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Indigenous Interest

Read the powerful stories and rich history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and North America with the books listed below.

There are of course hundreds, if not thousands of titles that we could include in this list, however we wanted to focus primarily on recent titles as well as those that have a strong legacy.

We are also continually updating this list as we discover new books by or about Indigenous Peoples, and if you feel that we should include a particular title or author we encourage you to contact us with more information.


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Road Allowance Era

- Katherena Vermette , Scott B Henderson , Donovan Yaciuk

Young adult softcover $19.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.96

In Road Allowance Era, Echo's story picks up again when she travels back in time to 1885.

The government has not fulfilled its promise of land for the Métis, and many flee to the Northwest. As part of the fallout from the Northwest Resistance, their advocate and champion Louis Riel is executed. As new legislation corrodes Métis land rights, and unscrupulous land speculators and swindlers take advantage, many Métis settle on road allowances and railway land, often on the fringes of urban centres.

For Echo, the plight of her family is apparent. Burnt out of their home in Ste. Madeleine, they make their way to Rooster Town, a shanty community on the southwest edges of Winnipeg. In this final instalment of her story, Echo is reminded of the strength and resilience of her people, forged through the loss and pain of the past, as she faces a triumphant future.

Breakdown

- David A Robertson , Scott B Henderson , Donovan Yaciuk

Young adult softcover $21.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.76

After the events in Wounded Sky, Cole and Eva arrive in Winnipeg, the headquarters of Mihko Laboratories. They are intent on destroying the company once and for all, but their plans are thwarted when a new threat surfaces. When Cole becomes mired in terrifying visions, Eva must harness her newly discovered powers to investigate Mihko without him. Are Cole's visions just troubled dreams, or are they leading him to a horrible truth?

Perfect for fans of superheroes, The Bloodhound Gang returns in this all-new graphic novel series, The Reckoner Rises.

The Case of the Burgled Bundle

- Michael Hutchinson

Children's paperback $10.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $9.86

The National Assembly of Cree Peoples has gathered together in the Windy Lake First Nation, home to the Mighty Muskrats--cousins Chickadee, Atim, Otter, and Sam. But when the treaty bundle, the center of a four-day-long ceremony, is taken, the four mystery-solving cousins set out to catch those responsible and help protect Windy Lake's reputation! What's worse, prime suspect Pearl takes off to the city with her older brother and known troublemaker, Eddie. If they have the burgled bundle with them, the Mighty Muskrats fear it may be lost for good. With clues pointing in too many different directions, the cousins need to find and return the missing bundle before the assembly comes to an end. The history and knowledge passed down to each generation through the bundle is at stake.

We Dream Medicine Dreams

- Lisa Boivin

Children's hardcover $21.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.76

From Dene artist and bioethicist Lisa Boivin comes this healing story of hope, dreams, and the special bond between grandfather and granddaughter.

When a little girl dreams about a bear, her grandfather explains how we connect with the knowledge of our ancestors through dreams. Bear, Hawk, Caribou, and Wolf all have teachings to share to help us live a good life. But when Grampa gets sick and falls into a coma, the little girl must lean on his teachings as she learns to say goodbye.

Masterful prose and stunning collage weave a gentle story about animal teachings, the power of dreams, and the death of a loved one.

When We Are Kind

- Monique Gray Smith , Nicole Neidhardt

Children's hardcover $19.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.96

"Notably centering Indigenous families and characters of color in personal and communal activities--and encouraging readers to evaluate their actions toward others."--Publishers Weekly When We Are Kind celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives. Celebrated author Monique Gray Smith has written many books on the topics of resilience and reconciliation and communicates an important message through carefully chosen words for readers of all ages. Beautifully illustrated by artist Nicole Neidhardt, this book encourages children to be kind to others and to themselves.

I Sang You Down from the Stars

- Tasha Spillett-Sumner , Michaela Goade

Children's hardcover $19.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.96

Manitoba Book Award winner

A New York Times and CBC Books bestselling #OwnVoices love letter from an Indigenous mother to her new baby, new from celebrated author Tasha Spillett-Sumner and 2021 Caldecott winning illustrator Michaela Goade, that honors the beauty of a little one's arrival Drawing from Indigenous creation stories and traditional teachings and illustrated in dazzling watercolors, I Sang You Down from the Stars is a tribute to the bond between mother and child. The narrator gathers gifts for a medicine bundle in anticipation of her baby's birth; a fluffy white eagle plume, bunches of cedar and sage, a quilted star blanket, and a small stone from the river. When the baby arrives, the mother shares the bundle with her child and reveals the importance of each item inside. But when her family comes to meet the new arrival, she realizes the baby arrived with gifts of its own and that the baby is also a sacred bundle: a baby bundle. Writing in simple, lyrical text, author Tasha Spillett-Sumner draws from her cultural heritage in order to celebrate Indigenous traditions and the universal nature of a mother's love, with stunning art by the 2021 Caldecott medal winner for We Are Water Protectors, Michela Goade.

We All Play

- Julie Flett

Children's hardcover $22.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.66

A BEST CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post, New York Public Library, Kirkus Reviews, Globe and Mail, Horn Book, and Boston Globe

STARRED Reviews in Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, The Horn Book, School Library Journal

A 2022 Best Book for Babies 

From Julie Flett, the beloved author and illustrator of Birdsong, comes a joyous new book about playtime for babies, toddlers, and kids up to age 7. 

Animals and kids love to play! This wonderful book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Beautiful illustrations show:birds who chase and chirp!bears who wiggle and wobble!whales who swim and squirt!owls who peek and peep!and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting: We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna

At the end of the book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside, making this book a great bedtime story. A beautiful ode to the animals and humans we share our world with, We All Play belongs on every bookshelf.

This book also includes:A glossary of Cree words for wild animals in the bookA pronunciation guide and link to audio pronunciation recordings

On the Trapline

- David A Robertson , Julie Flett

Children's hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

A picture book celebrating Indigenous culture and traditions. The Governor General Award--winning team behind When We Were Alone shares a story that honors our connections to our past and our grandfathers and fathers.

A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, "Is this your trapline?" Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago -- a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child's wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.

mahikan ka onot

- Duncan Mercredi , Warren Cariou

Trade paperback $19.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.99

mahikan ka onot collects the finest work of accomplished Indigenous poet Duncan Mercredi, from his first book in 1991 to recent unpublished poems. These are poems of life on the land as well as life in the city, vibrant with the rhythms of traditional Cree and Métis storytelling but also with the clamour and the music of the streets. This book brings the work of Duncan Mercredi (Cree/Métis) back into the public eye, providing a new generation of readers with the opportunity to experience his unique artistry. Mercredi brings to these poems the sensibility of a Cree speaker and a renowned oral storyteller, revealing a deep attachment to the land and a nuanced understanding of the complexities of contemporary Indigenous life. In startlingly direct, plainspoken language, the poet explores themes of cultural resurgence and steadfast connections among the generations, even amid the unfolding tragedies wrought by colonialism. Some of these poems are memories of traditional life on the land, especially in the time before Manitoba Hydro radically altered Mercredi's home community of Grand Rapids, Manitoba. Others focus on the urban Indigenous experience, based upon Mercredi's longstanding and intimate knowledge of Winnipeg. Like mahikan, the wolf, Mercredi's characters are often outsiders in certain contexts, but the poems reveal other perspectives that allow us to understand their loyalty and their love of community. The volume includes an afterword by Duncan Mercredi and an introduction by Métis scholar Warren Cariou, both of which provide resources for deeper study of the poems.

Storying Violence

- Gina Starblanket , Dallas Hunt

Trade paperback $15.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $13.50

In August of 2016, Cree youth Colten Boushie was shot dead by Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. Using colonial and socio-political narratives that underlie white rural settler life, the authors position the death of Boushie and trial of Stanley in relation to Indigenous histories and experiences in Saskatchewan. They point to the Stanley case as just one instance of Indigenous peoples? presence being seen as a threat to settler colonial security, then used to sanction the exclusion, violent treatment, and death of Indigenous peoples and communities.

Nishga

- Jordan Abel

Hardcover $32.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $29.66

WINNER of the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize at the 2022 BC and Yukon Book Prizes

From Griffin Poetry Prize winner Jordan Abel comes a groundbreaking, deeply personal, and devastating autobiographical meditation that attempts to address the complicated legacies of Canada's residential school system and contemporary Indigenous existence.


As a Nisga'a writer, Jordan Abel often finds himself in a position where he is asked to explain his relationship to Nisga'a language, Nisga'a community, and Nisga'a cultural knowledge. However, as an intergenerational survivor of residential school--both of his grandparents attended the same residential school--his relationship to his own Indigenous identity is complicated to say the least.

NISHGA explores those complications and is invested in understanding how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted his grandparents' generation, then his father's generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous.

Drawing on autobiography and a series of interconnected documents (including pieces of memoir, transcriptions of talks, and photography), NISHGA is a book about confronting difficult truths and it is about how both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples engage with a history of colonial violence that is quite often rendered invisible.

The Politics of the Canoe

- Bruce Erickson , Sarah Wylie Krotz

Trade paperback $27.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $25.16

Popularly thought of as a recreational vehicle and one of the key ingredients of an ideal wilderness getaway, the canoe is also a political vessel. A potent symbol and practice of Indigenous cultures and traditions, the canoe has also been adopted to assert conservation ideals, feminist empowerment, citizenship practices, and multicultural goals. Documenting many of these various uses, this book asserts that the canoe is not merely a matter of leisure and pleasure; it is folded into many facets of our political life. Taking a critical stance on the canoe, The Politics of the Canoe expands and enlarges the stories that we tell about the canoe's relationship to, for example, colonialism, nationalism, environmentalism, and resource politics. To think about the canoe as a political vessel is to recognize how intertwined canoes are in the public life, governance, authority, social conditions, and ideologies of particular cultures, nations, and states. Almost everywhere we turn, and any way we look at it, the canoe both affects and is affected by complex political and cultural histories. Across Canada and the U.S., canoeing cultures have been born of activism and resistance as much as of adherence to the mythologies of wilderness and nation building. The essays in this volume show that canoes can enhance how we engage with and interpret not only our physical environments, but also our histories and present-day societies.

Authorized Heritage

- Robert Coutts

Trade paperback $27.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $25.16

"Authorized Heritage" analyses the history of commemoration at heritage sites across western Canada. Using extensive research from predominantly government records, it argues that heritage narratives are almost always based on national messages that commonly reflect colonial perceptions of the past. Yet many of the places that commemorate Indigenous, fur trade, and settler histories are contested spaces, places such as Batoche, Seven Oaks, and Upper Fort Garry being the most obvious. At these heritage sites, Indigenous views of history confront the conventions of settler colonial pasts and represent the fluid cultural perspectives that should define the shifting ground of heritage space. Robert Coutts brings his many years of experience as a public historian to this detailed examination of heritage sites across the prairies. He shows how the process of commemoration often reflects social and cultural perspectives that privilege a conventional and conservative national narrative. He also examines how class, gender, and sexuality often remain apart from the heritage discourse. Most notably, Authorized Heritage examines how governments became the mediators of what is heritage and, just as significantly, what is not.

Did You See Us?

- Andrew Woolford , of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School Survivors

Trade paperback $24.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.46

Manitoba Book Award winner

The Assiniboia school is unique within Canada's Indian Residential School system. It was the first residential high school in Manitoba and one of the only residential schools in Canada to be located in a large urban setting. Operating between 1958 and 1973 in a period when the residential school system was in decline, it produced several future leaders, artists, educators, knowledge keepers, and other notable figures. It was in many ways an experiment within the broader destructive framework of Canadian residential schools. Stitching together memories of arrival at, day-to-day life within, and departure from the school with a socio-historical reconstruction of the school and its position in both Winnipeg and the larger residential school system, Did You See Us? offers a glimpse of Assiniboia that is not available in the archival records. It connects readers with a specific residential school and illustrates that residential schools were often complex spaces where forced assimilation and Indigenous resilience co-existed. These recollections of Assiniboia at times diverge, but together exhibit Survivor resilience and the strength of the relationships that bond them to this day. The volume captures the troubled history of residential schools. At the same time, it invites the reader to join in a reunion of sorts, entered into through memories and images of students, staff, and neighbours. It is a gathering of diverse knowledges juxtaposed to communicate the complexity of the residential school experience.

Creeland

- Dallas Hunt

Trade paperback $18.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.06

Creeland is a poetry collection concerned with notions of home and the quotidian attachments we feel to those notions, even across great distances. Even in an area such as Treaty Eight (northern Alberta), a geography decimated by resource extraction and development, people are creating, living, laughing, surviving and flourishing--or at least attempting to. The poems in this collection are preoccupied with the role of Indigenous aesthetics in the creation and nurturing of complex Indigenous lifeworlds. They aim to honour the encounters that everyday Cree economies enable, and the words that try--and ultimately fail--to articulate them. Hunt gestures to the movements, speech acts and relations that exceed available vocabularies, that may be housed within words like joy, but which the words themselves cannot fully convey. This debut collection is vital in the context of a colonial aesthetic designed to perpetually foreclose on Indigenous futures and erase Indigenous existence. the Cree word for constellation is a saskatoon berry bush in summertime the translation for policeman in Cree is mîci nisôkan, kohkôs the translation for genius in Cree is my kôhkom muttering in her sleep the Cree word for poetry is your four-year-old niece's cracked lips spilling out broken syllables of nêhiyawêwin in between the gaps in her teeth 

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