Disclosure: Some of the links in this book list of indigenous authors are affiliate links. If you click them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. The decision of whether or not to buy something is completely up to you.
This reading list of indigenous authors will give you plenty to refill your shelves. It includes books like stirring contemporary fiction and contemplative memoirs . Additionally, it’s always a good time to diversify your bookshelves and TBR to expand your horizons.
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
Wagamese is a native of Canada and offers a novel filled with complicated father-son relationships, as well as man’s struggle to survive nature and the power of healing. This novel is a prime example of indigenous literature. It follows 16-year-old protagonist Franklin Starlight as he answers the call to see his father and make amends.
Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival by Velma Wallis
Wallis makes her mark among indigenous authors. The story takes inspiration from legends passed down for generations among the Gwich’in Athabascan tribe. The book tells the story of two elderly women abandoned by their tribe left to survive the brutal winter on their own or die trying.
There There by Tommy Orange
This contemporary novel by Tommy Orange appears often in many book lists with indigenous characters. Orange, an Arapaho of the Cheyenne tribe, tells a multigenerational story that follows several family members coming together at the Big Oakland Powwow, each for their own reasons.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band Chippewa, is one of the most well-known First Nations’ writers. She explores her mother’s Ojibwe heritage coupled with the story of a young man as he comes of age. All this after a traumatic experience that turns his family upside down.
Why Storms Are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless by Tanaya Winder
Winder, a native of the Duckwater Shoshone, delivers a poignant collection of poems that tug at the heart. Moreover, these poems explore the symbiotic nature of pain and joy. She does it all through an analytical lens focused on the parts of a gun and its role in colonization.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Kimmerer is a botanist trained to look at nature through a scientific lens. She is also a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. As such she understands the healing power of plants through a cultural perspective often overlooked in the sciences. This nonfiction book bridges the gap between modern science and the ancient practices of indigenous people.
Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
Robinson, a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations of British Columbia, combines magical realism with mystery. She creates a mesmerizing coming-of-age tale. Lisamarie investigates the tragic death of her brother while running from her own ghosts and questioning her childhood memories.
Find most of these titles here.