Summer Reading: Indigenous Novels Edition

As you may have heard, on the heels of Washington NAACP official Rachel Dolezal being outed as white, University of California professor Andrea Smith, who identifies as Cherokee, has also been called out for passing, as has her sister. This is difficult terrain for scholars because Smith’s work on decolonization is important to the field of Indigenous Studies. At the same time, every time either woman gave a talk or joined a committee as a Cherokee woman, or accessed a scholarship for First Nations students, a First Nations individual did not do so. I’m responding with a list of fantastic novels by indigenous authors–no Grey Owl or Forrest Carter here. In many cases it was hard to chose just one novel; I’m sure some of my colleagues will shake their heads over the omissions and selections!

Sherman Alexie,  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road
Beatrice Culleton, In Search of April Raintree
Debra Magpie Earling, Perma Red
Louise Erdich, Love Medicine
Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen
Linda Hogan, Mean Spirit
Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water
N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn
Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk, Sanaaq
Susan Power, Grass Dancer
Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach
Drew Hayden Taylor, Motorcycles and Sweetgrass
James Welch, Fools Crow
Jordan Wheeler, Brothers in Arms

For more indigenous news,  including perspectives on Andrea Smith, see Indian Country Today. For more Canadian content, see First Nations Drum. UWaterloo has an Aboriginal Education Centre which facilitates knowledge sharing and offers support services. A syllabus is available which addresses the Smith situation, titled “What Would You Teach?


One response to “Summer Reading: Indigenous Novels Edition

  1. Great, helpful list. Thank you

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