Authentic Indigenous Voices Matter

The most important thing you can do as an educator is to make sure that you are sharing authentic Indigenous voices within your classroom. This means the books you share with your class are written by Indigenous Authors.

Always check to see if books are written by Indigenous Authors.

Indigenous authors will always tell you what nation they belong to and where they are from.

It is our cultural way of being.

If it is not an Indigenous author talking about Indigenous topics, it is taking away the voices of Indigenous people.

 

So please if nothing else, always use Indigenous voices within your classrooms. 

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young adults

Drawing from her experiences as an Indigenous scientist, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer demonstrated how all living things—from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen—provide us with gifts and lessons every day in her best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass. Adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith, this new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us.

Dancing with Our Ancestors

In this tender picture book, Sara Florence Davidson transports readers to the excitement of a potlatch in Hydaburg, Alaska—her last memory of dancing with her late brother. It feels like my brother and I have always known how to sing the songs and dance the dances of our Haida ancestors. Unlike our father, we were born after the laws that banned our cultural practices were changed. The potlatch ban did not exist during our time, so we grew up dancing and singing side by side.

Returning to the Yukon River

Based on author Sara Florence Davidson’s childhood memories, this illustrated story captures the joy and adventure of a Haida fish camp. Every summer, a Haida girl and her family travel up the Yakoun River on Haida Gwaii, following the salmon. While their father fishes, the girl and her brother spend their time on the land playing and learning from Tsinii (Grandfather).

Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii

Based on ancient Haida narratives, this vibrantly illustrated children's book empowers young people and teaches them to live in harmony with nature.

Learning to Carve Argillite

Based on Haida artist Robert Davidson's own childhood experiences, this beautiful story highlights learning through observation, as well as the role of Elders in sharing knowledge and mentorship.

Gifu's Gift

Long ago, all living creatures on this land shared a special balance with one another. The pugulatmu’j—the Little People—were the original guardians of the land, and they looked after all living things. As time passed, we forgot these playful yet powerful guardians, but they did not forget us. Occasionally, they make their presence known with the little tricks they play.

I'm Finding my Talk

Former Halifax Poet Laureate and second-generation residential school survivor Rebecca Thomas writes honestly and powerfully in this companion piece to Rita Joe's I Lost My Talk. Includes vibrant illustrations from Mi'kmaw artist Pauline Young. A response to Rita Joe's iconic poem I Lost My Talk, and published simultaneously with the new children's book edition illustrated by Pauline Young, comes a companion picture book by award—winning spoken—word artist and Mi'kmaw activist Rebecca Thomas.

47,000 Beads

Peyton loves to dance, and especially at Pow Wow, but her Auntie notices that she’s been dancing less and less. When Peyton shares that she isn't comfortable wearing a dress anymore, Auntie Eyota asks some friends for help to get Peyton what she needs.

Jigging for Halibut

Based on Haida artist Robert Davidson's own experiences with Tsinii (his grandfather), this tender story highlights intergenerational knowledge and authentic learning experiences. Off the northern tip of Haida Gwaii, a boy goes fishing with Tsinii, his grandfather. As they watch the weather, jig for halibut, and row with the tides, the boy realizes there’s more to learn from Tsinii than how to catch a fish. Written by the creators of Potlatch as Pedagogy, this book brings the Sk'ad'a Principle

Treaty Words

The first treaty that was made was between the earth and the sky. It was an agreement to work together. We build all of our treaties on that original treaty.

A Girl Called Echo

Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee’s lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie—and back again to the present.

Stand Tall Like a Cedar

When you go for a walk in nature, who do you see? What do you hear? Award-winning storyteller Nicola I. Campbell shows what it means to “stand like a cedar” on this beautiful journey of discovery through the wilderness. Learn the names of animals in the Nłeʔkepmxcín or Halq’emeylem languages as well as the teachings they have for us.

On the Trapline

A picture book celebrating Indigenous culture and traditions. The Governor General Award--winning team behind When We Were Alone shares a story that honors our connections to our past and our grandfathers and fathers.

This Place- 150 years retold

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

The Great Bear

In this second book in the Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series, Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, travelling back in time.

The Fire Keeper's Daughter
The Barren Grounds

Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle-grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.

himstanding

When Lucas Smoke learns the Ojibway art of carving from his grandfather, he proves to be a natural. He can literally make people come to life in wood. Then Lucas's growing reputation attracts a mysterious stranger, who offers him a large advance to carve a spirit mask.

goodnightworld

This book is a collaborative project of 26 noted artists of First Nations ancestry from a wide variety of BC coastal First Nations

dipnetting

This engaging autobiographical story portrays the continuity of First Nations (Secwepemc) cultural traditions in a contemporary setting

Born Precious and Sacred

I was Born Precious and Sacred recounts with simple language and poignant photographs the ancestral teachings about the sanctity of each and every child born into First Nations communities. The repeating reading pattern makes this good for read-aloud and for beginning readers.

Beaver Steals Fire

Author Bouchard has imagined a story of the moon’s first creation, rendered in the style of a traditional creation story.

moccasins

This endearing story is of a young Indigenous foster child who is given a special gift by his foster mother. Her gift of warmth and thoughtfulness helps her young foster child by encouraging self-esteem, acceptance, and love. This story, based on the author’s personal experience, was written for children of any background with a positive message of unconditional love.

Go Show the World

Celebrating the stories of Indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book, illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse

Speaking Our Truth

Canada's relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families.

My Heart Fills with Happiness

The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy.

You Hold me Up

This vibrant picture book, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other’s well-being in their everyday actions.

The Great Ball Game

With characteristic action and wit, renowned Native American storyteller Bruchac retells the amusing and rousing folktale of an epic ball game between the Birds and the Animals, which offers the explanation as to why birds fly south every winter. Roth's brilliant collage art enhances the story. Full color.

Not my Girl

Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by evocative illustrations, Not My Girl makes the original, award-winning memoir, A Stranger at Home, accessible to younger children.

When I was Eight

Nothing will stop a strong-minded young Inuit girl from learning how to read. Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. She must travel to the outsiders' school to learn, ignoring her father's warning of what will happen there.

Coyote Columbus

A retelling of the Christopher Columbus story from a Native point of view turns this tale on its ear!

Hiawatha & the Peacemaker

Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century.

I am not a number

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.

Shi-Shi-etko

In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school.

Shin-chis Canoe

This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.

Fatty Legs

The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact.

Stranger at Home

Traveling to be reunited with her family in the arctic, 10-year-old Margaret Pokiak can hardly contain her excitement. It’s been two years since her parents delivered her to the school run by the dark-cloaked nuns and brothers.

Morning Girl

A peaceful, tropical world is the setting for Morning Girl, a simple yet rich glimpse into the lives of a young sister and brother. Morning Girl and Star Boy grapple with timeless, universal issues such as experiencing simultaneous anger and love toward family members and the quest to discover the true self. As all siblings do, these children respond to, play off of, and learn from each other. Then a boat pulls into shore.

Orca Chief

Thousands of years ago in the village of Kitkatla, four hunters leave home in the spring to harvest seaweed and sockeye. When they arrive at their fishing grounds, exhaustion makes them lazy and they throw their anchor overboard without care for the damage it might do to marine life or the sea floor.

The Elders are Watching

A plea to respect the natural treasures of our environment and a message of concern from aboriginal leaders of the past to the people of the new millennium,

Cloudwalker

Astace, a young Gitxsan hunter, is intent on catching a group of swans with his bare hands. He is carried away by the birds' powerful wings and dropped in the clouds.

Raven Brings the Light

In a time when darkness covered the land, a boy named Weget is born who is destined to bring the light. With the gift of a raven's skin that allows him to fly as well as transform.

Peace Dancer

The children of the Tsimshian village of Kitkatla love to play at being hunters, eager for their turn to join the grown-ups. But when they capture and mistreat a crow, the Chief of the Heavens, angered at their disrespect, brings down a powerful storm.