marry their strange-looking rescuer. One day when Ikotsali is away from camp, raiders arrive and kill everyone. The only lives spared are those of Tatsea, who is captured, and their infant daughter, whom she has hidden. When Ikotsali returns to find the carnage, the story of their struggle to survive and be reunited begins.
- Mwakwa: Talks to the Loon, by Dale Auger (Heritage House Publishing Co., 2007)
Kayâs is a young Cree man who is blessed with a gift that makes him a talented hunter. But when he becomes proud and takes his abilities for granted, he loses his gift, and the people grow hungry.With the help of the Elders, Kayâs learns that in order to live a life of fulfillment, he must learn to cherish and respect the talents he has been given.
- Watishka Warrior, by Daniel Auger (Eschia Books, 2009)
After living away for years, Sandy Lafonde returns to her childhood home at the Watishka First Nation reserve. Little has changed since she left -- a local gang menaces the area, the community is splintered and the Cree youth are left restless and frustrated. Sandy realizes that she needs to do something to help, so she proposes to start a junior hockey team.
- The Elders Are Watching, by David Bouchard And Roy Henry Vickers (Raincoast Books, 1990)
A plea to respect the natural treasures of our environment and a message of concern from aboriginal leaders of the past to the people of the new millennium, The Elder Are Watching has both a timelessness and an urgency that must be heard.
- She-she-etko, by Nicola Campbell (Groundwood Books, 2005)
In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school. She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world -- the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember.
- Shin-chi's Canoe, by Nicola I. Campbell (Groundwood Books, 2008)
When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko reminds Shinchi, her six-year-old brother, that they can only use their English names and that they can't speak to each other. For Shinchi, life becomes an endless cycle of church mass, school, and work, punctuated by skimpy meals. He finds solace at the river, clutching a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from his father, and dreaming of the day when the salmon return to the river — a sign that it’s almost time to return home.
- The Moccasins, by Earl Einarson (Theytus Books, 2004)
This is an endearing story of a young Aboriginal foster child who is given a special gift by his foster mother. Her gift of warmth and thoughtfulness helps her young foster children by encouraging self-esteem, acceptance and love. Written as a simple story, it speaks of a positive foster experience.
- Owls See Clearly At Night, by Julie Flett (Simply Read Books, 2010)
This picture book is a small glimpse, from A to Z, of some of the sights and sounds of the Michif language and its speakers.
- Caribou Song, by Tomson Highway (Fifth House Publishers, 2013)
Joe and Cody are young Cree brothers who follow the caribou all year long, tucked into their dog sled with Mama and Papa. They are so busy playing and dancing, they don't hear the rumble of the caribou. And yet what should be a moment of terror turns into something mystical and magical, as the boys open their arms and their hearts to embrace the caribou spirit.
- Sweetest Kulu, Written by Celina Kalluk, Illustrated By Alexandria Neonakis (Inhabit Media, 2014)
Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little Kulu; an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.
- The Curse of the Shaman, by Michael Kusugak (HarperTrophy, 2006)
Sometimes even shamans get cranky. That was baby Wolverine’s misfortune—to be cursed by an out-of-sorts shaman frustrated by his own babydaughter’s incessant crying. Not only has shaman Paaliaq forbidden the future marriage of Wolverine to Breath, Paaliaq’s beautiful but teary baby girl, he has cursed Wolverine, banishing him when he becomes a young man.
- This Land is My Land, by George Littlechild (Lee & Low Books, 2014)
In This Land Is My Land, George intimately and honestly shares with readers how he discovered his Native heritage and what it means to him. He recounts the history of his people and expresses his wish to use his art to portray the wonders of his heritage, and to heal the pain of his people's history.
- Blackflies, Written by Robert Munsch, Illustrated By Jay Odjick (Scholastic Canada, 2017)
One day Helen wakes up and it's SPRING! But Helen knows that the blackflies will be coming out soon. So she does what any smart kid would do: she sends her little sister outdoors to check! When the blackflies and mosquitoes carry her away, Helen tells her dad, who rushes outside and is carried away himself. Now Helen needs to rescue BOTH of them, along with a wolf and a very clever bear.
- When We Were Alone, Written by David Alexander Robertson, Illustrated By Julie Flett (HighWater Press, 2016)
When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away.
- Hiawatha And The Peacemaker, Written by Robbie Robertson, Illustrated By David Shannon (Harry N. Abrams, 2015)
Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution.
- Rabbit And Bear Paws: Sacred Seven, by Chad Solomon (Little Spirit Bear Productions, 2011)
Watch Rabbit and friends learn about the Grandfather Teaching of Respect from their buffalo friends. Rabbit and Bear Paws butt heads trying to understand what it means to have respect for people and animals.
- The Thundermaker, by Alan Syliboy (Nimbus Publishing, 2015)
Mi'kmaw artist Alan Syliboy's The Thundermaker is based on Alan's spectacular mixed-media exhibit of the same name. In the book, Big Thunder teaches his son, Little Thunder, about the important responsibility he has making thunder for his people. Little Thunder learns about his Mi'kmaw identity through his father's teachings and his mother's traditional stories.
- What’s The Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? Written by Richard Van Camp, Illustrated by George Littlechild (Children's Book Press, 2013)
A stranger to horses in the Northwest Territories searches among family and friends for answers to an important question.
- Orca Chief, by Lucky Budd and Roy Henry Vickers (Harbour Publishing, 2015)
Four hunters leave home in the spring to harvest seaweed and sockeye. When they arrive at their fishing grounds, exhaustion makes them lazy and they throw their anchor overboard without care for the damage it might do. When Orca Chief discovers what the hunters have done, he sends his most powerful orca warriors to bring the men and their boat to his house. The men beg forgiveness, and Orca Chief compassionately sends them out with his pod to show them how to sustainably harvest the ocean's resources.