5 Recommended Titles in Honour of Indigenous History Month 2020

June 9, 2020 | Eleni

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June is Indigenous History Month in Canada. In honour of this, we’ve compiled a short list of recommended Indigenous reads for kids!

We All Count by Jason Adair

We All Count: Book of Ojibway Art (Ages 0-5) 

Written and illustrated by Jason Adair (Ojibway)

This beautifully illustrated board book shares with children Ojibway art and culture, and highlights the culture’s strong connection to land and wildlife. The story also supports counting skills in young children, and offers the Ojibway word for each number accompanied by a phonetic guide.


You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith

You Hold Me Up (Ages 0-6)

Written by Monique Gray Smith (Cree/Lakota/Scottish) and illustrated by Danielle Daniel (Métis)

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. This book is also available in ebook format


In My Anaana's Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok

In My Anaana's Amautik (Ages 3-6) 

Written by Nadia Sammurtok (Inuit) and Illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko

In Inuktitut, an amautik is a parka with a pouch in the back where a baby is carried. In this story, a young child shares how they feel to be wrapped and carried in their Anaana’s (mother’s) amautik. It is heart-warming story of happiness, peace, and love.


The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette

The Girl and the Wolf (Ages 4-8)

Written by Katherena Vermette (Métis) and illustrated by Julie Flett (Cree- Métis)

When a young girl wanders too far from her mother and gets lost in the woods, she encounters a wolf. The wolf reminds the girl of her own ability to navigate through the woods and find her way back to her mother. It is an empowering story that encourages children to trust themselves and the knowledge they’ve been given by their loved ones. Vermette’s "Author’s Note" at the end of the story also shares some information on the sacred medicine, Tobacco, as well as an interesting explanation of why a wolf was picked as the animal in the story.


When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson

When We Were Alone (Ages 6 and up)

Written by David A. Robertson (Cree) and illustrated by Julie Flett (Cree-Métis)

In this story, a young girl curiously begins to ask her grandmother questions while they tend to their garden. She asks her grandmother questions like, why do you have long, braided hair, why do you speak in Cree, and why do you spend so much time with your family? To answer the young girl’s questions, her grandmother begins to share stories about her experiences as a child at a residential school, where much of her family and culture was taken away. This award-winning book discusses a very dark part of Canadian history, as well as the resiliency and strength of residential school survivors. It is a powerful story to introduce and spark discussion about residential schools with children. This book is also available in ebook format and in French.


For more recommendations, check out our Read Indigenous list of must-read titles written by Indigenous authors, writers, illustrators and knowledge keepers for all ages. You can also find out more about National Indigenous History Month 2020 and ways to honour Indigenous peoples, histories and communities.