Indigenous – For older kids & adults
Quick Things You Need To Know:
- This collection references to the experience of Indigenous (mostly First Nations & Native American) in what is currently called the USA and Canada.
- For more, google “Missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women” (#MMIW or #MMIWG)
- While it’s our job here to include, acknowledge, and learn about Indigenous culture, history, and issues, this is way outside my lane.
- In kidlit specific to the Indigenous experience within what is currently known as the US, I defer to Deb Reese of American Indians In Children’s Literature, who is an #OwnVoices Nambe Pueblo Indigenous scholar of kidlit, and she’s been at this longer than me, with lived experience and formal training and stuff. Her humor and writing is a joy, but Deb’s website is dense and hard to flow through. So I haven’t even scratched the surface in reading it.
- Another fantastic resource is Beverly Slapin & Co.’s Des Colores – the Raza Experience in Children’s Literature, which focuses on Chicanx/Latinx kidlit.
- Another website that is trustworthy but I haven’t had a chance to read is Oyate, which I think hasn’t been updated since around 2012.
- The following booklists are where I’m parking my notes, but without the experience and knowledge of the people above they don’t count for much. My thoughts and opinions should take a back-seat and you should defer to #OwnVoices Indigenous critics.
- When possible, I cross reference my research to double-check that it’s not problematic and gain #OwnVoices insight with the above websites, along with Doris Searle’s reference book, A Broken Flute. Which also is dense and impossible to read cover-to-cover, but is full of humor, sarcasm, and is quite fun to read.
Rough Book Notes
Books for teens & adults
- Indigenous People’s history of the united states for young people – ages 12+ – I’m in the middle of reading this now, it’s a fun read. Part of the fun is that it’s radically decolonizing and honest, with emotion (by design, and is necessary due to the oral tradition & storyteller/listener relationship traditional in Indigenous stories and histories) which turns off some readers who want hard, clinical facts. But I’m loving it so far.
- A Broken Flute (adults, educators, librarians) – I found my self referrign to this reference book so much I invested in a copy (and I am VERY hesitant to open the floodgates of buying instead of borrowing library books). It’s a surprisingly fun read for a reference book.
- Re-Thinking Columbus – Helpful lesson guides & readings for dismantling the myth of Columbus as a hero
Books about violence against / missing & murdered Indigenous Women & Girls
- Birdie (adults) – Kris Tea is hosting an open thread in the Luminary brain trust discussing this book. content warning for sexual abuse of a child, homelessness, neglect, instutionalizing, mental health conditions. Author is Cree
- The Roundhouse (adults) holy crap this was a hard read. Touches on reservation law & sovereignty, generational trauma, and some really horrific violence against women. LOTS of content warnings.
- Missing Nimâmâ – florence – So many content warnings. Not for everyone. validating book for girls whose mothers have gone missing/been murdered. has facts at the end about canadian women and the fact that no one is paying attention. in the end, she’s grown up and they find her mother (dead). on each spread, we read from her perspective as she grows up, and the voice of her mother. theer’s anger, and saddness, and hope, and love in there. wouldn’t read it to my boys since it would FREAK THEM OUT that someone steals and kills mothers. but would work well for this particular indigenous trauma against women, first nations, violence against women, family constellations (raised by grandmother). creepy illustration is fine for this topic (although it’d be more accessible with a better illustrator) Some words in Cree.