14 Stories to Share for Indigenous History Month

14 Stories to Share for Indigenous History Month

Are you ready for National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day in June? From board books to nonfiction, Orca is proud to offer Indigenous content from Indigenous creators for readers of all ages.

Ages 0–2

Little You / Gidagaashiinh by Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett

“Van Camp composes a lyrical ode to a newborn child, which is matched in its loveliness by Flett’s exquisite, collage-like images of a young one with his or her parents.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

In English and Anishinaabemowin.

My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith and Julie Flett

 ★ “A quiet loveliness, sense of gratitude, and—yes—happiness emanate from this tender celebration of simple pleasures, which features a cast of First Nations children and adults…” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett

“A lovely picture book that will resonate with parents and show young readers the profound, positive impact they have on their parents’ lives.” —School Library Journal

Ages 3–5


I Hope / nipakosêyimon by Monique Gray Smith and Gabrielle Grimard

This beautifully illustrated dual-language picture book, written by award-winning Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by award-winning artist Gabrielle Grimard, explores all the hopes adults have for the children in their lives.

In English and Plains Cree.

Be a Good Ancestor by Leona Prince, Gabrielle Prince and Carla Joseph

“A perfect read-aloud for introducing the importance of caring for the earth.” Booklist

You Hold Me Up / ê-ohpiniyan by Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel

“[A] welcome addition to the ongoing conversations around healing and rebuilding relationships…Serves both as a quiet lullaby and a starting point for discussions on empathy, community and wellness.” Canadian Children’s Book News

In English and Plains Cree.

When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith and Nicole Neidhardt

“Notably centering Indigenous families and characters of color in personal and communal activities—and encouraging readers to evaluate their actions toward others.”Publishers Weekly

Ages 9–12


Weird Rules to Follow by Kim Spencer

In this novel for middle readers told in vignettes, Mia and her best friend, Lara, have very different experiences growing up in a northern fishing community in the 1980s.

The Witness Blanket: Truth, Art and Reconciliation by Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson

This nonfiction book for middle-grade readers, illustrated with photographs, tells the story of the making of the Witness Blanket, an art piece by Indigenous artist Carey Newman, that includes items from every residential school in Canada and stories from the Survivors who donated them.

Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane

★ “This comprehensive primer of the history and importance of the powwow in North American Indigenous culture is a necessary purchase.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith

★ “Smith thoroughly and compassionately examines the history and traumatic aftereffects of Canada’s residential schools…Smith informs without overwhelming or sugarcoating, and she emphasizes the power readers themselves possess.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Ages 12+

Dreaming in Color by Melanie Florence

“Offers a mirror to the sometimes painful emotions and everyday experiences of Indigenous teens of mixed heritage. A rare and welcome reluctant reader title featuring an Indigenous protagonist.”Kirkus Reviews

He Who Dreams by Melanie Florence

“This novel allows young readers to embrace their own heritages and realize they stand on the shoulders of all their ancestors.” Kirkus Reviews

Adult Nonfiction

Picking Up the Pieces: Residential School Memories and the Making of the Witness Blanket by Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson

“[A] must-read for anyone seeking to understand Canada’s residential-school saga. Most importantly, it’s a touchstone of community for those survivors and their families still on the path to healing.” —Waubgeshig Rice, journalist and author of Moon of the Crusted Snow

View more Indigenous books here!

Leave a Reply