A curated booklist by your favorite SPL librarians!
Indigenous Peoples Day 2021: Fiction | Nonfiction
|Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.
|Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
In a version of America that has been formed by the existence of real magic and mythologies, Elatsoe, a young Lipan Apache girl, seeks answers for the suspicious death of her cousin. Luckily for Ellie, she's got some ancestral power to help. A msut-read YA title with fantastical elements and a charming protagonist.
|Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
With four starred reviews, Angeline Boulley's debut novel, Firekeeper's Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.
|The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich's grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.
|The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
From New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American Indian experience. Fans of Jordan Peele and Tommy Orange will love this story as it follows the lives of four American Indian men and their families, all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth.
|The Removed by Brandon Hobson
Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago-from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson.
|Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Kali Fajardo-Anstine's magnetic story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they inhabit. Set against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado-a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite-these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives- with caution, grace, and quiet force.
|There, There by Tommy Orange
Twelve Native Americans came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow--some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent--momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Tommy Orange has written a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide.
|Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx. Winter Counts is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that's as deeply rendered as it is thrilling.
|As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
The story of Native peoples' resistance to environmental injustice and land incursions, and a call for environmentalists to learn from the Indigenous community's rich history of activism.
|Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science and a Native American whose previous book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing.
|Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo
A memoir from the Native American poet describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom, and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice.
|Dog Flowers: A Memoir by Danielle Geller
A daughter returns home to the Navajo reservation to retrace her mother's life in a memoir that is both a narrative and an archive of one family's troubled history.
|The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes' distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival.
|Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
A powerful, poetic memoir of an Indigenous woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest--this New York Times bestseller and Emma Watson Book Club pick is "an illuminating account of grief, abuse and the complex nature of the Native experience . . . at once raw and achingly beautiful (NPR).
|Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid
For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. The corridor is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis. Highway of Tears is a piercing exploration of our ongoing failure to provide justice for the victims and a testament to their families' and communities' unwavering determination to find it.
|Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power by Pekka Hämäläinen
Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull are iconic figures in the American imagination, but in this groundbreaking book they emerge as something different: the architects of Lakota America, an expansive and enduring Indigenous regime that commanded human fates in the North American interior for generations. In this first complete account of the Lakota Indians Pekka Hämäläinen traces their rich and often surprising history from the early sixteenth to the early twenty‑first century.
|Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler & Sonia Paoloni
Experience the riveting, powerful story of the Native American civil rights movement and the resulting struggle for identity told through the high-flying career of west coast rock n' roll pioneers Redbone.
|White Magic: Essays by Elissa Washuta
Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew. In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch.