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National Authors' Day 2021

November 1, 2021

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November 1st is National Authors' Day. At Animikii, this means an opportunity to celebrate Indigenous authors from across Turtle Island. 

Here is a list of some of the best books by Indigenous authors recommended for you by the team at the Animikii. You’ll find psychological horror, history, and new perspectives on Truth and Reconciliation in this collection. 

Know someone who would like one of these titles? Add a book to your holiday shopping list and find it at your local independent bookstore. Happy reading!


7FallenSeven Fallen Feathers

Tanya Talaga

In Thunder Bay, Ontario, seven Indigenous high school students died over the course of eleven years. Tanya Talaga (Ojibwe-Cree) investigates the racism and human rights violations that led to these deaths and the challenge of educating Indigenous students hundreds of kilometres from their home communities.

Find your copy of Seven Fallen Feathers here.


TwoSpiritJourneyA Two-Spirit Journey

Ma-Nee Chacaby

Ma-Nee Chacaby tells her compelling and uplifting story as an Ojibwe-Cree lesbian and elder. 

From her childhood in a remote Ojibwe community affected by poverty to leading the first ever gay pride parade in Thunder Bay, Chacaby shares her journey through the lens of overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism.

Find your copy of A Two-Spirit Journey here.


NorthWestThe North West Is Our Mother

Jean Teillet

This book tells the story of the Métis Nation from the 18th century rise in the Canadian North-West to present day discussions of national Truth and Reconciliation. 

Author Jean Teillet is a lawyer, expert on Métis rights, and the great-grandniece of hero Louis Riel. She crafts a historical record of the vision of leaders like Riel and the resounding effects on Canadian society.

Find your copy of The North West is Our Mother here.

21Things21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act

Bob Joseph

The inspiration for this book came from a viral article boiling down the nearly 150-year legacy of the Indian Act. 

Author Bob Joseph (Gwawa’enuk) walks the reader through the legal document and explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act to return to self-government and self-reliance.


Find your copy of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act here.

MoonSnowMoon Of The Crusted Snow

Waubgeshig Rice

This post-apocalyptic novel by Waubgeshig Rice (Anishinaabe) transports the reader to a small northern Anishinaabe community as its power is cut off. 

As unexpected guests begin to arrive from the south, the community turns to Anishinaabe traditions of the land to survive and thrive again.


Find your copy of Moon of The Crusted Snow here.

InconvIndianThe Inconvenient Indian

Thomas King

Cherokee-Greek author Thomas King has built a reputation for his conversational storytelling and tongue-in-cheek analysis of government policy and Indigenous Peoples. 

The Inconvenient Indian is his account of Indigenous-White relations since first contact. For readers new to the learning about Indigenous Peoples in North America, this is an unmissable book.

Find your copy of The Inconvenient Indian here.

GoodIndiansThe Only Good Indians

Stephen Graham Jones

The Only Good Indians is a masterpiece in typical Stephen Graham Jones style–equal parts psychological horror and social commentary on identity politics.

The Blackfeet author follows the story of four American Indian men who are haunted by a disturbing event from their youth. This is a must-read for psychological horror novel fans.


Find your copy of The Only Good Indians here.


Unreconciled: Family Truth and Indigenous Resistance

Jesse Wente

Broadcaster and author Jesse Wente (Ojibwe) advocates for Truth over Reconciliation in this memoir/manifesto. 

With critical analysis of cultural appropriation, Indigenous identity and sovereignty, Wente makes a compelling case for future relationships between Canada and Indigenous Peoples.

Find your copy of Unreconciled here.

AMindSpreadA Mind Spread Out On The Ground

Alicia Elliot

A collection of essays by Alicia Elliot (Haudenosaunee) explores the author’s experience with intergenerational trauma while delving into the legacy of colonialism.

Expect to be delighted by Elliot’s weaving of stories about parenthood, mental illness, the history of dark matter, racism in the court system, and much more.

Find your copy of A Mind Spread Out On The Ground here.

BraidingSweetgrassBraiding Sweetgrass

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers.

Kimmerer shares her experiences as a mother and an Indigenous scientist through the lens of demanding a stronger ecological consciousness.


Find your copy of Braiding Sweetgrass here.

SpiritBackCalling My Spirit Back

Elaine Alec

Elaine Alec (Sylix, Secwepemc) wrote Calling My Spirit Back to explore the idea of Indigenous healing. 

Stories from elders, language speakers, and medicine people form the foundation of self-love and individual healing practices in this work.


Find your copy of Calling My Spirit Back here.


OneDrumOne Drum

Richard Wagamese

Acclaimed Ojibwe author Richard Wagamese has written many books that could be on this list (including Indian Horse, which was released as a film in 2017, a campaign supported by Animikii). 

One Drum was completed from a manuscript left behind when Wagamese passed away in 2017, which draws from fundamental Ojibwe Grandfather Teachings to explore humility, respect, and courage. 

Find your copy of One Drum here.

Find a copy of Indian Horse here.


Still looking for more great reads?

Animikii challenges you to read one book from an Indigenous author you haven’t read before. Check out the Indigenous Reads Challenge from our friends at The Next 150 for more inspiration.

November 1, 2021

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