Indigenous Peoples have beautiful ceremonies, celebrations and culture that, tragically, have been ignored or simply taken through forced assimilation. While we can’t change our history, we can learn from it and do better. Here at BCLS we want to not only highlight but celebrate different voices and experiences. Below is a list of books that may bring new perspectives into view.
Apple: Skin to the Core: A Memoir in Words and Pictures by Eric Gansworth
The author tells the story of his family – of Onondaga among Tuscaroras – of Native folks everywhere, from the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.
Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley
Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.
A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli's best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven't been in centuries.
Two Roads by Joseph Bruchac
In 1932, 12-year-old Cal must stop being a hobo with his father and go to a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, where he begins learning about his history and heritage as a Creek Indian.
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
When Louise Wolfe's boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over email. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey. But “dating while Native” can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey's?
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
In a future 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 population – and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world.
Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson
To escape a government that needs antigens in aboriginal blood to stop a plague, 16-year-old Cassandra and her family flee to the Island, where she not only gets help in communicating with the spirit world, she learns she has been chosen to be their voice and instrument.
Surviving the City [electronic resource] by Tasha Spillett-Sumner
This story is about womanhood, friendship, colonialism, and the anguish of a missing loved one.
A Girl Called Echo. Vol. 1, Pemmican Wars by Katherena Vermette
Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee's history class turns extraordinary, and Echo's life will never be the same.
Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth
Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. A rock band – and winning Battle of the Bands – is his best shot.
Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac
After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.
If I Ever Get Out of Here: A Novel with Paintings by Eric Gansworth
Seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and whites –and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.
#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women Edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, it presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman.
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, illustrations by Rovina Cai
Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not.
Rain is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith
It's been six months since Cassidy Rain Berghoff’s best friend, Galen, died, and up until now she has succeeded in shutting herself off from the world. But when controversy arises around Aunt Georgia’s Indian Camp in their mostly white midwestern community, Rain decides to face the outside world again, with a new job photographing the campers for her town’s newspaper.