Read Indigenous 2022

June 1, 2022 | Jamie

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We're happy to release this year's Read Indigenous List! 

Read Indigenous is our yearly list of books by Indigenous authors that have been selected with the Indigenous Advisory Council. This is just a small number of books written by Indigenous authors that we have in our collections, so don't stop here! 

Below I've highlighted a few titles for children, teens and adult featured in this year's Read Indigenous lists. Please note that all book descriptions are from the TPL website. Where possible, the nation of authors and illustrators are next to their names in brackets.


Books for children

I Sang You Down from the Stars

I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner (Inninewak and Trinidadian), illustrated by Michaela Goade (Tlingit and Haida)

"As she waits for the arrival of her new baby, a mother-to-be gathers gifts to create a sacred bundle. A white feather, cedar and sage, a stone from the river . . .

Each addition to the bundle will offer the new baby strength and connection to tradition, family, and community. As they grow together, mother and baby will each have gifts to offer each other."

We All Play

We All Play / kimêtawânaw by Julie Flett (Cree-Métis)

"Join celebrated artist Julie Flett on a joyful romp with animals. From chasing, chirping birds, to swimming, squirting whales, this book for young readers reminds them how animals play just like them."

Keeshig and the Ojibwe Pterodactyls

Keeshig and the Ojibwe Pterodactyls by Keeshig Spade (Anishinaabe) & Celeste Pedri-Spade (Anishinaabe), illustrated by Robert Spade (Anishinaabe) & Kiniw Spade (Anishinaabe)

"On a hot summer day, a young Anishinabe boy visits the shores of Gitchee Gumee with his mother. Nanaboozhoo, their teacher, is before them, presenting himself as a mass of land that stretches across the horizon. As they visit, Keeshig tells his mother about what he calls "the Ojibwe pterodactyls" that live with Nanaboozhoo."


Books for teens

Hunting By Stars

Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline (Métis) 

"French has been captured by the Recruiters, confined to one of the infamous residential schools, where the government extracts the marrow of Indigenous people in order to steal the ability to dream, and where the captured are programmed to betray others of their kind, something which he discovers has been done to his brother..."


Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (Lipan Apache), illustrated by Rovina Cai

"Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America..."

Firekeeper's Daughter

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Chippewa)

"Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths."


Books for adults

There Are the Stories

These Are the Stories : Memories of a 60s Scoop Survivor by Christine Miskonoodinkwe-Smith (Saulteaux)

"Collection of essays from a 60's Scoop Survivor."

Bobbi Lee Indian Rebel

Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel by Lee Maracle (Stó:lō)

"Grippingly honest, Lee's autobiographical exploration of post-colonial tensions in Toronto circa 1960-1980 sheds light on the existing racist and sexist sentiments affecting Indigenous women. Reflective of the struggles Indigenous communities face today, this book continues to hold a place within contemporary Indigenous and women's studies classrooms."

All The Quiet Places

All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac (Salish and Syilx)

"..the story of what can happen when every adult in a person's life has been affected by colonialism; it tells of the acute separation from culture that can occur even at home in a loved familiar landscape. Its narrative power relies on the unguarded, unsentimental witness provided by Eddie."


This is just a glimpse of our 2022 lists for children, teens and adults. Be sure to check out our full list of recommendations for 2022, as well as previous years' lists, by visiting our Read Indigenous webpage. Have you read any of these titles? Share your thoughts below!