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Celebrating authors, artists & great reads (2016)

This selection of books was made in honour of Aboriginal History and Indigenous Book Club month in June 2016 and features some of the Library's print and online books of relevance to Indigenous studies and issues. They include non-fiction, fiction, poetry, art, children's books, and even manga. We start with samples of works by Indigenous faculty here at Concordia, and go on to feature Canadian Aboriginal authors and artists as the key stars.

Decolonize me

Heather Igloliorte, curator and contributor

Heather Igliorte is Assistant Professor, Art History

The nature of empires and the empires of nature

Karl S. Hele, editor

Karl S. Hele is Associate Professor and Director of First Peoples Studies, School of Community and Public Affairs

Free to be Mohawk

Louellyn White

Louellyn White is Assistant Professor, First Peoples Studies, School of Community and Public Affairs

Coded territories

Jason Lewis, contributor

Jason Lewis is Professor of Computation Arts, Design and Computation Arts & University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary

The strength of women : âhkamêyimowak

Priscilla Settee

Personal recollections by a wide spectrum of Aboriginal women.

Red skin, white masks : rejecting the colonial politics of recognition

Glen Sean Coulthard

Challenges recognition as a method of organizing difference and identity in liberal politics.

A night for the lady

Joanne Arnott

Each poem arises from conversations with poets, colleagues and intimate friends.

Native art of the Northwest Coast : a history of changing ideas

Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Jennifer Kramer, and Ḳi-ḳe-in

Records and scrutinizes definitions of Northwest Coast Native art and its boundaries.

Buffalo shout, salmon cry: conversations on creation, land justice, and life together

Steve Heinrichs, editor

Essays on land use, creation, history, and faith.


Nicola Campbell

A child has four days until she will have to leave her family and everything she knows to attend residential school.

A tale of monstrous extravagance : imagining multilingualism

Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway's Henry Kreisel Lecture on the importance of multilingualism.

Wasáse : indigenous pathways of action and freedom

Taiaiake Alfred

Wasáse is the Kanienkeha word for the ancient war dance ceremony of unity, strength, and commitment to action.

Aqueduct: Colonialism, Resources, and the Histories We Remember

Adele Perry

The development of Winnipeg's municipal water supply as an example of the history of settler colonialism.

Peace, power, righteousness : an indigenous manifesto

Taiaiake Alfred

Critique of Indigenous leaders and politics, and a sensitive reflection on the traumas of colonization.

Racism, colonialism, and indigeneity in Canada : a reader

Martin J. Cannon & Lina Sunseri

Explores how the interplay of racism and colonialism has shaped the lives of Indigenous people.

Native North American art

Janet Catherine Berlo & Ruth B. Phillips

Explores both shared themes and imagery, and distinctive traditions of each region.

Runaway dreams: poems

Richard Wagamese

Poems of love and music, ranging over a broad landscape.

Dancing on our turtle's back : stories of Nishnaabeg re-creation, resurgence and a new emergence

Leanne Simpson

Asserts reconciliation must be grounded in political resurgence.

Seekers and travellers : contemporary art of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Gary Wyatt

New works from 36 of the most acclaimed artists on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Great writers from our First Nations

Kim Sigafus and Lyle Ernst

First Nations series for young readers.

Up Ghost River

Edmund Metatawabin with Alexandra Shimo

Metatawabin tells the story of his years as a child in one of Canada's worst residential schools.

The orenda

Joseph Boyden

A Jesuit missionary ventures into the Canadian wilderness in search of converts.

The Inconvenient Indian

Thomas King

A critical and personal meditation about what it means to be 'Indian' in North America.

Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont

Joseph Boyden

Boyden provides fresh, controversial insight into these two seminal Canadian figures.

The reason you walk

Wab Kinew

When his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting.

Sanattiaqsimajut : Inuit art from the Carleton University Art Gallery collection

Sandra Dyck

Exhibition held Sept. 14-Nov. 8, 2009 at the Carleton University Art Gallery.

Medicine walk

Richard Wagamese

An unforgettable journey of a father and son, set in dramatic landscape of the BC Interior.

Isuma : Inuit video art

Michael Robert Evans

Brings Isuma's Arctic to life while positioning its efforts within indigenous media.

Unsettling the settler within : Indian residential schools, truth telling, and reconciliation in Canada

Paulette Regan

Argues that non-Aboriginal Canadians must undergo their own process of decolonization.

Dispersed but not destroyed : a history of the seventeenth-century Wendat people

Kathryn Magee Labelle

Turns the story of the Wendat conquest on its head.

Orphans in the sky

Jeanne Bushey

Account of the courage and loyalty experienced by two lonely orphans who find a home in the sky.

"Métis" : race, recognition, and the struggle for indigenous peoplehood

Chris Andersen

Argues that 'Métis' has become a racial category rather than the identity of an Indigenous people.

Teaching each other : Nehinuw concepts and Indigenous pedagogies

Linda M. Goulet and Keith N. Goulet

Provides an alternative framework for teachers working with Indigenous students.

Great musicians from our First Nations

Vincent Schilling

First Nations series for young readers.

Fatty legs : a true story

Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor. Will linger with young readers.

Mohawk interruptus : political life across the borders of settler states

Audra Simpson

A bold challenge to dominant thinking in the fields of Native studies and anthropology.

Islands of decolonial love : stories & songs

Leanne Simpson

Debut collection of short stories by renowned writer and activist Leanne Simpson.

Indigenous screen cultures in Canada

Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson and Marian Bredin

Questions surrounding the power and suppression of indigenous narrative in contemporary indigenous media.

Life stages and native women : memory, teachings, and story medicine

Kim Anderson

Explores how life stages of Métis, Cree, and Anishinaabe women were integral to the well-being of their communities.

Seeing red : a history of Natives in Canadian newspapers

Mark Cronlund Anderson and Carmen L. Robertson

Examines the role of Canada’s newspapers in perpetuating the myth of Native inferiority.

Sanaaq: an Inuit novel

Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk

An Inuit family negotiating the changes brought into their community by the coming of the qallunaat.

Masculindians : conversations about indigenous manhood

Sam McKegney

What does it mean to be an Indigenous man today?

The Sasquatch at home : traditional protocols & modern storytelling

Eden Robinson

Fourth annual Henry Kreisel Lecture. An intimate look into the intricacies of family, culture, and place.

Métis in Canada : history, identity, law & politics

Christopher Adams

Twelve essays by scholars in the fields of history, anthropology, law, political science, and sociology.

Healing histories : stories from Canada's Indian hospitals

Laurie Meijer Drees

Oral accounts from patients, families, and workers who experienced Canada's Indian Hospital system.

Carl Beam : the poetics of being

Greg A. Hill

Fifty of Beam's works from his early career in the 1970s to the end of his production in the early 2000s.

Smash - international indigenous weaving : Salish, Mi'kmaq, Alaskan, Southwest, and Hawaiian artists

Rose M. Spahan, Cathi Charles Wherry

Exhibition held at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, B.C. April-Aug. 2010.

They called me number one : secrets and survival at an Indian residential school

Bev Sellars

Memoir about the lasting effects of of years at St. Joseph's Mission.

Clearing a path : new ways of seeing traditional indigenous art

Carmen Robertson & Sherry Farrell Racette

Introductory essays, photographs of exhibition pieces and artists statements from 21 participating artists.

Long powwow nights! : Iskewsis-- dear mother

Dave Bouchard and Pam Aleekuk

Children's book accompanied by a CD which includes music by acclaimed songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Sewing our traditions : dolls of Canada's north

Yukon Arts Centre,

Exhibition held at the Gateway Theatre, Richmond, B.C., and at the Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, in 2010.

Carrying on irregardless : humour in contemporary Northwest Coast art

Peter Morin, Martine J. Reid, Mike Robinson

Artworks that act as political weapons, bold challenges to stereotypes, and nods to the Trickster.

Social issues in contemporary Native America : reflections from Turtle Island

Hilary N. Weaver

Essays by leading Native American social workers, researchers, and academics.

The colonial problem : an Indigenous perspective on crime and injustice in Canada

Lisa Monchalin

Challenges the myth of the 'Indian problem' in the Canadian criminal justice system.

From recognition to reconciliation : essays on the constitutional entrenchment of Aboriginal and treaty rights

Patrick Macklem and Douglas Sanderson

Reflections on the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state.

Environmentalists from our First Nations

Vincent Schilling

First Nations series for young readers.

Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous-non-Indigenous Relationships

Lynne Davis

Alliance-building for Indigenous rights and self-determination and for social and environmental justice.

Determinants of indigenous peoples' health in Canada : beyond the social

Margo Greenwood, Sarah de Leeuw, Nicole Marie Lindsay, and Charlotte Reading

Broadens the social determinants of health framework to better understand health inequality.


Naomi Fontaine

A fictionalized, meditative chronicle of life among the Innu in rural northeastern Quebec.

Cultural memories and imagined futures : the art of Jane Ash Poitras

Pamela McCallum

Situates Poitras's work in the national context of Canadian First Nations art during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

When I was eight

Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Children's book based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton.

Annie Pootoogook : Kinngait compositions

Jan Allen

Pootoogook's drawings offer an unflinching look at life in a community in transition.

Indian Horse : a novel

Richard Wagamese

Saul Indian Horse embarks on a marvelous journey of imagination back through the life he led as a northern Ojibway.

Inuit modern : the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection

Gerald McMaster, Ingo Hessel, Dorothy Harley Eber

More than 175 works by seventy-five Inuit artists.

The gift is in the making : Anishinaabeg stories

Leanne Simpson

Retells previously published Anishinaabeg stories, bringing to life values and teachings to a new generation.

The Inuit thought of it : amazing Arctic innovations

Alootook Ipellie

More than 40 Inuit items and ideas showcased for young readers.

Birdie : a novel

Tracey Lindberg

Award-winning novel about the universal experience of recovering from wounds of the past.

Introduction to indigenous literary criticism in Canada

Heather Macfarlane and Armand Garnet Ruffo

The texts trace the development of Indigenous literatures while highlighting major trends and themes.

Troubling tricksters : revisioning critical conversations

Deanna Reder and Linda M. Morra, editors

A re-visioning of trickster criticism in light of recent backlash against it.

Histoires de Kanatha : vues et contées

Georges E.P. Sioui

The first collection written by an Aboriginal Canadian on the Aboriginal understanding of history and the colonial experience.

Unsettling Canada : a national wake-up call

Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson

Describes the victories and failures of a generation of activists fighting for Aboriginal title and rights in Canada.

Red : a Haida manga

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

A cautionary tale about the devastating effects of rage and retribution.

One story, one song

Richard Wagamese

A collection of warm, wise and inspiring stories from the author of One Native Life.

Honouring tradition : reframing native art

Beth Carter ... [et al.]

Exhibition at the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, February 16 to July 13, 2008.

Great women from our First Nations

Kelly Fournel

First Nations series for young readers.

This is an honour song : an anthology of writing on the "Oka Crisis"

Leanne Simpson

A collection exploring the broad impact of the 1990 resistance at Kanehsatà:ke.

The qalupalik

Elisha Kilabuk

Beautifully illustrated children's book based on the work of a celebrated contemporary Inuit storyteller.

Creation and transformation : defining moments in Inuit art

Darlene Coward Wight

Exhibition held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Jan. 24 to April 7, 2013.

Interpellations : three essays on Kent Monkman

Michèle Thériault, Richard W. Hill, Jonathan D. Katz, Todd Porterfield

Addresses issues central to Monkman's activity, such as the interplay of identity, sexuality, and sovereignty.

Nadia Myre : en(counter)s

Nadia Myre

A multidisciplinary artist whose work explores themes of language, culture, and memory.

Women in charge : Inuit contemporary women artists

Elvira Stefania Tiberini

Exhibition held at the Museo Nazionale preistorico Etnografico 'Luigi Pigorini', Rome, Italy, Dec 2011.

Thank you to K-Lee Fraser for her valuable assistance in selecting these books.

To find additional relevant resources see our First Peoples Studies Subject Guide or try the Sofia Discovery tool.

If you come across more Indigenous Book Club Month shout outs or tweets for books and authors that what we're missing, let us know via our Suggest a Purchase form. In June 2017, we’ll feature a new selection of works, and we welcome your feedback on what to feature there too.

Indigenous Authors in the Spotlight Series

Inuit Testimony, Critique & Practice (Fall 2022)

Memoirs & Life Stories (Fall 2021)

Indigenous Feminisms (Spring/Summer 2020)

Science Fiction & Futurisms (Fall 2019)

Indigenous Poetry (Winter 2019)

Indigenous Knowledges and Research Methods (2018)

Indigenous Authors in the Spotlight (2017)

Celebrating Authors, Artists & Great Reads (2016)

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