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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Reading Suggestions for Indigenous Book Club Month

Since 2009, June has been National Aboriginal History Month in Canada.  This year, Carolyn Bennett, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister, is encouraging all Canadians to read books by an Indigenous author:  "I'm hoping all Canadians will join me in marking the month of June as Indigenous Book Club Month."

"You'll help increase awareness and understanding through shared culture and encourage steps towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Reconciliation has to be a journey for all Canadians."

In a YouTube video, Bennett recommends Birdie by Tracey Lindberg.

Here are my novel recommendations:
Joseph Boyden:  Three Day Road, Through Black Spruce, and The Orenda
Maria Campbell:  Half-Breed
Thomas King:  Green Grass, Running Water and The Back of the Turtle
Beatrice Culleton Mosionier:  In Search of April Raintree
Eden Robinson:  Monkey Beach
Richard Wagamese:  Indian Horse and Medicine Walk

If you are looking for more suggestions for books by Indigenous writers, check out these sites:

In addition, if you would like to learn more about aboriginal literature, check out a resource guide by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education:  https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/deepeningknowledge/UserFiles/File/UploadedAmina_/Aboriginal_Literature_in_Canada.pdf.
Though intended for teachers, the document gives useful information for readers interested in First Nations literature.   Literature from six different Aboriginal cultures is outlined:  Mi’kmaq, Mohawk (Six Nations), Anishnabe (Ojibway), Cree, Métis, and Okanagan.  The characteristics of the literature of each culture are discussed and readings suggested.

When you’ve done some reading, share your picks on social media with the hashtag #IndigenousReads.