Recommended Reading Indigenous Authors

Published on
January 11, 2023
Time to read: 
Stack of books by Indigenous authors, starting at the top: Bob Joseph, Wab Kinew, Tanya Talaga, Bev Sellars, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Elaine Alec, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Betty J. Maracle, Jean Teillet, Ruby Peter, Chief Clarence Louie and Sheila Watt-Cloutier.
This is a stack of a dozen books that you may wish to read on your journey to learning more about Truth and Reconciliation.

Like many people I planned to start 2023 with a strategy for my social media content and blogs. And like many, I’m not quite ready to do that yet.

Instead, inspired by a question I was asked while delivering an Indigenous Inclusion session earlier this week, I’m posting this blog with a baker’s dozen books written by Indigenous authors.

The question was "What books do you recommend to help me learn more about Indigenous peoples?"

There are 12 books in the image that accompanies this blog. I couldn’t find my copy of one of the books that I really wanted to include, so it’s in the list below, but not in the picture.

There are about 50 books written by Indigenous authors in my office alone. There are at least 50 more in the rest of the house. We have books for children, fiction for all ages, and biographies. We also have books covering a diverse range of topics from truth and reconciliation (the newest is still under our Christmas tree), leadership, history, science, sustainable building, gardening, recipe books and more.

The list provided here is to help people on their path to Truth and Reconciliation in the lands we call Canada. They may be read in whatever order strikes your fancy.

I recommend starting with Bob Joseph’s book or the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada book.

Bob Joseph, “21 Things you may not know about the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality”

Wab Kinew, “The Reason You Walk”

Tanya Talaga, “All our Relations: Finding the Path Forward”

Bev Sellars, “They called me number One: Secrets and Survival at An Indian Residential School”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, “A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada”

Elaine Alec, “Calling My Spirit Back”

Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants”

Betty J. Maracle, “What I Need to Leave Behind”

Jean Teillet, “The North-West is Our Mother: The Story of Louis Riel’s People, the Métis Nation”

Ruby Peter, “What Was Said to Me: The Life of Sti’tum’atul’wut, a Cowichan Woman”

Chief Clarence Louie, “Rez Rules: My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples”

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, “The right to be cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet”

Lee Maracle, “My Conversations with Canadians”

I invite you to visit your local bookstore and ask for books by Indigenous authors. One of the major retailers in Canada literally has a section called Indigenous Voices.

There are also many independent and Indigenous owned bookstores. Check out your local book stores or visit these ones online:

Bison Books

• Goodminds: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Books

Iron Dogs Books 

Kwahiatonhk (en français)

• Massy Books

I believe that when we create truly Inclusive Diverse Equitable Accessible Learning (IDEAL) workplaces, then we create more jobs where people can thrive, while earning a good living.

Sharing resources to help others discover the path to Truth and Reconciliation is one way to help influence positive change.

What books are you reading this year?