June 2021 campaign

Check out the recommended books for our June 2021 campaign.

Join the #IndigenousReads conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #IndigenousReads. For more great books by Indigenous authors, visit the reading list from our previous #IndigenousReads campaigns.

Halfbreed

Maria Campbell


Summary of Halfbreed

A new, fully restored edition of the essential Canadian classic.

An unflinchingly honest memoir of her experience as a Métis woman in Canada, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed depicts the realities that she endured and, above all, overcame.

This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust.

Laced with spare moments of love and joy, this is a memoir of family ties and finding an identity in a heritage that is neither wholly Indigenous or Anglo; of strength and resilience; of indominatable spirit.

Note: This book deals with adult content and may be distressing for victims of assault.

(Source: Penguin Random House)

The Marrow Thieves

Cherie Dimaline

Summary of The Marrow Thieves

The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream.

In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up North to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden — but what they don't know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.

(Source: Dancing Cat Books)

Moon of the Crusted Snow: A Novel

Waubgeshig Rice

Summary of Moon of the Crusted Snow: A Novel

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.

The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision.

(Source: ECW)

Sweetest Kulu

Celina Kalluk

Summary of Sweetest Kulu

This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.

Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little "Kulu," an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.

(Source: Inhabit Media)

Tea and Bannock Stories: First Nations Community of Poetic Voices

Multiple authors, edited by Dr. Annie G. Ross

Summary of Tea and Bannock Stories: First Nations Community of Poetic Voices

Tea and Bannock Stories is a grass-roots multi-generational, multi-national compilation of poets and artists. The final result is this compilation of poems and images was presented at a community gathering on Mother Earth Day, April 21, 2007, at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre amidst family, friends, songs, dances, art, poetry, tea and bannock.

(Source: Tea and Bannock Stories: First Nations Community of Poetic Voices)

Written as I Remember It - Teachings (Ɂəms tɑɁɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder

Elsie Paul, with Davis McKenzie, Paige Raibmon and Harmony Johnson

Summary of Written as I Remember It - Teachings (Ɂəms tɑɁɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder

Elsie Paul, one of the last surviving mother-tongue speakers of the Sliammon language, collaborates with a scholar, Paige Raibmon, and her granddaughter, Harmony Johnson, to tell her life story and the history of her people, in her own words and storytelling style.

Raised by grandparents who took her on their seasonal travels, Paul spent her childhood immersed in Sliammon ways, stories, and legends. Paul's adult life unfolded against a backdrop of colonialism and racism. As she worked to sustain a healthy marriage, raise a large family, cope with tremendous grief and loss, and develop a career and give back to community, she drew strength and guidance from the Sliammon teachings she learned as a child. She shares this traditional knowledge for the first time in Written as I Remember It.

This rare glimpse into the life of a Coast Salish woman and the history of the Sliammon people stands as a fruitful model for collaborative research and storytelling, a model that has the power to transform relations between settlers and indigenous peoples in Canada.

(Source: UBC Press)

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