Enjoy these books by Indigenous authors!
(All of these titles are available at the Westlock Library)
The berry pickers
Peters, Amanda, author
Bad Cree : a novel = ācimoiᐧn
Johns, Jessica, author
Mackenzie, a Cree millennial, wakes up clutching a pine bough she had been holding in her dream just moments earlier. When she blinks, it disappears. Mackenzie continues to accidentally bring back items from her dreams, dreams that are eerily similar to real memories of her older sister and Kokum before their untimely deaths. Desperate for help, Mackenzie returns to her mother, sister, cousin, and aunties in her small Alberta hometown. Together, they try to uncover what is haunting Mackenzie before something irrevocable happens to anyone else around her.
Call me Indian : from the trauma of residential school to becoming the NHL's first Treaty Indigenous player
Sasakamoose, Fred, 1933-2020 author
Fred Sasakamoose, torn from his home at the age of seven, endured the horrors of residential school for a decade before becoming one of 120 players in the most elite hockey league in the world. When people tell his story, this is usually where they end it. Sasakamoose's story was far from over. He paved a way for youth to find solace and meaning in sports for generations to come. This ground breaking memoir intersects Canadian history and Indigenous politics, and follows his journey to reclaim pride in an identity that had previously been used against him.
Chasing painted horses a novel
Taylor, Drew Hayden, 1962- author
This is the story of four unlikely friends who live in Otter Lake, a reserve north of Toronto. Teenagers Ralph, his sister Shelley, and their friend William befriend an odd little girl - a timid 10 year old girl who draws an amazing, arresting image of a horse that draws her loose group of friends into her fantasy world. But they are not ready for what the horse may mean or represent. And when the trio witness the creation of the horse, they are left trying to figure out what the horse means to the girl, and later to them. And how to help the shy little girl.
Empire of wild
Dimaline, Cherie, 1975- author
Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year--ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One terrible, hungover morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher named Eugene Wolff. By the time she staggers into the tent, the service is over. But as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice. She turns, and there Victor is. The same face, the same eyes, the same hands. But his hair is short and he's wearing a suit and he doesn't recognize her at all. No, he insists, she's the one suffering a delusion: he's the Reverend Wolff and his only mission is to bring his people to Jesus. Except that, as Joan soon discovers, that's not all the enigmatic Wolff is doing.
Five little Indians
Good, Michelle, author
Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn't want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission. With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward.
How to lose everything : a memoir
Couture, Christa, 1978-, author
From the amputation of her leg as a cure for bone cancer at a young age to her first child's single day of life, the heart transplant and subsequent death of her second child, the divorce born of grief, and then the thyroidectomy that threatened her career as a professional musician, Christa Couture bears witness to the shift in perspective that comes with loss. Couture explores the emotional and psychological experiences of motherhood, partnership and change. This is also an offering of kinship and understanding for anyone experiencing a loss.
Indian Horse : a novel
Wagamese, Richard, author
Saul Indian Horse is a child when his family retreats into the woods. But when winter approaches, Saul loses everything: his brother, his parents, his beloved grandmother--and then his home itself. Alone in the world and placed in a horrific boarding school, Saul is surrounded by violence and cruelty. At the urging of a priest, he finds a tentative salvation in hockey. His intuition and vision are unmatched. His speed is remarkable. Together they open doors for him: away from the school, into an all-Ojibway amateur circuit, and finally within grasp of a professional career. Yet as Saul's victories mount, so do the indignities and the taunts, the racism and the hatred--the harshness of a world that will never welcome him, tied inexorably to the sport he loves.
Indians on vacation
King, Thomas, 1943- author
Inspired by a handful of old postcards sent by Uncle Leroy nearly a hundred years earlier, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace Mimi's long-lost uncle and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe. By turns witty, sly and poignant, this is the unforgettable tale of one couple's holiday trip to Prague. The often grumpy Bird and optimistic Mimi and their wanderings through the European capitals reveal a complicated history, both personal and political.
The marrow thieves
Dimaline, Cherie, 1975- author
Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden - but what they don't know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.
Moccasin Square Gardens : short stories
Van Camp, Richard, author
The characters of Moccasin Square Gardens inhabit Denendeh, the land of the people north of the sixtieth parallel. These stories are filled with in-laws, outlaws and common-laws. Get ready for illegal wrestling moves ("The Camel Clutch"), pinky promises, a doctored casino, extraterrestrials or "Sky People", love, lust and prayers for peace. While this is Van Camp's most hilarious short story collection, it's also haunted by the lurking presence of the Wheetago, human-devouring monsters of legend that have returned due to global warming and the greed of humanity.
Noopiming : the cure for white ladies
Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake, 1971- author
Mashkawaji (they/them) lies frozen in the ice, remembering a long-ago time of hopeless connection and now finding freedom and solace in isolated suspension. They introduce us to the seven main characters: Akiwenzii, the old man who represents the narrator's will; Ninaatig, the maple tree ; Mindimooyenh, the old woman; Sabe, the giant; Adik, the caribou; Asin, the human; and Lucy, the human. Each attempts to commune with the unnatural urban-settler world. Noopiming is Anishinaabemowin for "in the bush" and the title is a response to English Canadian settler and author Susanna Moodie's 1852 memoir Roughing it in the bush.
Return of the Trickster
Robinson, Eden, author
The third and final book of the brilliant and captivating Trickster Trilogy. Jared finally knows for sure that he has no hope of ever being normal because he really is the son of Wee'git, a Trickster, and he's won the magic lottery - he is the only one of Wee'git's 535 children who is a Trickster too. Everyone else he loves is either pissed with him or in danger from the dark forces he's accidentally unleashed in their world. A horrible place to be for one whose first instinct is not mischief and mind games but to make the world around him a kinder, safer, place.
Truth telling : seven conversations about Indigenous life in Canada.
Good, Michelle, author
This is a collection of essays about the contemporary Indigenous experience in Canada. From resistance and reconciliation to the resurgence and reclamation of Indigenous power, Michelle Good explores the issues through a series of personal essays. Michelle Good delves into the human cost of colonialism, showing how it continues to underpin social institutions in Canada and prevents meaningful and substantive reconciliation.
Unbroken : my fight for survival, hope, and justice for Indigenous women and girls
Sterritt, Angela, author
Unbroken is an extraordinary work of memoir and investigative journalism focusing on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, written by an award-winning Gitxsan journalist who survived life on the streets against all odds.