Monday, October 11 was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday observed across the United States by various municipalities, cities, and states, including Minnesota. Yesterday we shared a photo of our in-store display in honor of this day, featuring several titles by Native American and Indigenous Canadian authors from around the store.
To learn a bit more about each title, read on below:
The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman
Contemporary and authentic, Sherman’s dishes feature cedar braised bison, griddled wild rice cakes, amaranth crackers with smoked white bean paste, three sisters salad, deviled duck eggs, smoked turkey soup, dried meats, roasted corn sorbet, and hazelnut-maple bites. The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders.
Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen
Toni Jensen grew up around guns: As a girl, she learned to shoot birds in rural Iowa with her father, a card-carrying member of the NRA. As an adult, she’s had guns waved in her face near Standing Rock, and felt their silent threat on the concealed-carry campus where she teaches. And she has always known that in this she is not alone. As a Métis woman, she is no stranger to the violence enacted on the bodies of Indigenous women, on Indigenous land, and the ways it is hidden, ignored, forgotten. In Carry, Jensen maps her personal experience onto the historical, exploring how history is lived in the body and redefining the language we use to speak about violence in America.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire. Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.
Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year by Linda LeGarde Grover
Long before it came to be known as Duluth, the land at the western tip of Lake Superior was known to the Ojibwe as Onigamiising, “the place of the small portage.” There the Ojibwe lived in keeping with the seasons, moving among different camps for hunting and fishing, for cultivating and gathering, for harvesting wild rice and maple sugar. In Onigamiising Linda LeGarde Grover accompanies us through this cycle of the seasons, one year in a lifelong journey on the path to Mino Bimaadiziwin, the living of a good life.
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer
The received idea of Native American history–as promulgated by books like Dee Brown’s mega-bestselling 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee–has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry, the sense was, but Native civilization did as well. Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear–and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence–the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption–a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden–but what they don’t know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.
The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson
Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle-grade fantasy series. Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission.
Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk
Dream a little, Kulu, this world now sings a most beautiful song of you.
This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.
Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry
Joy Harjo, the first Native poet to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate, has championed the voices of Native peoples past and present. Her signature laureate project gathers the work of contemporary Native poets into a national, fully digital map of story, sound, and space, celebrating their vital and unequivocal contributions to American poetry. This companion anthology features each poem and poet from the project–including Natalie Diaz, Ray Young Bear, Craig Santos Perez, Sherwin Bitsui, and Layli Long Soldier, among others–to offer readers a chance to hold the wealth of poems in their hands.
Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN POETRY
Natalie Diaz’s highly anticipated follow-up to When My Brother Was an Aztec, winner of an American Book Award Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages–bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers–be touched and held as beloveds.
Poet Warrior by Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her poet-warrior road. A musical, kaleidoscopic, and wise follow-up to Crazy Brave, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice.
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder, Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.
NDN Coping Mechanisms by Billy-Ray Belcourt
In the follow-up to his Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection, This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt writes using the modes of accusation and interrogation. He aims an anthropological eye at the realities of everyday life to show how they house the violence that continues to reverberate from the long twentieth century. In a genre-bending constellation of poetry, photography, redaction, and poetics, Belcourt ultimately argues that if signifiers of Indigenous suffering are everywhere, so too is evidence of Indigenous peoples’ rogue possibility, their utopian drive.
My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town, Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from the “Jordan Peele of horror literature,” New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones. On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life.
This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples
On an Ojibwe reservation called Languille Lake, within the small town of Geshig at the hub of the rez, two men enter into a secret romance. Marion Lafournier, a midtwenties gay Ojibwe man, begins a relationship with his former classmate Shannon, a white man who isn’t ready to acknowledge his identity. While Marion is far more open about his sexuality, neither is immune to the realities of the lives of gay men in small towns and closed societies. Then one night, while roaming the dark streets of Geshig, Marion unknowingly brings to life the spirit of a dog from beneath the elementary school playground. The mysterious revenant leads him to the grave of Kayden Kelliher, an Ojibwe basketball star who was murdered at the age of seventeen and whose presence still lingers in the memories of the townsfolk. While investigating the fallen hero’s death, Marion discovers family connections and an old Ojibwe legend that may be the secret to unraveling the mystery he has found himself in.
The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
A groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange. Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine dreams of a fresh start at college, but she puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. But when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, it thrusts her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars.
The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper follows a Dakhóta family’s struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most. Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, a former science teacher who tells her stories of plants, of the stars, of the origins of the Dakhóta people. Until, one morning, Ray doesn’t return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato–where the reserved, bookish teenager meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they’ve inherited. Weaving together the voices of four indelible women, The Seed Keeper is a beautifully told story of reawakening, of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors.
Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
In fierce prose and poetic fragments, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s Noopiming braids together humor, piercing detail, and a deep, abiding commitment to Anishinaabe life to tell stories of resistance, love, and joy. The novel’s characters emerge from deep within Abinhinaabeg thought to commune beyond an unnatural urban-settler world littered with SpongeBob Band-Aids, Ziploc baggies, and Fjallraven backpacks. A bold literary act of decolonization and resistance, Noopiming offers a breaking open of the self to a world alive with people, animals, ancestors, and spirits–and the daily work of healing.