National Indigenous History Month 2020

June 10, 2020 | Melanie

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June marks National Indigenous History Month, but Canada still has a long way to go in improving its relationship with Indigenous nations across Turtle Island. One of the ways Canadians can honour Indigenous histories, peoples and communities is to learn and educate themselves. Here are a few places to start.


Read Indigenous

A list of must-read titles by Indigenous authors and illustrators for adults, children and teens, developed in collaboration with TPL’s Indigenous Advisory Council. Updated annually.

A mind spread out on the ground

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott

From the ashes

From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle


Read Indigenous list


Reading for Reconciliation

Reconciliation is a settler responsibility. These titles will get you thinking about why reconciliation is urgently needed. Updated anually.

The Night Watchman

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

This Town Sleeps

This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples


Reading for Reconciliation list


Read Indigenous for the TPL Reading Challenge 2020

Our Indigenous Services Committee created this booklist of titles with Indigenous content and authors with recommendations for several of the TPL Reading Challenge 2020 categories.

One of the main categories is "a book by an Indigenous author" and the TPL Reading Challenge team put together this list of recommended titles.


Food as Medicine: Indigenous Cookbooks

Indigenous Advisory Council member Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith talks about food within an Indigenous worldview and provides recommendations on Indigenous cookbooks available through TPL’s online and print collections.

Read Christine's post!


Recommended Reads for Children and Families

You hold me up

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel

Children's Librarian Eleni highlights five recommended titles for National Indigenous History Month, written and illustrated by Indigenous authors and illustrators.


Recorded Events

We have had many fantastic authors and speakers over the years. You can watch recordings of some of our events, including interviews with Eden Robinson, Sheila Watt-Cloutier and more. The full playlist is available on our YouTube channel.


Indigenous Service Providers Online

There are also a lot of Indigenous service providers in the city offering virtual programming and resources.

Early ON is providing Indigenous Language and Family programming through Facebook Live.

You can access the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto's virtual programming through its online events calendar.

Don’t forget to check out Council Fire's online programming and Native Child and Family Services of Toronto’s Early Years and Youth Virtual Programming.

Community member, Ojibwe language speaker, and mother of two, Rochelle Allan has also put together a number of Youtube playlists featuring child-friendly Ojibwe language-learning resources. Be sure to subscribe to her channel! Rochelle also recommends Waking Up Ojibwe, which offers additional Ojibwe language-learning resources, including printable activities that families can do from home.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the City of Toronto’s Sunrise Ceremony in honour of Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, which will take place virtually this year.


Edited June 16: Removed information about a potential upcoming program until details are confirmed.

Edited August 10: Added link to Christine's post on cookbooks by Indigenous authors.

How are you educating yourself this National Indigenous History Month?