Indigenous authors to read for National Indigenous Peoples Day!

Happy Sunday, everyone! And happy National Indigenous Peoples Day! To celebrate, I thought I would highlight some of my favourite Indigenous authors, as well as some Indigenous authors I still have to read.

Books I recommend

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott: this is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read, and I cannot recommend it enough. It was one of my favourite books from last year and I think I bought six copies for people for Christmas. Please do yourself a favour and read it!

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice: this is one of the best books I’ve read this year! It’s so slow and ominous, and very relevant to what’s been happening re: the pandemic. I really, really loved it and want everyone to read it.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline: if you like YA dystopian and/or survival stories, you’ll love this. It’s so rich with story-telling and history, and so interesting. Also features a gay character, just saying.

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot: if you want a hard-hitting but short memoir, this is the one for you. It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely an important one. And it’s so well-written.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer: this book is about plants and Kimmerer’s relationship with plants as both a Native American woman and a botanist. It’s so interesting and so well-written. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Books on my TBR

  • The Stone Collection by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography by Andrea Warner: this book isn’t by an Indigenous author, but it is about a Cree woman, so I’m including it on this list. I have this on hold from the library, and I’m really excited to read it!
  • This Place: 150 Years Retold by many Indigenous authors: this is a graphic novel anthology exploring Indigenous peoples surviving a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.
  • A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby
  • Love: Beyond Body, Space & Time by Hope Nicholson
  • One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet by Richard Wagamese
  • NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field by Billy-Ray Belcourt
  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
  • From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle: I also have this on hold from the library, and am so excited to read it. I’m like 118 on the waiting list though so it might be a while 😅
  • Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun: Portraits of Everyday Life in Eight Indigenous Communities by Paul Seesequasis
  • Birdie by Tracey Lindberg: Lindberg is actually a professor at my law school! And I’ve heard fantastic things about her book.
  • The Rez Sisters: A Play in Two Acts by Thomson Highway: Highway sounds like an incredible person, and this play sounds so interesting. It’s been a while since I read a play, so maybe I should read this one soon.
  • Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
  • Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson: it seems like a crime that I haven’t read these books yet because everyone I know has read and loved them. I should get on that.
  • Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga
  • Here’s a Goodreads list of some Canadian Indigenous authors!

So, there are a ton of Indigenous authors you should read! Have you read any of these? What were your favourites? Any author Indigenous authors I should read? I know they’re out there, so let me know!

Ally xx

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5 thoughts on “Indigenous authors to read for National Indigenous Peoples Day!

  1. Indian Horse is great, as is just about anything by Richard Wagamese. I just finished Ragged Company and really enjoyed it. I have to admit to being in love with Franklin Starlight, the main character in Medicine Walk and the sadly unfinished but posthumously published Starlight. Tanya Tagaq’s Split Tooth is an excellent book and I liked reading it, but I found the audio book terribly triggering. Braiding Sweetgrass is wonderful, and I loved both the print copy and the audiobook, which is narrated by Robin Wall Kimmerer herself. That is one that I give as a gift on a regular basis. Her earlier book, Gathering Moss, is also great. Eden Robinson’s books are fabulous, and are completely interwoven with lore and spirituality, but also with the reality of modern day life. Seven Fallen Feathers is a must read in this time of trying to understand the systemic racism that is at work in this country. Anyone who thinks that Canada is “better” than the US WRT racism is deliberately closing their eyes to the treatment of Indigenous people over the past 3 centuries – and that act is the epitome of systemic racism. So, read, and think, and appreciate and change. We are enriched by the cultures and gifts of the people whose lands we inhabit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh okay I’m very excited to read Richard Wagamese and Eden Robinson and can’t believe I haven’t yet, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed them! I didn’t know Kimmerer had an earlier book, so I’ll have to check it out! And Seven Fallen Feathers is high on my list! I’m waiting for it from the library, but I’m far down on the list so hopefully I get to it soon


  2. I would add There There by Tommy Orange. I haven’t actually read this one, but it’s been recommended to me several times. It was both a Pulitzer and National Book Award nominee. It sounds like it’s about being of Native-heritage in modern America off the reservation. It just seemed like it would fit in well with the rest of your list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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