Delve into Native and Indigenous Communities, Cultures, and Histories

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Broaden your knowledge about the various tribes and the unique challenges Native and Indigenous communities face.

  • Apple: Skin to the Core

    2020 by Gansworth, Eric L.

    This gorgeous piece of biographical storytelling looks at recent history on a very personal level. Along with the prose writing, and the memoir also includes the author's artwork and family photographs. It has beautiful imagery, pathos, and love. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen

    2017 by Sherman, Sean

    Sean Sherman is dedicated to promoting ancestral Lakota foodways, first with his Minneapolis catering business, The Sioux Chef, and now with this collection of recipes and lore for the home cook. Learn to make everything from cornmeal mush to hazelnut maple sorbet. The nature of the traditional Lakota diet means that all the recipes are dairy-free and gluten-free.

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  • Native Fashion Now: North American Indian Style

    2015 by Kramer, Karen

    Celebrating Native American design as an important force in the world of contemporary fashion, this book features beautiful, innovative, and surprising looks from Native American artists. (from the publisher)

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  • Poet Warrior: A Memoir

    2021 by Harjo, Joy

    Harjo, the first Native U.S. poet laureate, blends poetry and prose to tell her story as a lover of words and how they shaped and healed her and formed her into the person she is today. Her ability to find both connections and compassion in her life is astounding. This is a companion to her previous memoir, Crazy Brave, but can definitely be read on its own.

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  • Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band

    2020 by Staebler, Christian

    Music lovers, rejoice! Redbone is an entertaining and enlightening historical graphic memoir for fans of music and Native American history. Discover the story and the band behind the 1970's hit song "Come and Get Your Love", which is featured on the extremely popular Guardians of the Galaxy Mixtape Volume 1 soundtrack.

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  • From the Ashes: My Story of Being Indigenous, Homeless, and Finding My Way

    2021 by Thistle, Jesse

    Jesse Thistle, a Métis-Cree writer and professor, examines how poverty, addiction, and poor choices led to a life of homelessness and crime in this heartrending and moving memoir.

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  • Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction


    In this groundbreaking and Lambda Award winning anthology, a number of new and emerging 2SQ (Two-Spirit and queer) Indigenous writers from across Turtle Island draw from history and their own personal truths to create their own queer visions of Indigenous futures.

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  • #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women


    #NotYourPrincess is an insightful collection of stories, poems, and artwork that honor and celebrate Indigenous women and their legacy. The collection defies and subverts the stereotypes associated with Indigenous women. It is a short yet powerful read.

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  • Canyon Dreams: A Basketball Season on the Navajo Nation

    2019 by Powell, Michael

    You don't have to be a basketball fan to like this book. At its core, this moving book is really about family, culture, and community. The Navajo high school basketball members are flawed and face unique challenges while living on the reservation. Highly recommended for fans of the fantastic television show Friday Night Lights and the Academy Award winning documentary Undefeated.

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  • Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask

    2021 by Treuer, Anton

    In easy-to-understand and conversational short essays, Ojibwe Professor Treuer has created a cultural guide for Natives and non-Natives alike, covering a wide variety of topics: sovereignty, politics, language, music, religion, gender and sexuality, and social activism. Though adapted for young readers, this would be an primer on Native Americans and their experiences.

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  • A Feast for All Seasons: Traditional Native People's Cuisine

    2010 by George, Andrew

    Andrew George Jr. of the Wet'suwet'en Nation in Canada has compiled aboriginal recipes that feature ingredients from the land, sea, and sky, elements of an enduring cuisine that illustrate respect for the environment and its creatures and an acknowledgment of the spiritual power that food can have in our lives.

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  • The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book

    2021 by Hill, Gord

    Gord Hill's groundbreaking graphic history of Indigenous activism and resistance is now fully colored and expanded to cover revolts, rebellions, and riots from Indigenous peoples across North and South America as well as the modern struggle for land, water, and oil. This is a great book for those looking to read history beyond the Eurocentric point of view.

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  • We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans in Comedy

    2021 by Nesteroff, Kliph

    This new history offers the good, the bad, and the ugly of Native Americans in show business, from the "Wild West" shows and human museums of the 19th century to the open-mic nights and TV writers' rooms of the 21st. The author is particularly interested in Charlie Hill, an Oneida comedian who made his name in the 1970's stand-up scene with edgy humor that didn't shy away from politically and culturally sensitive topics.

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  • Come Home, Indio: A Memoir

    2020 by Terry, Jim

    In his candid and richly detailed graphic memoir, Jim Terry moves beyond a story of addiction and recovery by tapping into his own struggles with his Native identity and coming to terms with Native issues, myths, politics, and histories.

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  • Living Nations, Living Words


    This special and rich poetry anthology takes its title from an interactive online map of current Native poets, a project undertaken by U.S. Poet Laureate and Native American poet Joy Harjo. Each poem is "based on the theme of place and displacement, and with four touchpoints in mind: visibility, persistence, resistance, and acknowledgment," as mentioned in the book's introduction.

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  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

    2020 by Kimmerer, Robin Wall

    Kimmerer draws on her knowledge as a botanist and as a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation to proclaim that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. Humans must learn to acknowledge and celebrate their reciprocal relationship with plants in order to promote ecological consciousness.

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  • When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through


    Spanning 161 Native American writers and representing more than 90 Indigenous nations, this anthology contains some of the most beautiful poetry you could come across. Although this collection focuses mostly on 20th century Native American poetry, every line is packed with the long-standing tradition of our nation's first poets.

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  • Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land

    2020 by Momaday, N. Scott

    In a simultaneous celebration and mourning of the Earth, Pulitzer-winning N. Scott Momaday reflects on a life full of natural wonders in this series of essays. Momaday's writing is lyrical, moves like poetry, and his exploration of human/earth dynamic will surely resonate with anyone.

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  • Unworthy Republic: The Dispossession of Native Americans and the Road to Indian Territory

    2020 by Saunt, Claudio

    This history of the 1830's forced migration of Indigenous populations to territories west of the Mississippi describes the government-driven fraud, intimidation, and murder that were used to confiscate Native American homelands and property.

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  • Postcolonial Love Poem

    2020 by Diaz, Natalie

    Diaz was the first Native American to win a Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Postcolonial Love Poem, her second collection. Through her work, she seeks to transform the violence and erasure against an Indigenous people into something both defiant, intimate, and powerful.

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  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

    2019 by Treuer, David

    It is often a misconception that Native American history stopped after their colonization by the Europeans. Author and anthropologist Treuer moves beyond the first contact and dives into current history from the untold Native American heroism in WWI; the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act; the post-WWII urban migration of Native Americans; the 1970's occupations of Alcatraz Island and the Bureau of Indian Affairs by members of the American Indian Movement; and the impact of legalized gambling on reservation life.

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  • This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving

    2019 by Silverman, David J.

    In his thought-provoking and well-researched book, Silverman deconstructs the U.S. Thanksgiving myth, offers the history of the Wampanoag Indians that inspired the holiday, and gives an explanation as to why tribal activists such as Frank James declared Thanksgiving to be a "National Day of Mourning."

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  • Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

    2019 by McDiarmid, Jessica

    If you are interested in true crime and social justice, this is a must-read. Highway of Tears, also known as Highway 16, which runs for 735 kilometers west from Prince Rupert, is where more than 1,000 women and girls, mostly Indigenous, were murdered or disappeared, and their cases have not been solved. McDiarmid demonstrates how systematic racism has affected the Indigenous community, the law enforcement agencies, and the press.

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  • An American Sunrise: Poems

    2019 by Harjo, Joy

    After returning to what was her family's land, Poet Laureate Joy Harjo offers a powerful collection of poems that speak to survival, beauty, history, and spirituality. There is a magical quality to Harjo's writing that is unmistakable and thought-provoking.

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  • New Poets of Native Nations


    Ojibwe writer and scholar Heid E. Erdrich writes in her introduction to this anthology of 21 poets of Native Nations, "...These poems create a place, somewhere we could go." They are authors, writers, poets who have "grappled with, defined and redefined the notion of Native American literature." A vital and long overdue work.

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  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

    2017 by Grann, David

    In the 1920s, oil was discovered under Osage land in Oklahoma. The Osage people were set to profit tremendously from the sale of the oil deposits; however, many never received the money because they were mysteriously murdered. This true crime book investigates these murders and chronicles the birth of the FBI homicide investigation unit.

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  • Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War

    2017 by Sharfstein, Daniel J.

    In 1877 Gen. Olive O. Howard attempted to "peacefully" move the Nez Perce Indians of the Northwest to their assigned reservation before negotiations with Chief Joseph deteriorated into conflict. Perfect for the general reader looking to know more about Native peoples and their struggles with unjust treaties and forced removal from their tribal lands.

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  • The First North Americans: An Archaeological Journey

    2011 by Fagan, Brian M.

    Fagan combines theories and archaeological data in his survey of approximately 15,000 years of Native American history and culture in North America. (Library Journal)

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  • Native American Clothing: An Illustrated History

    2009 by Brasser, Ted J.

    Brasser, a retired curator and an expert in the art and design of indigenous North Americans, has picked some 300 examples and organizes them in 12 regional groups which represent unique habitats, from the semi-tropical cultures of the Southeast to those of the High Arctic. Each chapter includes a detailed map, the names and localities of various tribal groups, and relevant history, including what is known of pre-contact histories and the region's interaction with Europeans. (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Native American Medicinal Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary

    2009 by Moerman, Daniel E.

    Anthropologist Daniel E. Moerman describes the medicinal use of more than 2,700 plants by 218 Native American tribes.

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  • Native American Voices on Identity, Art, and Culture: Objects of Everlasting Esteem


    I love the idea of this book, in which 78 objects made by Native Americans over the years are looked at and responded to by other Native Americans, creating a fascinating discourse that weaves together ideas of identity, past and present, and the mysterious and multifaceted power of art. Recommended by Chris.

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  • Celluloid Indians: Native Americans and Film

    1999 by Kilpatrick, Jacquelyn

    An accessible, insightful overview of Native American representation in film over the past century. The author carefully traces changes in the cinematic depictions of Native peoples and identifies cultural and historical reasons for those changes. In the late 20th century, Native Americans have been increasingly involved with writing and directing movies about themselves, and Kilpatrick places appropriate emphasis on the impact Native American screenwriters and filmmakers have had on the industry.

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  • Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices


    A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today. Truly universal in its themes, Dreaming in Indian will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. (From the publisher)

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  • The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir

    2001 by Hogan, Linda

    Somewhere between poetry and novel, this is the story of Hogan's complex life balancing all aspects of her being, from her past to her struggle with fibromyalgia to the traumas of her youth, interwoven with stories of the pain and anger of Native American people. We also have multiple collections of Hogan's writing (including her poetry) available on Hoopla.

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