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        Indigenous People's Day

        Celebrate Indigenous People's Day With These Children's Books

        Books are a meaningful way to celebrate Indigenous Culture with children--on Indigenous People’s Day and all year round. Here, we rounded up a few of our favorites, from painterly picture books for the little ones to impeccably researched non-fiction for older kids.

        Written By
        Liz McDaniel

        Birdsong by Julie Flett

        This simple and beautiful story about an intergenerational friendship between two artists quietly celebrates the cycle of life. Cree-Métis artist and illustrator Julie Flett’s lyrical prose and breathtaking images come together in a tender and moving tale your children are sure to remember. It also includes a glossary of the Cree-Métis words used throughout.
        cover of Birdsong book showing a girl and her elderly friend watching birds in the skycover of Birdsong book showing a girl and her elderly friend watching birds in the sky

        Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story by Donald Uluadluak

        When Jake, a young Inuit boy, gets a new puppy, Kamik, things don’t go exactly as expected. Kamik is playful, not so obedient, and hardly the focused sled dog Jake had imagined. But when Jake brings Kamik to meet his grandfather, Jake learns about the traditional dog-rearing practices that have prevailed for generations and knows not to give up hope just yet. Written by an elder from Arviat, Nunavut, this inspiring picture book is a gift to the younger set.
        Kamik book cover with image of Inuit puppy and family

        We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

        Winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal, this bold picture book tells the story of a young Ojibwe girl who fights against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Indigenous author and illustrator team Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade bring Native resilience to life with lyrical prose and painterly images—the result is a powerful call to action to stand up for environmental justice.
        book cover of We Are Water Protectors showing Indigenous girl holding a feather in a wavebook cover of We Are Water Protectors showing Indigenous girl holding a feather in a wave

        An Indigenous People’s History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

        This award-winning nonfiction book from Indigenous human right’s advocate Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is perfect for older readers looking to delve deeper into the rich history of Indigenous peoples. This comprehensive history spans more than 400 years and centers the experience of Indigenous people, encouraging young people to think more critically about history and what can be learned from it.
        cover of Indigenous People's History of The United States cover of Indigenous People's History of The United States

        Borders by Thomas King, Illustrated by Natasha Donovan

        This powerful graphic novel from Indigenous author Thomas King and award-winning Métis artist Natasha Donovan, tells the story of a Blackfoot boy and his mother trying to cross from Canada to the United States in order to visit his sister. When asked their citizenship, the boy’s mother replies Blackfoot, catching them in limbo between two nations. Ideal for children 8-12, it’s a memorable exploration of nationhood from an Indigenous perspective.
        cover of Borders graphic novel depicting a boy standing a fieldcover of Borders graphic novel depicting a boy standing a field

        Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child, Illustrated by Jonathan Thunder

        In this playful ode to an important tradition, Ojibwe protagonist Windy Girl attends a powwow with her story-telling Uncle and her new dog, Itchy Boy. When the soothing beat of the drums entices her to sleep, she dreams of a fantastical powwow with four-legged friends dancing and drumming in ceremonial dress. This irresistible story is accompanied by vivid illustrations from Jonathan Thunder and an Ojibwe translation by Gordon Jourdain.
        cover of Bowwow book featuring a girl and her father in a pick up truck cover of Bowwow book featuring a girl and her father in a pick up truck

        We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell, Illustrated by Frane Lessac

        This comprehensive Native American history from Traci Sorell uses the framework of students giving presentations for Indigenous People’s Day to introduce children to topics they may have never learned in school—from Assimilation to Allotment, Termination and Relocation. Each presentation features the refrain, We Are Still Here!, reminding young readers that Native American history is not just about the past, but also the present and the future.
        cover of We Are Still Here book with Native American kids walking in a parade  cover of We Are Still Here book with Native American kids walking in a parade

        Annie and The Old One by Miska Miles, Illustrated by Peter Parnall

        Originally published in 1985, this Newbery Honor Book tells the enduring tale of the relationship between a young Navajo girl and her grandmother, the Old One. It deals sensitively with the difficult subject of death and features beautiful illustrations by Peter Parnall.
        cover of Annie and the Old One featuring a portrait of a young girl in front of an open landscape cover of Annie and the Old One featuring a portrait of a young girl in front of an open landscape

        A Day With Yayah by Nicola I. Campbell

        Set in the Nicola Valley, British Columbia, this sstunning picture book tells the story of a grandmother passing down her knowledge—and the nearly lost Nle kepmxcin language—to her grandchildren. A celebration of the natural world and the wisdom and courage of elders, the book also features enchanting illustrations from Julie Flett and a phonetic breakdown of each Nle kepmxcin word used in the text.
        cover of A Day with Yayah featuring a young girl and an elder in the grass cover of A Day with Yayah featuring a young girl and an elder in the grass

        My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith, Illustrated by Julie Flett

        This beloved board book is a celebration of aboriginal culture and of life’s simple pleasures— from holding the hand of someone you love to the smell of warm bannock. It’s simple message and beautiful illustrations by the artist Julie Flett make it perfect for toddlers
        cover of My Heart Fills With Happiness featuring a young girl twirling in a dress surrounded by birds and flowers cover of My Heart Fills With Happiness featuring a young girl twirling in a dress surrounded by birds and flowers

        For more ways to explore and celebrate Indigenous people we've rounded up Indigenous artists to follow and a guide to how to tell your kids the truth about Thanksgiving