Every year, more and more people are choosing to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day rather than Columbus Day, and it’s about damn time. Here are five books that celebrate Native American culture:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
In this young adult novel, Junior spends his time on the reservation dreaming of becoming a cartoonist. The story follows him as he leaves the school on his reservation for a high school where he’s the only Native American student.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
This novel takes place on the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. When a terrible crime occurs, a young boy on the verge on manhood seeks justice and understanding. This book is very highly rated, and I can’t wait to read it.
Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo is a poet, and this memoir details the inspirations for her work, rooted in Native American culture. In it, she discusses growing up with an abusive step-father, along with the strong ties to her heritage and her spirituality.
I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism by Lee Maracle
In this non-fiction book, Lee Maracle examines feminism and spirituality within her Native American culture.
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Tayo was captured by the Japanese during World War II. He struggles with feelings of alienation and estrangement, even after returning home to the Laguna Pueblo reservation. This classic novel is a must-read for people interested in a fictional look at life on reservations and in experiencing Native American culture.
Anything missing from this list? Add your favorites down below. There’s also an amazing resource from the First Nations Development Institute where you can search their book recommendations for every genre!