Must-Read Books by Indigenous Authors

5 Minute Read | Must-read books written by Indigenous Authors that have made a huge impact on Canada and our team at Talent Bureau.

Celebrating Indigenous History Month

In June, it’s important to recognize and celebrate Indigenous History Month. This is a time to learn about the rich and diverse cultures of the Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples and their incredible contributions and achievements across our country. It’s also equally important to educate ourselves on the history of Indigenous peoples, their ongoing struggles for justice and equality, and the significant role they continue to play in shaping our nation. Truly, it’s a time to acknowledge the resilience and strength of the Indigenous.

On our bookshelf: Must-read books written by Indigenous authors in Canada

*Trigger Warning: Some of the book descriptions include graphic content relating to violence, homelessness, racial violence, and sexual violence.

Michelle’s much-anticipated follow-up examines Indigenous issues through her experience and knowledge. This collection of essays is an essential reading choice for those looking to acknowledge the atrocities of Canada’s past and understand what must be done to move forward.

Did you know? Michelle’s debut novel, “Five Little Indians,” won the 2022 CBC Canada Reads Competition. It earned many other accolades, including the Governor General’s Literary Award.

Brandi’s debut memoir was destined to transform the narrative around Indigenous Peoples and how their stories are told. Brandi recounts her journey to overcoming enormous adversity and finding her power through journalism. She is a survivor of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis, and shares her personal experience of the rampant violence inflicted on Indigenous Women, a reality often ignored by popular media. 

This remarkable memoir by Historian Jesse Thistle has had a place on the Toronto Star bestseller list for over 125 weeks. A raw and poignant history, From the Ashes tells the story of the hope and resilience of a Metis-Cree man who refused to give up, no matter what challenges life threw his way. From drug addiction to homelessness, Jesse’s revelatory memoir has been described as “the wakeup call Canada needs.”

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

Thomas King never delivers written work anything short of incredible. In this critical analysis of the Indigenous experience in North America, The Inconvenient Indian covers a range of issues, including identity, culture and politics. He illustrates the complex relations between Indigenous peoples and settlers insightfully and humorously.

“Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City” by Tanya Talaga

A unshakable account of a devastating tragedy, Seven Fallen Feathers investigates the deaths of seven Indigenous high school students in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The book highlights the systemic racism that contributed to their tragic fates. It sheds light on the ongoing violence, discrimination, and marginalization Indigenous peoples face in Canada.

“The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic, and the Whole Planet” by Sheila Watt-Cloutier

This memoir recounts the life and activism of Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who has worked to protect the Arctic and its peoples from the impacts of climate change. The book highlights the important role of Indigenous knowledge and wisdom in addressing global environmental challenges.

“Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada” by Chelsea Vowel

Vowel’s book is a comprehensive introduction to Indigenous history and life in Canada. It is a valuable resource for individuals wanting to learn more about the Indigenous experience from a non-colonial point of view. From governance to culture, this guide is an eye-opening glimpse of reality.

Lessons your audience will learn

Indigenous life exists beyond June. After an inspirational and educational keynote, a virtual presentation or conversation series with an expert speaker, your audience will be able to recognize the ongoing struggles faced by the Indigenous communities daily. By doing so, we can work towards a more just and equitable future for Canada.

Booking a speaker for Indigenous History Month

With the addition of a speaker to your Indigenous History Month event, your audience can better learn and understand Indigenous culture, issues, and injustices. 

Additionally, an Indigenous History Month speaker can speak to the history of colonization and its impact on Indigenous communities – past and present. These speakers will be able to provide powerful and in-depth views on systemic injustices while highlighting their vibrant culture and beautiful traditions.