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National Indigenous Day 2019:  

Banner image of the roof of Na'tsa'maht reading National Indigenous Day, June 21 2019

About this resource list


June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. National Indigenous Peoples Day is held in celebration and recognition of the diverse and distinct cultures, heritage, and achievements of Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Inuit, and Metis – in Canada. 

This sampling of resources has been created in celebration of the Indigenous authors and topics featured in our library collection. Book displays highlighting Indigenous resources are featured in the library from June 16 through 30 at both Lansdowne and Interurban campuses. Come join us!

If you have suggestions for Indigenous books that are not yet part of our collection, please let us know by emailing your ideas to library@camosun.ca.


Biographies & memoirs


One Story, One Song

Richard Wagamese
2016

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The Reason You Walk

Wab Kinew
​2015

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Northern Wildflower: A Memoir

Catherine Lafferty
2018

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Fatty Legs

Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
2010 

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Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography

Buffy Sainte-Marie
​Foreword by Joni Mitchell
2018

National Film Board of Canada


Slide image of film, Our People will be Healed

Our People Will Be Healed

Alanis Obomsawin, Director/writer 
National Film Board of Canada

2017

Slide image for film, The Road Forward

The Road Forward

Marie Clements, Writer/director
National Film Board of Canada
2017 

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The Mountain of SGaana

Christopher Auchter, Director & Write
Annie Reid, Writer
National Film Board of Canada
2017

Film still from

This is Who I Am

Manuel Ibanez, Director
National Film Board of Canada
2018

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Breaths

Nyla Innuksuk, Director & Writer
National Film Board of Canada
2016

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Healing Journey One Button at a Time

Joleen Mitton, Director
National Film Board of Canada

2018

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Etlinisigu'niet (Bleed Down)

Jeff Barnaby, Director & Editor
National Film Board of Canada
2015

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Lake

Alexandra Lazarowich, Director & Writer
National Film Board of Canada
2019

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Shaman

Echo Henoche, Director & Animation
National Film Board of Canada

2017

 

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The Story of the Coast Salish Knitters

Christine Welsh, Director & Writer
National Film Board of Canada

2000

Fiction

Book cover image of Jonny Appleseed

Jonny Appleseed: A Novel

"You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine" is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling debut novel by poet Joshua Whitehead. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter princess, Jonny has one week before he must return to the "rez" – and his former life – to attend the funeral of his stepfather. The seven days that follow are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny's life is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages – and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of First Nations life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.

The Marrow Thieves

Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. 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.

Son of a Trickster

Everyone knows a guy like Jared: the burnout kid in high school who sells weed cookies and has a scary mom who's often wasted and wielding some kind of weapon. Jared does smoke and drink too much, and he does make the best cookies in town, and his mom is a mess, but he's also a kid who has an immense capacity for compassion and an impulse to watch over people more than twice his age, and he can't rely on anyone for consistent love and support, except for his flatulent pit bull, Baby Killer (he calls her Baby) – and now she's dead. Jared can't count on his mom to stay sober and stick around to take care of him. He can't rely on his dad to pay the bills and support his new wife and step-daughter. Jared is only sixteen but feels like he is the one who must stabilize his family's life, even look out for his elderly neighbours. But he struggles to keep everything afloat... and sometimes he blacks out. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why she says he's the son of a trickster, that he isn't human. Mind you, ravens speak to him – even when he's not stoned. You think you know Jared, but you don't.

Trickster Drift

In an effort to keep all forms of magic at bay, Jared, 17, has quit drugs and drinking. But his troubles are not over: now he's being stalked by David, his mom's ex – a preppy, khaki-wearing psycho with a proclivity for rib-breaking. And his mother, Maggie, a living, breathing badass as well as a witch, can't protect him like she used to because he's moved away from Kitimat to Vancouver for school. Even though he's got a year of sobriety under his belt (no thanks to his enabling, ever-partying mom), Jared also struggles with the temptation of drinking. And he's got to get his grades up, find a job that doesn't involve weed cookies, and somehow live peacefully with his Aunt Mave, who has been estranged from the family ever since she tried to "rescue" him as a baby from his mother. An Indigenous activist and writer, Mave smothers him with pet names and hugs, but she is blind to the real dangers that lurk around them – the spirits and supernatural activity that fill her apartment. As the son of a Trickster, Jared is a magnet for magic, whether he hates it or not – he sees ghosts, he sees the monster moving underneath his Aunt Georgina's skin, he sees the creature that comes out of his bedroom wall and creepily wants to suck his toes. He also still hears the Trickster in his head, and other voices too. When the David situation becomes a crisis, Jared can't ignore his true nature any longer.

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There There: A Novel

Twelve Native Americans came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxedrene is pulling his life together after his uncle's death and has come to work the powwow and to honor his uncle's memory. Edwin Frank has come to find his true father. Bobby Big Medicine has come to drum the Grand Entry. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather; Orvil has taught himself Indian dance through YouTube videos, and he has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. Tony Loneman is a young Native American boy whose future seems destined to be as bleak as his past, and he has come to the Powwow with darker intentions--intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path. Tommy Orange delivers a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. A multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.

Ravensong: A Novel

Set along the Pacific Northwest Coast in the 1950s, Ravensong tells the story of an urban Native community devastated by an influenza epidemic. Stacey, a 17-year-old Native girl, struggles with the clash between white society's values and her family's traditional ways, knowing that her future lies somewhere in between. Celia, her sister, has visions from the past, while Raven warns of an impending catastrophe before there is any reconciliation between the two cultures. In this passionate story about a young woman's quest for answers, author Lee Maracle speaks unflinchingly of the gulf between two cultures: a gulf that Raven says must be bridged. Ravensong is a moving drama that includes elements of prophecy, mythology, cultural critique, and humour.

The Break

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break – a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house – she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

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Motorcycles & Sweetgrass

A story of magic, family, a mysterious stranger... and a band of marauding raccoons. Otter Lake is a sleepy Anishnawbe community where little happens. Until the day a handsome stranger pulls up astride a 1953 Indian Chief motorcycle - and turns Otter Lake completely upside down. Maggie, the Reserve's chief, is swept off her feet, but Virgil, her teenage son, is less than enchanted. Suspicious of the stranger's intentions, he teams up with his uncle Wayne – a master of aboriginal martial arts – to drive the stranger from the Reserve. And it turns out that the raccoons are willing to lend a hand.

Cover art for book, Split Tooth

Split Tooth

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all of this. Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals, and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined, lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.