Check out our curated list of Indigenous books, podcasts, movies, and reports!
Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada's Lost Promise and One Girl's Dream - Charlie Angus
Children of the Broken Treaty exposes a system of apartheid in Canada that led to the largest youth-driven human rights movement in the country’s history. The movement was inspired by Shannen Koostachin, a young Cree woman whom George Stroumboulopoulos named as one of “five teenage girls who kicked ass in history.”
As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
In As We Have Always Done, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking.
The Gift is in the Making - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
The Gift Is in the Making retells previously published Anishinaabeg stories, bringing to life Anishinaabeg values and teachings to a new generation. Readers are immersed in a world where all genders are respected, the tiniest being has influence in the world, and unconditional love binds families and communities to each other and to their homeland.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century.
Canada’s Indigenous Constitution – John Borrows
IN CANADA 'S INDIGENOUS CONSTITUTION John Borrows argues for recognizing Indigenous legal traditions as a third source of law in Canada, equal to that of common and civil law.
Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishinaabe Understanding of Treaty One - Aimée Craft
In order to interpret and implement a treaty between the Crown and Canada’s First Nations, we must look to its spirit and intent, and consider what was contemplated by the parties at the time the treaty was negotiated, argues author Aimée Craft.
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 aboriginal people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald’s “National Dream.”
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground – Alicia Elliott
A bold and profound meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America from award-winning Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott.
Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada - Harold R. Johnson
"The night of the decision in the Gerald Stanley trial for the murder of Colten Boushie, I received a text message from a retired provincial court judge. He was feeling ashamed for his time in a system that was so badly tilted. I too feel this way about my time as both defence counsel and as a Crown prosecutor; that I didn't have the courage to stand up in the court room and shout 'Enough is enough.' This book is my act of taking responsibility for what I did, for my actions and inactions." --Harold R. Johnson
Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo.
The Reason You Walk: A Memoir - Wab Kinew
When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant Aboriginal man who’d raised him. Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of Aboriginal peoples.
Thomas King explores the relationship between Natives and non-Natives since the fifteenth century and examines the way that popular culture has shaped our notion of Indigenous identity, while also reflecting on his own complicated relationship with activism.
In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience - Helen Knott
In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.
Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal - Kiera L. Ladner & Myra Trait
Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal is a collection of elegant, thoughtful, and powerful reflections about Indigenous Peoples’ complicated, and often frustrating, relationship with Canada, and how—even 150 years after Confederation—the fight for recognition of their treaty and Aboriginal rights continues.
Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada - D. Memee Lavell-Harvard & Jennifer Brant
The hidden crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada is both a national tragedy and a national shame. In this ground-breaking new volume, a variety of voices from the academic realms to the grassroots and front-lines. This book was created to honour our missing sisters, their families, their lives and their stories, with the hope that it will offer lessons to non-Indigenous allies and supporters so that we can all work together towards a nation that supports and promotes the safety and well-being of all First Nation, Métis and Inuit women and girls.
In Decolonizing Trauma Work, Renee Linklater explores healing and wellness in Indigenous communities on Turtle Island. Drawing on a decolonizing approach, which puts the “soul wound” of colonialism at the centre, Linklater engages ten Indigenous health care practitioners in a dialogue regarding Indigenous notions of wellness and wholistic health, critiques of psychiatry and psychiatric diagnoses, and Indigenous approaches to helping people through trauma, depression and experiences of parallel and multiple realities.
In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.
Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow - Brian D. McInnes
Francis Pegahmagabow (1889-1952), an Ojibwe of the Caribou clan, was born in Shawanaga First Nation, Ontario. Enlisting at the onset of the First World War, he served overseas as a scout and sniper and became Canada’s most decorated Indigenous soldier. After the war, Pegahmagabow settled in Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, where he married and raised six children. He served his community as both Chief and Councillor and was a founding member of the Brotherhood of Canadian Indians, the first national Indigenous political organization. In 1949 and 1950, he was elected the Supreme Chief of the National Indian Government.
Tommy Orange's wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize.
Legacy - Waubgeshig Rice
Legacy is the first novel by Waubgeshig Rice, whose collection of stories; Midnight Sweatlodge was the Gold Medal Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2012 for Adult Multicultural Fiction. Set in the 1990s, Legacy deals with violence against a young Indigenous woman and its lingering after-shocks on an Anishnawbe family in Ontario. Its themes of injustice, privilege and those denied it, reconciliation and revenge, are as timely as today’s headlines.
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.
Monkey Beach – Eden Robinson
Five hundred miles north of Vancouver is Kitamaat, an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people. Growing up a tough, wild tomboy, swimming, fighting, and fishing in a remote village where the land slips into the green ocean on the edge of the world, Lisamarie has always been different.
Xat'sull Chief Bev Sellars spent her childhood in a church-run residential school whose aim it was to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings, forced separation from family and culture, and discipline.
Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water - by Niigaan Sinclair, Warren Cariou, Beatrice Mosionier
This anthology of Aboriginal writings from Manitoba takes readers back through the millennia and forward to the present day, painting a dynamic picture of a territory interconnected through words, ideas, and experiences.
Tanya Talaga explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. From Northern Ontario to Nunavut, Norway, Brazil, Australia, and the United States, the Indigenous experience in colonized nations is startlingly similar and deeply disturbing.
The Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City – Tanya Talaga
In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.
More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples - Linda Tuhiwai Smith
From the vantage point of the colonized, the term 'research' is inextricably linked with European colonialism; the ways in which scientific research has been implicated in the worst excesses of imperialism remains a powerful remembered history for many of the world's colonized peoples. Here, an indigenous researcher issues a clarion call for the decolonization of research methods.
Honoring his Dogrib ancestry and celebrating life in northern Canada, the stories in Angel Wing Splash Pattern are playful, moving, and starkly honest in their portrayal of contemporary Native life. Angel Wing Splash Pattern also explores the healing going on in Indian country.
One Drum – Richard Wagamese
One Drum draws from the foundational teachings of Ojibway tradition, the Grandfather Teachings. Focusing specifically on the lessons of humility, respect and courage, the volume contains simple ceremonies that anyone anywhere can do, alone or in a group, to foster harmony and connection.
In Reclaiming Indigenous Planning, scholars and practitioners connect the past and present to facilitate better planning for the future. With examples from the Canadian Arctic to the Australian desert, and the cities, towns, reserves and reservations in between, contributors engage topics including Indigenous mobilization and resistance, awareness-raising and seven-generations visioning, Indigenous participation in community planning processes, and forms of governance.
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers.
"You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine" is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling novel. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living.
Written for readers from all cultures-but especially for Ojibway and Native youth-The Mishomis Book provides an introduction to Ojibway culture and an understanding of the sacred Midewiwin teachings, aiming to protect this knowledge by instilling its importance in a new generation. Encouraging the preservation of a way of life that is centered on respect for all living things, these vibrant stories about life, self, community, and relationship to nature are just as relevant to the modern reader as they were hundreds of years ago.
When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.
Inspired by the oral stories of Elder Dan Thomas and delightfully illustrated by Rosalyn Boucha, this adorable children’s book tells the story of a boy named Baapi and an important lesson he learns about caring for the earth. It’s a lesson he hears from some special, hidden friends.
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, Carole Lindstrom's bold and lyrical picture book We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguarding the Earth’s water from harm and corruption. Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all. When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.
In this mystical story of remembrance and tradition, Sister Girl and her brother, Young Wolf, wander far from their village and face great danger, including stampeding animals and a wall of fire. The children barely save themselves, and as night approaches, they find themselves alone in the barren and unforgiving wilderness. How will they find home? As the stars shine brightly, the spirit of their grandmother, Elk Tooth Woman, appears to guide them: "The Star People are always with you. Look up, and you will see me among the stars."
On a hot summer day, a young Anishinabe boy visits the shores of Gitchee Gumee with his mother. Nanaboozhoo, their teacher, is before them, presenting himself as a mass of land that stretches across the horizon. As they visit, Keeshig tells his mother about what he calls "the Ojibwe pterodactyls" that live with Nanaboozhoo. He talks about their hunting and what they like to eat. At the end of the story, Keeshig surprises his mom by sharing that the Ojibwe pterodactyls are indeed the thunderbirds and that they are the heartbeat of Nanaboozhoo. Keeshig's mom is so happy and grateful to hear his story and gives him a big hug, letting him know that he is her heart.
Young Psipsi is sick in bed. What will make her feel better? An Unktomi trickster story from her father lulls her to sleep.
"Unktomi stories have been shared in Dakota families and communities for a very long time. This tradition continued into the childhood of my mother's generation. Depending upon location and community, variations of this Unktomi story have been told. This Unktomi story is a local version my mother and her siblings heard from their father, primarily when they were ill, perhaps to lend comfort in addition to impart lessons to a captive audience." – Teresa Peterson
When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long braided hair and wear 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 everything was taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history and, ultimately, a story of empowerment and strength.
The dual language edition, in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) and English, of the award-winning story of a determined Ojibwe Nokomis (Grandmother) Josephine-ba Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (water). Nokomis walked to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet. She, along with other women, men, and youth, have walked around all the Great Lakes from the four salt waters, or oceans, to Lake Superior. The walks are full of challenges, and by her example Josephine-ba invites us all to take up our responsibility to protect our water, the giver of life, and to protect our planet for all generations.
This series of graphic tales set in the 1740s, are the adventures of the mischievous Ojibway brothers, Rabbit and Bear Paws colonized North America. The authors use traditional teachings from The Seven Grandfathers and a whopping dose of humour to create these books that are sure to be a hit.
When Phyllis Webstad (nee Jack) turned six, she went to residential school for the first time. On her first day at school, she wore a shiny orange shirt that her granny had bought for her, but when she got to the school, it was taken away from her and never returned. This is the true story of Phyllis and her orange shirt.
RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana
Reel Injun – Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, Jeremiah Hayes
Edge of the Knife – Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown
Our People Will Be Healed – Alanis Obomsawin
Blood Quantum - Jeff Barnaby Red Cry - Lakota Solidarity Project Video
Blood Quantum - Jeff Barnaby
Red Cry - Lakota Solidarity Project Video
Indian Horse - Richard Wagamese
Since its launch back in 2010, Rick Harp's goal with MEDIA INDIGENA has been to share the stories he wanted to see and hear as an Indigenous person, in the way he wanted to see and hear them.
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.
CBC's Connie Walker joins in their search, uncovering disturbing new details about how and why Cleo was taken, where she wound up, and how she died.
Think Indigenous is proud to share its yearly conference keynotes, presentations, and Red Talks, that highlight best practices, innovations, and delivery models of Indigenous education, in easy to listen to podcast form.