Readings for Settlers on Indigenous Peoples – past and present

Readings for Settlers on Indigenous Peoples – past and present

The commemorations of 150+ (or 130,00-150,000) years give us settlers an opportunity and responsibility to learn the real history of the land on which we stand, to excavate buried histories of colonization and cultural genocide, to be inspired by Indigenous resilience and resurgence. I’m collecting some books for summer reading (most published in the past few years) and welcome further suggestions. So that, as Thomas King pointed out, “now that you’ve heard this story, you cannot say that you did not know.” The question is what do we do about it now…?!

Please add your favourites (include videos, websites, and other art forms, too)

Non-fiction, anthologies, collections

Taiaiake Alfred. Wasease: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Brenda Anderson, Wenee Kubik, Mary Rucklos Hampton (eds). Torn from our Midst: Voices of Grief, Healing and Action from the Missing Indigenous Women Conference, 2008. Regina, SK: CPRC, University of Regina, 2010.

Marie Battiste (ed). Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2000.

Dorothy Christian and Rita Wong. Downstream: Reimagining Water. Waterloo, ON: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2017.

Ken Coates. #IIDLENOMORE: The Remaking of Canada. Regina: University of Regina, 2015.

Glen Coulthard. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

Lynne Davis (ed). Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous-non-Indigenous Relationships. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.

Suzanne Fournier and Ernie Crey. Stolen From Our Embrace: The Abduction of First Nations’ Children and the Restoration of Aboriginal Communities. Madeira Park, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 1998.

Victoria Freeman. Distant Relations: How My Ancestors Colonized North America. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd, 2000.

Susan Hill. The Clay We Are Made Of: Haudenosaunee Land Tenure on the Grand River. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2017.

Smaro Kamboureli (ed). Memory Serves: Lee Maracle Oratories. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2015.

Thomas King. The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2012.

Thomas King. The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

The Kino-nda-niimi Collective. The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement. Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2014.

Winona LaDuke. All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1999.

Bonita Lawrence. ‘Real’ Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native Peoples and Indigenous Nationhood. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2004

Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson. Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2015.

Rick Monture. We Share Our Matters: Two Centuries of Writing and Resistance at Six Nations of the Grand River. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2014.

Dawn Morrison. “Indigenous Food Sovereignty: A Model for Social Learning.” In H. Wittman, A, N.Weibe (eds). Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems. Black Point, NS: Fernwood, 2011, 97-113.

Dylan Robinson & Keavy Martin (eds). Art of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action In and Beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press in Collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, 2016.

Leanne Simpson. Dancing on our Turtle’s Back: Stories of NIshnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence. Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2011.

Leanne Simpson. Lighting the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Resurgence, and Protection of Indigenous Nations. Winnipeg: Arbiter Ring Publishing, 2008.

Chelsea Vowel. Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Metis & Inuit Issues in Canada. Winnipeg: Highwater Press, 2016.

Rick Wallace. Merging Fires: Grassroots Peacebuilding Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples. Halifax & Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2013.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier. The Right to be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic, and the Whole Planet. Toronto: Penguin Canada Books, 2015.

Novels, Poetry, Stories and Songs

 Giles/Gwen Benway. Ceremonies for the Dead. Wiarton, ON: Kegedonce Press, 2013.

 Thomas King. The Back of the Turtle. Toronto: Harper Collins Ltd, 2014.

Tracie Lindberg: Birdie. Toronto: Harper Collins Ltd, 2015.

Lee Maracle. Celia’s Song. Toronto: Comorant Books, 2015.

Leanne Simpson. Islands of Decolonial Love: Stories & Songs. Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2015.

Leanne Simpson. This Accident of Being Lost. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2017.

Gregory Scofield. Love Medicine and one Song: Sakihtowin-Maskihkiy Ekwa Peyak-Nikamowin.

Wiarton, ON: Kegedonce Press, 2009.

Katherena Vermette. The Break. House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Richard Wagamese. Indian Horse. Madeira Park, BC: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd, 2012.

Richard Wagamese. Medicine Walk. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 2014.

Web links and videos

Rebellion: John Horse and the Black Seminoles, First Black Rebels to Beat American Slavery

Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: Dr. Leroy Little Bear Talk:


Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: Dr. Gregory Cajete Talk:

Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: Rob Cardinal Talk:

Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: Contrasts and Similarities Panel Discussion: 




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