6 Contemporary Books By Native American Writers

Crystal Echo Hawk on new reads you should pick up in light of Indigenous Peoples Day

Crystal Echo Hawk is a Native American activist and founder of IllumiNative, an org that seeks to clear up misconceptions about indigenous peoples. And one of the first steps towards clearing up negative stereotypes is awareness.

As we head into the cooler months, she gave us some book recommendations from Native authors you should add to your bookshelf.

“There, There,” by Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho)

The winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, the book follows 12 different characters from different Native communities across the U.S. Elle called it, “Brilliantly, furiously, magnificently, tragically, the story of America.”

“When the Light of the World Was Subdued Our Songs Came Through: An Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, “Edited by Joy Harjo (Muscogee Creek)

If you’re a poetry fan, you’ll want to check this collection spanning many years of Native American prose.

“From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way,” by Jesse Thistle (Métis/Cree)

In this heart-wrenching Canadian memoir, Jesse Thistle reflects on his life after being abandoned by his parents as a toddler. The Toronto Star wrote, “In spare and often brutal prose . . . Thistle weaves a narrative punctuated with joy and comedy and ultimately redemption.”

“Our History is the Future, “ by Nick Estes (Lower Bruleé Sioux)

In this book, Nick Estes traces the history that manifested into Standing Rock’s protests over the Dakota Access oil pipeline — one of the largest recent Indigenous protest movements.

“Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s,” by Tiffany Midge (Standing Rock Sioux)

If you love humorous essays, you have to check out this collection of reflections on life, politics, and being a Native American woman in the U.S., from Tiffany Midge.

“Heart Berries,” by Terese Marie Mailhot (Seabird Island Band)

After being hospitalized for post-traumatic stress and bipolar II disorders, Terese Marie Mailhot wrote this memoir to reflect on her coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest.

This originally appeared on Medium.