Reading Recommendations

Every newsletter will include a recommendation for books or media produced by Indigenous authors. Please see the recommendations below. We recommend purchasing from an Indigenous-run bookstore and will link to one when possible. You can find a list of these stores here: https://bookriot.com/indigenous-owned-bookstores/

Cover of Tending the Wild depicting a Pomo collecting seeds with a seed beater

Week 1: Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson

"A complex look at California Native ecological practices as a model for environmental sustainability and conservation.” (Purchase here)

Cover of Required Reading

Week 2: Required Reading: Climate Justice, Adaptation and Investing in Indigenous Power by NDN Collective

"Required Reading is a roadmap that hones in on why Indigenous peoples must lead through the heart of the climate crisis." (Purchase here)

Week 3: The Red Deal: Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth by The Red Nation

"A movement-oriented document for climate justice and grassroots reform and revolution.(Read here)

Week 4: The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer

"A sweeping history--and counter-narrative--of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present." (Purchase here)

Week 5: Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes through Indigenous Science by Dr. Jessica Hernandez

"An Indigenous environmental scientist breaks down why western conservationism isn't working--and offers Indigenous models...(Purchase here)

Week 6: As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock, by Dina Gilio-Whitaker

"The story of Native peoples’ resistance to environmental injustice and land incursions, and a call for environmentalists to learn from the Indigenous community’s rich history of activism." (Purchase here)

Week 7: Nature Poem by Tommy Pico

Short but unforgettable, Nature Poem is “a book-length poem about how an American Indian writer can’t bring himself to write about nature, but is forced to reckon with colonial-white stereotypes, manifest destiny, and his own identity as an young, queer, urban-dwelling poet” (Purchase here)

Week 8: our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance, by Nick Estes

The book “traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement. Our History Is the Future is at once a work of history, a manifesto, and an intergenerational story of resistance.” (Purchase here)

Week 9: Night is a Sharkskin Drum by Haunani-Kay Trask

An iconic leader of the movement for Hawaiian sovereignty, Haunani-Kay Trask was also a talented poet. This is her second and final book of poems, “a haunted and haunting love song for a beloved homeland under assault.” (Purchase here)

Week 10: An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States by Kyle T. Mays

“The first intersectional history of the Black and Native American struggle for freedom in our country,” the book explores the relationship between Black and Native liberation movements, and the powerful possibilities of solidarity. (Purchase here)

Week 11: Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock

Janet Mock is a Black and Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) writer, director, and producer best known for her work on Pose. The sequel to Mock’s bestselling memoir of her youth and coming out, Surpassing Certainty is a memoir of her twenties - leaving her home in Hawai’i, beginning her career, and building her life. (Purchase here)

Week 12: All My Relations, hosted by Adrienne Keene and Matika Wilbur (Podcast)

The podcast explores “our relationships as Native peoples - to land, ancestors and to each other.” They just started their 4th season, so there are plenty of episodes; start with one that catches your interest. (Listen here)

Week 13: New Native Kitchen by Freddie Bitsoie and James O. Fraioli

"With recipes as varied as the peoples that inspired them, New Native Kitchen celebrates the Indigenous heritage of American cuisine." (Purchase here)

Week 14: We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade

Filled with beautiful, watery art, Caldecott Award-winner We Are Water Protectors is a perfect introduction to environmental justice! (Purchase here)

Week 15: Standing on Sacred Ground by the Sacred Land Film Project

In 4 parts, Standing on Sacred Ground follows Indigenous peoples around the world as they stand up for sacred lands and defend cultural survival, human rights, and the environment. (Watch here)

Week 16: From a Native Daughter by Haunani-Kay Trask

An incisive book on Hawaiian  history, sovereignty, and organizing in the face of colonialism, racism, and patriarchy. (Purchase here)

Week 17: The Properties of Perpetual Light by Julian Aguon

"Aguon grapples with one heart-breaking loss after another by immersing himself in the beauty of his island, the magic of Micronesia, and the wisdom of his favorite books and elders." (Purchase here)

Week 18: We are the Ocean by Epeli Hau'ofa

"We Are the Ocean is a collection of essays, fiction, and poetry by Epeli Hau‘ofa, whose writing over the past three decades has consistently challenged prevailing notions about Oceania and prescriptions for its development."

Week 19: The Rediscovery of America by Ned Blackhawk

"A sweeping and overdue retelling of U.S. history that recognizes that Native Americans are essential to understanding the evolution of modern America." (Purchase here)

Week 20: Making Love with the Land by Joshua Whitehead

"Intellectually audacious and emotionally compelling, Whitehead shares his devotion to the world in which we live and brilliantly--even joyfully--maps his experience on the land that has shaped stories, histories, and bodies from time immemorial.(Purchase here)

Week 21: Reservation Dogs

With an all-Indigenous writers room and Native folks on both sides of the camera, Reservation Dogs follows the lives of 4 Native teens through joy and heartbreak in rural Oklahoma (Watch here)

Week 22: Project 562: Changing the Way We See Native America by Matika Wilbur

Starting in 2012, Wilbur traveled to all of the (at that time) 562 federally recognized Native American Tribal Nations. Project 562 contains the portraits and stories of the people and places that she visited.  (Purchase here)

Week 23: An Indian Among Los Indigenas by Ursula Pike

A member of the Karuk tribe, Pike spent 2 years in Bolivia with the Peace Corps; this memoir of her time shares the questions, tensions, and reflections of her experience. (Purchase here)

Week 24: LANDBACK For the People by NDN Collective

A podcast with new episodes every month, LANDBACK is "looking towards the future of Indigenous liberation where everyone has a place in the circle to bring their gifts, skills, and their love for people and the land."  (Listen here)

Week 25: Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Müller

"An electrifying memoir that braids together the urgent issues of Indigenous rights and environmental policy, from a nationally and internationally recognized activist and survivor." (Purchase here)

Week 26: We are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth

"A powerful, intimate collection of conversations with Indigenous Americans on the climate crisis and the Earth's future." (Purchase here)

Week 27: Chimi Nu'am: Native California Foodways for the Contemporary Kitchen by Sara Calvosa Olson

"Meaning “Let’s eat!” in the Karuk language, Chími Nu’am shares the author’s delicious and inventive takes on Native food styles from across California." (Purchase here)

Week 28: Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present by Adrienne Keene

"An illustrated book profiling 50 notable American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, from NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Standing Rock Lakota to Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation." (Purchase here)

Week 29: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Combining her scientific expertise as a botanist with the traditional teachings of her culture, Kimmerer examines our relationships to the earth, and envisions a just and beautiful future for us all - plants, humans, and beyond. (Purchase here)

Week 30: Yaamay: an Anthology of Feminine Perspectives Across Indigenous Cultures

"A collection of Indigenous poetry, artwork, and essays specific to what is now known as Southern California." (Purchase here)

Week 31: Talkin' Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism by Aileen Moreton-Robinson

A "tour de force in feminism and Indigenous studies," where "whiteness is made visible in power relations, presenting a dialogic of how white feminists represent Indigenous women in discourse and how Indigenous women self-present."  (Purchase here)

Week 32: Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge by Deirdre Havrelock and Edward Kay

"Readers of all ages are invited to celebrate traditional North American Indigenous innovation, and to embrace the mindset of reciprocity, environmental responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life." (Purchase here)

Week 33: As Long as the River Flows by Keepers of the Water

KOTW is an incredible grassroots coalition in Canada working to protect sacred waters - their podcast shares Traditional Ecological Knowlege, stories of repression & resistance, and hope in the face of climate disaster. (Listen here)

Week 34: Whiskey Tender by Deborah Jackson Taffa

Weaving together her family history, childhood memories, meditations on identity and Native political history, and tribal histories and myths, Taffa explores the personal, the political, and the connections between them. (Purchase here)

Week 35: The Seven Generations and the Seven Grandfather Teachings by James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw

Sharing the profound wisdom of the Anishinaabeg/Ojibwe people, The Seven Generations uses ancestral knowledge to guide  readers toward Mino-bimaadiziwin - "the good life" (Purchase here)

Week 36: Never Whistle at Night: an Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology 

Named for a superstition  that many Indigenous cultures share, “these stories are a celebration of Indigenous peoples' survival and imagination, and a glorious reveling in all the things an ill-advised whistle might summon.” (Purchase here)

Week 37: Every Drop is a Man's Nightmare by Megan Kamalei Kakimoto

This debut story collection is “both a fierce love letter to Hawaiian identity and mythology, and a searing dispatch from an occupied territory threatening to erupt” (Purchase here)

Week 38: No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay by Julian Aguon 

CHamoru climate activist and human rights laywer Julian Aguon's collection of essays centers on “resistance, resilience, and collective power in the age of climate disaster; and a call for justice—for everyone, but in particular, for Indigenous peoples.” (Purchase here)

Week 37: Always Italicise: How to Write While Colonized by Alice Te Punga Somerville

A poetry collection reflecting on "“how to write while colonised”—how to write in English as a Māori writer; how to trace links between Aotearoa and wider Pacific, Indigenous and colonial worlds; how to be the only Māori person in a workplace; and how—and why—to do the mahi anyway." (Purchase here)

Week 38: Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

"A dazzling epic of betrayal, love, and fate that spans five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West(Purchase here)

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