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Diversity Reads > September Diversity Read -Indigenous North American Authors/Books

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message 1: by Keli, Keli Snail (last edited Nov 08, 2020 04:53AM) (new)

Keli | 405 comments Mod
This month we spotlight Native American/Indigenous Peoples of North America authors and books. The terms Native American and Indigenous American are broad terms that encompass a great variety of cultures and tribes from the Arctic circle to the jungles of southern Mexico.

In Canada there are over 2 million people who identify as Indigenous. There are three defined general designations; the Inuit which covers Indigenous tribes in the Arctic circle, First Nations which includes all non-Arctic tribes, and Métis which is composed of tribes that have a distinct culture but are an ethnic mix of Indigenous people and European settlers. Alone the First Nations designation recognises over 600 governments.
Some of those Canadian Nations, like the Algonquin and Cree, share a name, culture and language with people south of the border. The United States recognises about 575 tribes/nations. Like Canada, the US recognises the Inuits and Alaskan Islanders separately from the Indigenous people of the contiguous United States. The term Native American, though inclusive of all Indigenous Americans (norther and southern), is colloquially associated with the tribes of the United States. There just over 5 million Indigenous Americans in the US, and like Canadian Nations, they individually determine who is granted membership.
Conversely in Mexico, according to the constitution, anyone who identifies culturally as Indigenous can claim it as their identity. Over 25 million people consider themselves Indigenous. The National Mexican Institute of Statistics uses a narrower definition based on being a speaker of one of the 89 indigenous languages of Mexico. According to them only 5.4% of the population speaks at least one of the 89 languages, which means only half the people who identify as Indigenous speak an indigenous language. But even with the broader definition those who identify come from communities that seek to preserve the traditions, beliefs, language, and customs of their Indigenous heritage.


Book suggestions:
Fiction
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko The Jailing of Cecelia Capture by Janet Campbell Hale Owls Don't Have to Mean Death by Chip Livingston There There by Tommy Orange House Made of Dawn 50th Anniversary Ed A Novel (P.S.) by N. Scott Momaday
Mystery/Thriller
Murder on the Red River (Cash Blackbear Mysteries, #1) by Marcie Rendon The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1) by Faith Hunter Robopocalypse (Robopocalypse, #1) by Daniel H. Wilson
Romance
The Seal Wife by Kathryn Harrison Her Land, Her Love by Evangeline Parsons Yazzie
Historical Fiction
Cherokee America by Margaret Verble The Grass Dancer by Susan Power Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
YA
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette
Poetry/Short Story
Storyteller by Leslie Marmon Silko From the Hilltop by Toni Jensen An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo Like A New Sun New Indigenous Mexican Poetry by Víctor Terán The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems by Natalia Toledo
Nonfiction
The Sacred Hoop Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions by Paula Gunn Allen Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot The Tao of Raven An Alaska Native Memoir by Ernestine Hayes
Horror
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones The Fast Red Road A Plainsong by Stephen Graham Jones

Goodreads Links
Genre - Native American
Genre - First Nation
Native American Female Authors List
Best Paranormal Romance with Native American Leads

Non-Goodreads Sites - Please note that these links will take you outside of Goodreads
ElectricLiterature - Decolonize Your Bookshelf with these Books by Native American Authors
CambridgePress - History of Indigenous Mexican Literature
WordsWithoutBorders Indigenous Literature of the Americas
CBC - 108 Indigenous Writers to Read
OEDB - Native American Authors You Need to Read


message 2: by StarMan, Co-Mod Space Snail (new)

StarMan (thestarman) | 1811 comments Mod
Nice selection, thanks for doing it by genre.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

So much to chose from, looking at sci-fi and horror..


message 4: by Keli, Keli Snail (new)

Keli | 405 comments Mod
Aya wrote: "So much to chose from, looking at sci-fi and horror.."

They look really good. I have Moon of the Crusted Snow but I want Robopocalypse and the two horrors.


message 5: by Pien (new)

Pien | 442 comments Thanks for making that list of books!


message 6: by Keli, Keli Snail (new)

Keli | 405 comments Mod
Pien wrote: "Thanks for making that list of books!"

It's my pleasure. 😊


message 7: by Janessa (new)

Janessa Thanks for the great list! I have already read a bunch of these but I might look into some of the others you've listed.

I would also recommend One Drum One Drum Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet by Richard Wagamese or Embers Embers One Ojibway's Meditations by Richard Wagamese by Richard Wagamese as two great books for anyone who might be interested in a book that is great for some short readings followed by personal reflection/meditation.


message 8: by Keli, Keli Snail (new)

Keli | 405 comments Mod
Janessa wrote: "Thanks for the great list! I have already read a bunch of these but I might look into some of the others you've listed.

I would also recommend One Drum [bookcover:One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies ..."


Thanks for the recs. I particularly like the look of One Drum. I think I might get a copy for me and one for my daughter and maybe one of my nephews. I just buy everyobe books for Xmas and I think this year I'm only going to get diversity books. Last year I got feminist novels. 😁
There were so many books that I had to leave off because this list because I didn't want certain genres to dominate. The number of intriguing short story/poetry, fantasy/Sci-Fi and, of course, general fiction was impressive. I found the same with the Ghanaian books. Romance in both themes were hard to find.
I have listed on here two non-Native American authors, which I'm not sure if I did with the Ghanaian books. But they do have Native protagonists.


message 9: by biblio • bliss, Mod Nerd (new)

biblio • bliss (bookgirl1987) | 1152 comments Mod
Great! Thanks!


message 10: by Keli, Keli Snail (new)

Keli | 405 comments Mod
So I've unwittingly been on a Native American main character trip. I read Iron Kissed which is a part of a series re-read I'm doing. The MC is a half-native American coyote shifter. It is awesome.
I then read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which also has a half Native MC. I wasn't so impressed with this book. I found it all rather racist and sexist. And the story that he was telling, if it was about individual liberties vs an authoritarian state was weak because he used a terrible representative for the "common man." If it was a story about mental institutions and their treatment of patients, I don't get what his point was. I don't understand why this is so lauded. As a story it was okay. But it has not aged well.
I then read two stories written by First Nation authors, which also had native MCs.
Moon of the Crusted Snow started off promising but failed to live up to it's potential, which was so disappointing because it was a fantastic premise.
Jonny Appleseed, however, was absolutely fantastic. It was a fantastic slice if life, first person narrative. It's also LGBTQ (which is coming, I'm just waiting until pride month), in case anyone wants to increase their diversity into that genre.
I also realised that i read alot of LGBTQ books unintentionally. Though it's not native north American, I read A Memory Called Empire after Johnny Appleseed and highly recommend that one too.


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