Book Lists: Books with Indigenous Rep

Canada Day recently passed on July 1, essentially Canada’s own independence day. However, there has been a lot of controversy around it. This is because only weeks ago there was a discovery in Canada of children’s remains on unmarked graves at the site of former residential schools. Residential schools were forced assimilation schools indigenous children had to go to in order to become more ‘white’ for Canadian society, and many of them were abused. As you can see, indigenous people (also known as first people, aboriginal people, native people, or autochthonous people) have faced horrors over centuries and still face bigotry today.

One example of subtle bigotry against indigenous people is the lack of representation across popular culture. I honestly barely come across native characters in books. In case you have the same problem, here is a lost of some books that have protagonists that identify as indigenous.

There There by Tommy Orange

Genre: Contemporary

Goodreads Average Rating: 3.98

298 pages

12 characters from native communities travel to the Big Oakland powwow, not yet realizing their stories are powerfully connected.

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

Genre: Historical Fiction

Goodreads Average Rating: 4.43

221 pages

Saul is in an alcohol rehab, surrounded by people who don’t understand him. He can only find refuge in telling his story of the racism, abuse, and cultural alienation he feels in 1960s Canada.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Genre: sci-fi

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.69

347 Pages

Cherokee citizen Daniel Wilson unleashes an AI that is determined to wipe out humanity and replace it with organic technology. The Osage nation must lead the counter-offensive.

Fishing With Grandma by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vsetula. Illustrated by Charlene Chua.

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79

29 pages

Grandma takes her two grandkids out on the lake and goes through how to have a successful ice fishing trip together.

He Who Dreams by Melanie Florence

Genre: Young Adult

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.71

144 pages

John is super busy but one day he stumbles into an indigenous dance class. He finds himself stumbling through beginning lessons and skipping soccer practice to go dance. When he attends a powwow, John realize performing is his passion. But to explore that passion he will have to be honest about it with others, navigating his Irish heritage and his Cree heritage.

The Red Files by Lisa Bird Wilson

Genre: Poetry

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.38

96 pages

This collection of poems reflect on the residential school systems and the their history of colonial violence.

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time

Genre: LGBTQ+

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.96

125 pages

This is a collection of science fiction and urban fantasy stories focusing on LGBT and two spirit characters.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Genre: Dystopian

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.05

231 pages

In a world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream. That is, all but North America’s indigenous population. Society believes the cure to their ailment is in this population’s bone marrow and they begin hunting them. A 15-year-old and his companions struggle for survival against the odds.

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

Genre: Magical Realism

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.93

202 pages

A girl grows up in 1970s Nunavut and she is able to see spirits everywhere. She must navigate the good and the evil, and this becomes especially complicated when she becomes pregnant.

By myadventure2017

Writer, Reader, Bookstagrammer, Booktoker, Blogger

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