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Alberta Books for Beyond National Indigenous History Month

National Indigenous History Month is a month to reflect on the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Turtle Island and recognize the strength and resilience of these communities.

In recognition of this month, Read Alberta has compiled a list of Indigenous-authored Alberta books. This booklist is only a small selection of the books available, and we encourage you to continue to read books by and about these communities beyond the month of June. Titles can be found at your local independent bookstore or Alberta public libraries through the Prairie Indigenous eBook Collection.

Payne Many Guns, Crystal Many Fingers, Sheena Potts, Latasha Calf Robe, Tim Fox, Marlene Yellow Horn, DerRic Starlight

In Siksikaitsitapi: Stories of the Blackfoot People, seven authors share their stories that come from both legends and their personal experiences, with many of the stories in both Blackfoot and English languages. The book is illustrated with beautiful full-colour pictures and photos which help convey these stories from Blackfoot traditional and contemporary traditions and cultures.

Siksikaitsitapi: Stories of the Blackfoot People

Payne Many Guns (CA), Crystal Many Fingers (CA), Sheena Potts (CA)

Published: Apr 26, 2022 by Durvile Publications
ISBN: 9781988824833

Amber, Bev, Chantel, Jazmyne, Faith, Jorgina and Robert Henry

Amber, Bev, Chantel, Jazmyne, Faith, and Jorgina are six Indigenous women previously involved in street gangs or street lifestyles. In Indigenous Women and Street Gangs: Survivance Narratives these women collaborate with Robert Henry to share an emancipatory expression of their lives through photovoice. Each author shares a narrative that begins with her earliest memory and continues to the present. This is followed by a selection of photographs the woman took to show how she has changed with her experiences. Readers can expect difficult life stories imbued with hope and humour. Throughout the collection, these women show us the meaning of survivance; a process of survival, resistance, resurgence, and growth.

Indigenous Women and Street Gangs: Survivance Narratives

Amber, Bev, Chantel

Published: Sep 15, 2021 by University of Alberta Press
ISBN: 9781772125498

Lee Maracle

Memory Serves is a collection of award-winning author Lee Maracle’s oratories, delivered and performed over a twenty-year period. Revised for publication, the lectures hold the features and style of oratory intrinsic to the Salish people in general and the Sto: lo in particular. From her Coast Salish perspective and with great eloquence, Maracle shares her knowledge of Sto: lo history, memory, philosophy, law, spirituality, feminism and the colonial condition of her people.

Powerful and inspiring, Memory Serves is an extremely timely book, not only because it is the first collection of oratories by one of the most important Indigenous authors in Canada, but also because it offers all Canadians, in Maracle’s own words, “another way to be, to think, to know,” a way that holds the promise of a “journey toward a common consciousness.”

Memory Serves: Oratories

Lee Maracle (CA)

Published: Oct 15, 2015 by NeWest Press
ISBN: 9781926455440

Gregory Younging

Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing by and About Indigenous Peoples offers Indigenous writers and editors—and everyone creating works about Indigenous Peoples—the first published guide to common questions and issues of style and process.

Featuring succinct style principles; advice on culturally appropriate publishing practices, terminology to use and to avoid, advice on specific editing issues, and case studies of projects that illustrate best practices, this is the reference book everyone working in words or other media need to keep nearby while they’re working.

Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples

Gregory Younging (CA)

Published: Feb 15, 2018 by Brush Education
ISBN: 9781550597165

Dawn Dumont

The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour is the hilarious story of an unlikely group of Indigenous dancers who find themselves thrown together on a performance tour of Europe.

A group of expert dancers they are not. There’s a middle-aged woman with advanced arthritis, her nineteen-year-old niece who is far more interested in flirtations than pow-wow, and an enigmatic man from the U.S. — all being chased by Nadine, the organizer of the original tour who is determined to be a part of the action, and the handsome man she picked up in a gas-station bathroom. They’re all looking to John, who has never left the continent, to guide them through a world that he knows nothing about. As the gang makes its way from one stop to another, absolutely nothing goes as planned, and the tour becomes a string of madcap adventures. Dawn Dumont brings her signature razor-sharp wit and impeccable comedic timing to this hilarious, warm, and wildly entertaining novel.

The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour

Dawn Dumont (CA)

Published: Sep 27, 2021 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781988298870

Arthur Bear Chief

My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell is a simple and outspoken account of the sexual and psychological abuse that Arthur Bear Chief suffered during his time at Old Sun Residential school in Gleichen on the Siksika Nation.

In a series of chronological vignettes, Bear Chief depicts the punishment, cruelty, abuse, and injustice that he endured at Old Sun and then later relived in the traumatic process of retelling his story at an examination for discovery in connection with a lawsuit brought against the federal government. Although the terrific adversity Bear Chief faced in his childhood made an indelible mark on his life, his unyielding spirit is evident throughout his story.

My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell

Arthur Bear Chief (CA)

Published: Jan 01, 2017 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781771991759

Betty Bastien

Blackfoot Ways of Knowing: The Worldview of the Siksikaitsitapi is a journey into the heart and soul of Blackfoot culture. As a scholar and researcher, Betty Bastien places Blackfoot tradition within a historical context of precarious survival amid colonial displacement and cultural genocide. In sharing her personal story of reclaimed identity, Bastien offers a gateway into traditional Blackfoot ways of understanding and experiencing the world.

For the Siksikaitsitapi, knowledge is experiential, participatory, and ultimately sacred. In Blackfoot Ways of Knowing, Bastien maps her own process of coming to know, stressing the recovery of the Blackfoot language and Blackfoot notions of reciprocal responsibilities and interdependence.

Blackfoot Ways of Knowing: The Worldview of the Siksikaitsitapi

Betty Bastien (CA)

Published: Jun 20, 2004 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781552381090

Wayne Arthurson

Searching through the annals of North American history uncovers the diverse and astounding contributions by the Natives of the Americas who formed the world we know today. In the Shadow of Our Ancestors explores the rich history of the Indigenous peoples of North America and leaves us in awe of their stunning achievements and inventions.

In the Shadow of Our Ancestors: The Inventions and Genius of the First Peoples

Wayne Arthurson (CA)

Published: Jun 16, 2011 by Eschia Books
ISBN: 9781926696133