Today is Indigenous Peoples' Day: a day to celebrate, appreciate, and recognize Native communities. Of course, this is something we should do regularly - not only one day out of the year but as a part of our day to day.
As book lovers at Page Petal, we're believers that one of the biggest ways to gain understanding and appreciation is through reading. From literary fiction to nonfiction, below is a list of books by Indigenous writers that we've either read or have currently on our TBR.
If you have a book outside of this list you'd like to share, please let us know in the comments!
NOTE: We included links to Bookshop.org, a site dedicated to supporting local, independent bookstores.
6 Insightful Books by Indigenous Authors
1. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Select quote: “Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”
Buy the book: Braiding Sweetgrass.
2. Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Select quote: “That’s when I knew she was forever caught in her own undercurrent, bouncing from one deep swell to the next. She would never lift me out of that sea. She would never pause to fill her lungs with air. Soon the world would yank her chain of sadness against every shore, every rock, every glass-filled beach, leaving nothing but the broken hull of a drowned woman.”
Buy the book: Sabrina & Corina: Stories.
3. Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Select quote: “We specialize in story-- story is what defines us, what brings people together.”
Buy the book: Hearts Unbroken.
4. The Lakota Way by Joseph M. Marshall III
Select quote: “Respect is a close relative of tolerance, and both go a long way to prevent and alleviate the negative interactions between and among people."
5. The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Select quote: “You want to know about anybody? See what books they read, and how they've been read...”
Buy the book: The Bone People.
6. There There by Tommy Orange
Buy the book: There There.
Ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day - Year Round
Here are three of the many ways to bring awareness and recognition to Indigenous history, today, tomorrow, and any day after that:
- Reading books by Indigenous writers (like the above roundup or from this list by FirstNations.org)
- Supporting organizations like Native American Rights Fund and Partnerships with Native Americans
- Purchasing from Native-owned brands like Birch Bark Coffee Co, SheNative, and Trickster Company