The Reading List

Suzanne  -  Feb 25, 2014  -  , , , ,  - 

Dragonfly often gets asked for book recommendations or a reading list. People want to know what book they should read to learn about Aboriginal peoples and cultures, what book will give them details on certain Aboriginal experiences (such as residential schools), or what book will lay out Aboriginal perspectives on an issue or subject. There is a Portfolio section on this website, containing book reviews written during Dragonfly’s past life as a literary critic – but new books are coming out all the time. We also realize that reading several pages of reviews is too time-consuming for some visitors to the site, and that the books in the Portfolio section are not organized by genre or theme. So herewith, at long last: The Reading List.

Some notes on The Reading List:

  • We did not list publication dates, because classic books are timeless (and some books have more than one edition)
  • We did not list publishers, because books get picked up by new companies and new editions are published under new imprints
  • Some books on the list are out of print, but we included them because they may still be available in libraries or available for purchase online
  • There are no books for children, because that’s a different list
  • Non-fiction books are organized by theme
  • All the fiction titles are written by Aboriginal authors
  • The non-fiction titles are written by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal authors
  • We have read and strongly recommend every book on this list

Once you start reading, let us know what you think – send us your thoughts via our Contact page. And if we’ve left one of your favourite titles off the list, let us know.

You have homework!


Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko

House Made of Dawn, N. Scott Momaday

The Ancient Child, N. Scott Momaday

Green Grass, Running Water, Thomas King

The Heartsong of Charging Elk, James Welch

Three-Day Road, Joseph Boyden

Porcupines and China Dolls, Robert Arthur Alexie

Tracks, Louise Erdrich

Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich



Bones: Discovering the First Americans, Elaine Dewar

The Truth About Stories, Thomas King

Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America, Will Roscoe

Canada’s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples From Earliest Times, Olive Patricia Dickason

Community Life

On the Rez, Ian Frazier

North Spirit: Travels Among the Cree and Ojibway Nations and Their Star Maps, Paulette Jiles


A Recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood, Kim Anderson

For Joshua: An Ojibway Father Teaches His Son, Richard Wagamese


Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, Dee Brown

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Peter Matthiessen

Stolen Continents: The “New World” Though Indian Eyes, Ronald Wright

A Long and Terrible Shadow: White Values and Native Rights in the Americas 1492-1992, Thomas R. Berger

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America, Thomas King

Land Rights

Last Stand of the Lubicon Cree, John Goddard

One Dead Indian: The Premier, the Police, and the Ipperwash Crisis, Peter Edwards

Life Stories

Stolen Life: The Journey of a Cree Woman, Rudy Wiebe & Yvonne Johnson

Lake of the Prairies: A Story of Belonging, Warren Cariou

One Native Life, Richard Wagamese

Myths and Stereotypes

The Imaginary Indian: The Image of the Indian in Canadian Culture, Daniel Francis


Citizens Plus: Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian State, Alan C. Cairns


Starlight Tour: The Last, Lonely Night of Neil Stonechild, Susanne Reber & Robert Renaud

Cowboys and Indians: The Shooting of J.J. Harper, Gordon Sinclair Jr.

Residential Schools

Stolen From Our Embrace: The Abduction of First Nations Children and the Restoration of Aboriginal Communities, Suzanne Fournier & Ernie Crey

Out of the Depths, Isabelle Knockwood

Resource Extraction/Environment

Rogue Diamonds: The Rush for Northern Riches on Dene Land, Ellen Bielawski


Spirit Dance at Mezidian: Joseph Gosnell and the Nisga’a Treaty, Alex Rose

Indian Fall: The Last Great Days of the Plains Cree and the Blackfoot Confederacy, D’Arcy Jenish


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