November is Native American Heritage Month. Any time of year is the perfect time to read literature from Indigenous voices, but it’s important that we make time to celebrate Indigenous stories and cultures, and push back against stereotypes and harmful depictions.
What is now the United States is the traditional land of at least 500 different Indigenous tribes (by some totals, much more than 500!). You can find out which tribes have traditionally stewarded, lived in, and continue to live in different parts of the country by visiting Native Land, a fantastic, interactive map.
Alameda County Libraries are on traditional land of Ohlone, Chochenyo, and Tamyen peoples.
There are all kinds of fantastic books by Indigenous authors, from realistic fiction, to memoir, to fantasy and sci-fi. In the past, many books written about Native people were written by non-Native writers, and told stories that sometimes had harmful stereotypes or portrayed Native people as only part of history, instead of vibrant, contemporary communities that have a great variety of cultural storytelling styles. Slowly, more and more books are being published by Native and Indigenous peoples, though publishing still has a long way to go.
If you’re looking for books by Indigenous writers that tell stories of the here-and-now, as well as the past, check out these great books for adults.
There are also many wonderful Indigenous writers telling stories for children!
And here's even more fantastic books!