Indigenous Reads for Kids

June 7, 2018 | RayL

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  National Indigenous Day 2015

Guest Blogger: Melanie R. 

June is recognized across Canada as Indigenous History Month. There are a variety of exciting, kid-friendly events across the city this month, including free programming at TPL, celebrating Indigenous arts and cultures in Canada. To help you and your littles gear up for these events, we’ve compiled a short list of recommended Indigenous reads for kids:


Black Bear Red Fox

Black Bear, Red Fox: Colours in Cree

Written and illustrated by Julie Flett (Cree- Métis), 2017

Ages 0-5

Julie’s beautiful illustrations are accompanied by the names and colours of animals in Cree and English. From bears and foxes, to blue jays and rabbits, and everything in between, young readers will be captivated by these colourful animals. Cree pronunciation guide included.


Nimoshom and His Bus

Nimoshom and His Bus

By Penny Thomas (Cree-Ojibway), 2017

Illustrated by Karen Hibbard

Ages 3-7

Children riding the school bus learn from their driver, Nimoshom ("my grandfather"), who speaks to them in their own language—Cree. An endearing tribute to a well-loved and important member of the community.


  Sila and the Land

Sila and the Land

By Shelby Angalik (Inuit), Ariana Roundpoint (Mohawk), and Lindsay Dupre (Métis), 2013

Illustrated by Halie Finney (Métis)

Ages 8-12

Three young Indigenous women came together to write a children's book that could help share perspectives on the land common across First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. This includes a shared respect for the earth and an understanding of our responsibilities to protect it for future generations.


The Water Walker

The Water Walker

Written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson (Anishinaabekwe), 2017

Ages 4-8

This is the story of a determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (Water). Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet. Readers learn key words in Anishinaabemowin along the way.


You Hold Me Up

You Hold Me Up

By Monique Gray Smith (Cree/Lakota/Scottish), 2017

Illustrated by Danielle Daniel (Métis)

Ages 2-7

A beautiful story that encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other's well-being in their everyday actions. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.


Do you have a favourite Indigenous read for kids? Share it with us in the comments below!