Indigenous People's Literature

Every November, we honor the talent, wisdom, and histories of the Indigenous peoples of the United States. Featuring poetry, memoirs, fiction, and more, the selections in this Collection highlight the range of voices, experiences, and literary contributions of Indigenous writers.

Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Natural World: Environment, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Race, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Globalization, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Business / Economics, History: World, Politics / Government, Social Justice

A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet (2017) is a nonfiction book written by Raj Patel, a political economist and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Jason W. Moore, an environmental historian and associate professor at Binghamton University. The authors’ expertise in political economy and environmental history provides a unique perspective on the interconnected nature of capitalism and ecological... Read A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things Summary


Publication year 1921Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Equality, Identity: GenderTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Race / Racism, Gender / Feminism

Zitkála-Šá’s 1921 book American Indian Stories gathers autobiographical chapters, fictional stories, and essays focused on the experiences of the Dakota Sioux and interactions between American Indians and White citizens of the United States. Zitkála-Šá’s works convey a strong sense of independence, pride in Sioux culture, and indignation at injustices committed against American Indians. This study guide references the 2019 Modern Library (Penguin Random House) edition of American Indian Stories.SummaryThe collection begins with an autobiographical piece... Read American Indian Stories Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Society: ColonialismTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, Mental Illness, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 2017Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Mental Health, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Lyric Poem, History: U.S., American Literature, Food

Joy Harjo is a seminal voice in the US poetry canon, and she has long been an advocate for Native American women in the literary world. Her work has merited tremendous acclaim, such as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the American... Read An American Sunrise Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Memoir in Verse, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Identity: IndigenousTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, LGBTQ

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Climate, Identity: Language, Identity: IndigenousTags Fantasy

Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: FateTags Fantasy, Romance, Mythology

Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Self Discovery, Society: Nation, Society: CommunityTags History: U.S., Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Depression / Suicide, Education, History: The Americas, Race / Racism, Social Justice, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Publication year 1972Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: War, Society: ColonialismTags Heinemann African Writers, African Literature

Publication year 1982Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Travel Literature, Action / Adventure, History: U.S., Race / Racism

Blue Highways: A Journey into America (1982) is an autobiographical travelogue by American historian William Least Heat-Moon. The trip in question—a 13,000-mile circuit around the States—began in 1978, the book’s title deriving from out-of-the-way routes drawn in blue on an old road atlas. The author-narrator researches local history of the areas visited and interviews the many people he meets. Heat-Moon spent the subsequent years composing and revising the manuscript, and after a few rejections, it... Read Blue Highways: A Journey into America Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Sports, Health / Medicine, Science / Nature, Action / Adventure, Travel Literature, Anthropology, Finance / Money / Wealth

Publication year 2022Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Environment, Identity: Indigenous, Society: Colonialism, Society: CommunityTags Science / Nature, Philosophy

Publication year 2013Genre Book, NonfictionTags Science / Nature

Written in 2013, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants is a nonfiction book by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. The work examines modern botany and environmentalism through the lens of the traditions and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Through a series of personal reflections, the author explores the connection between living things and human efforts to cultivate a more sustainable... Read Braiding Sweetgrass Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Race / Racism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 1977Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: WarTags Western, American Literature, Historical Fiction

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko is a 1977 historical novel that won the American Book Award in 1980; it was Silko’s first novel. Ceremony follows Tayo, a young Laguna Pueblo veteran who is now struggling to cope with Alienation and Isolation in Post-WWII America. Traditional Laguna Pueblo legends parallel Tayo’s journey and explore themes of The Power of Stories and Adapting Tradition to the Present. Ceremony is often cited as a major work in the... Read Ceremony Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction

Originally published in 2005, Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, is a middle-grade work of historical fiction by Joseph Bruchac. The story is based on historical events and narrated by Ned Begay, a Navajo man who refers to readers of the book as “My Grandchildren.” Looking back on his youth, Ned reveals how native Navajo speakers were recruited by the US military to use their unique language skills in... Read Code Talker Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, Nonfiction

Crazy Brave: A Memoir is an autobiographical work by poet, writer, artist, and musician Joy Harjo that was published by W. W. Norton and Company in 2012. The memoir follows the life of Joy Harjo from birth to adulthood and her struggles with spirituality and creativity while living with various alcoholic and abusive men. Over the course of her life, she discovers that poetry, art, storytelling, and music can liberate her from her oppressive domestic... Read Crazy Brave Summary


Publication year 1969Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Society: Colonialism, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags History: U.S., Politics / Government, Race / Racism, Social Justice

Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto was written in 1969 by Vine Deloria Jr., a historian, theologian, activist, and member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The work explores the oppression and exploitation of Native people in the United States, outlines the history of Indian resistance, and recommends a course of action for modern Indigenous people. Extremely influential in the 1960s and 1970s Native American Movement, Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto remains... Read Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Indigenous, Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure, Grief / Death, Race / Racism

Publication year 1979Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Identity: RaceTags Immigration / Refugee, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2010Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & PrideTags Education, Children's Literature

Fatty Legs: A True Story is the 2010 autobiographical account of author Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton’s childhood experience in one of Canada’s residential schools for Indigenous children in the 19th and 20th centuries. This study guide is based on the 10th anniversary edition, in which several supplemental chapters written by Pokiak-Fenton’s daughter-in-law explain the larger context of colonialism that created the residential school system. These residential schools represented an attempt to strip Indigenous students of their cultural... Read Fatty Legs Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: CommunityTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Grief / Death, Race / Racism, American Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: RaceTags Historical Fiction

Publication year 1986Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Gender, Identity: RaceTags Magical Realism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Gender / Feminism, American Literature

“Fleur” is a magical realist short story by Chippewa American author Louise Erdrich. It was first published in Esquire in 1986 and won an O. Henry Award, a prize for excellence in short story writing. Erdrich expanded on the story and characters in her novel Tracks, published in 1988. This guide, which discusses sexual abuse, uses the version of “Fleur” published in the 2009 collection The Red Convertible: Selected and New Stories 1978-2008. The narrator... Read Fleur Summary


Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy

Pubished in 2007, Flight: A Novel is Sherman Alexie's—one of the best-known and most lauded Native American writers—work of historical fiction and fantasy. Alexie—a Washington State native, like his protagonist—is a noteable poet, novelist, and screenwriter. He both wrote and produced the 1998 film, Smoke Signals, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won both the Audience Award and the Filmmaker’s Trophy.Plot Summary15-year old Zits wakes up in yet another foster home. As usual... Read Flight Summary


Publication year 1986Genre Novel, FictionTags Western

James Welch’s Fools Crow (1987) is an historical novel that retells the Anglo conquering of the American West and, specifically, the events leading up to the Marias Massacre in Montana, in 1870, from the perspective of the Blackfeet (Pikuni) people. The novel chronicles the experiences of the Pikuni as they struggle to maintain their traditions in the face of smallpox, violent persecution, and shrinking numbers of buffalo as more white Americans–the Napikwans–move onto their lands... Read Fools Crow Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Lyric Poem, Inspirational, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Community, Relationships: FamilyTags Inspirational, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Race / Racism, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Publication year 2017Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: Flora/plants, Relationships: FriendshipTags Free verse, American Literature, Love / Sexuality, Science / Nature, LGBTQ

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: The FutureTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Gender / Feminism, Religion / Spirituality, Science / Nature, Race / Racism

Future Home of the Living God is a 2017 speculative fiction novel by American author Louise Erdrich. Told by Cedar Hawk Songmaker, a pregnant Native American woman in her mid-twenties living in Minneapolis, the story consists of her reflections as she waits to give birth. In the novel’s pre-apocalyptic America, human evolution has reversed, meaning that the species has begun to biologically regress into an infertile state. Meanwhile, the United States government has undermined citizens’... Read Future Home of the Living God Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: Grandparents, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1968Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: Place, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, American Literature, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Social Justice

The novel House Made of Dawn, by N. Scott Momaday, was first published in 1968. Heralded as a major landmark in the emergence of Indigenous American literature, the novel won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. House Made of Dawn blends fictional and nonfictional elements to depict life on an Indigenous American reservation like the one where Momaday grew up.This guide uses an eBook version of the 2018 First Harper Perennial Modern Classics (50th Anniversary)... Read House Made of Dawn Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Trauma / Abuse / Violence

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child is a 2017 memoir by Sandra Uwiringiyimana. It recounts Sandra’s life in the volatile Democratic Republic of the Congo, her immigration to America, and her dedication to activism. This nonfiction autobiography is the winner of multiple awards, including the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens; Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books for Teens: Nonfiction; and Bank Street’s 2018 Best Books of... Read How Dare the Sun Rise Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Colonialism, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, History: U.S., Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Published in 2013 by Tim Tingle, How I Became a Ghost is a work of middle grade fiction that follows a young boy in the Choctaw nation and his death on the Trail of Tears. The Choctaw Trail of Tears refers to The Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the forced relocation of Choctaws from their homes in the deep south to areas further west. How I Became a Ghost has received an American Indian... Read How I Became a Ghost Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Language, Natural World: Climate, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Survival Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Parenting

Publication year 2007Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Language, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Lyric Poem, Education, Arts / Culture, Diversity, History: The Americas, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 1977Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Immigration / Refugee, Social Justice, American Literature

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride

Indian Horse is the story of Saul Indian Horse, an Ojibway boy from northern Ontario who escapes his demons and rough childhood through hockey, only to succumb to alcohol after losing his joy for the game. As a young boy, Saul lives in the bush and has little contact with the outside world. His grandmother, Naomi, hides him and his brother Benjamin from the threat of St. Jerome’s, a Catholic school intended to “civilize” Native children... Read Indian Horse Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

Sherman Alexie’s 1996 novel Indian Killer is part crime thriller and part darkly humorous study of interracial violence. This guide uses the 1996 edition published by The Atlantic Monthly Press, New York. Telling the story of a serial killer known as the Indian Killer, the novel progresses through many short chapters that shift between the viewpoints of multiple characters. Although the characters are not actually narrators, the narrative voice closely follows their experiences and perspectives... Read Indian Killer Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Grandparents, Society: Colonialism, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 1877Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Society: War, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags History: U.S., Military / War

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Self DiscoveryTags LGBTQ

The novel Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead was originally published in 2018 by Arsenal Pulp Press. Whitehead, a queer Indigenous writer from Peguis Frist Nation, uses the auto-fictional character of Jonny to explore the intersections of LGBTQ+ and Indigenous identity. The novel was a 2021 Canada Reads Winner and the winner of a Lambda Literary Award. It was also a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.This... Read Jonny Appleseed Summary


Publication year 1892Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Fathers, Self Discovery, Relationships: Friendship

Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: Environment, Society: ColonialismTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: ColonialismTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Animals, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ

Publication year 1990Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Race / Racism

Published in 1990, Lakota Woman is a memoir by Mary Crow Dog, member of the Brule Tribe of the Western Sioux and activist in the American Indian Movement. Crow Dog’s book recounts her increased awareness of the subjugation of her people and of women within her own tribe. It also discusses how poverty, alcoholism, and crime on the reservations are the inevitable results of government regulations that have oppressed and dehumanized Native Americans, forcing them... Read Lakota Woman Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge

Published in 2016 and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, LaRose is a work of fiction written by author Louise Erdrich, an enrolled member of the Ojibwe people. The novel takes place on the land in and around an Ojibwe North Dakota reservation, the same physical setting as Erdrich’s previous award-winning novel The Round House. However, LaRose’s characters and time period differ from her previous book. LaRose takes place primarily during the years... Read LaRose Summary


Publication year 1833Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Society: War, Society: ColonialismTags History: U.S., Military / War

Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Historical Fiction, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

American author Louise Erdrich’s debut novel, Love Medicine, was first published in 1984 to critical acclaim. A bestseller and winner of the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, the novel follows three generations of members from five Ojibwe families in Minnesota and North Dakota. Lyrical, metaphorical, and a complex exploration of oppression, joy, and family, the novel is both a record of history and an analysis of love. Blending the genres of historical... Read Love Medicine Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Birth, Relationships: Mothers, Emotions/Behavior: Memory

"Lullaby” is a short story by Laguna Pueblo writer Leslie Marmon Silko—a key figure in the Native American Renaissance. Indeed, “Lullaby” was first published at the height of this literary movement, in Silko’s 1981 collection Storyteller. This collection includes not only short stories but also poetry and photographs; the first edition was also printed in landscape (i.e. horizontal) orientation. By blending genres and playing with form in this way, Silko seeks to capture something of... Read Lullaby Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Race, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Historical Fiction, Western, Magical Realism, American Literature

Mean Spirit (1990) is the first novel by Chickasaw author Linda Hogan. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1991, it was well-reviewed and established Hogan as an important Indigenous author. The novel tells the story of what came to be known as the Osage murders, a string of killings in Oklahoma’s Osage country after oil was discovered on Osage land. The murders were ultimately discovered to have been the result of not only... Read Mean Spirit Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction

Medicine River, originally published in 1989, is a novel by Thomas King, one of the most prolific Indigenous American writers of the 20th century. The title of the novel takes its name from the town in Alberta, Canada, where the characters live, near a Blackfoot reservation. Their stories, as told by protagonist Will, delve into themes such as Friendship and Forbearance within the frame of Life in an Alberta Blackfoot Community. As Will tells these... Read Medicine River Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, Fiction

Richard Wagamese’s Medicine Walk (2014) follows 16-year-old Franklin Starlight on his journey to find the perfect burial site for his terminally ill father, Eldon Starlight, a member of the Ojibway tribe of Indigenous peoples. Frank carries Eldon on horseback into the wilderness where Eldon wishes to die in the traditional manner of Ojibway warriors—facing East so that he can see the last sunrise of his last day on earth.Eldon abandoned Franklin, who goes by Frank... Read Medicine Walk Summary


Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Teams

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: IndigenousTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Depression / Suicide, History: The Americas, Leadership/Organization/Management, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Humor, Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Social Justice, Race / Racism, Religion / Spirituality, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1976Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Lyric Poem, Relationships, American Literature

Simon J. Ortiz originally published “My Father’s Song” in his poetry/story collection entitled A Good Journey (1977). Ortiz is a major writer in the Native American Renaissance, a movement which began in the 1960s and marked a significant increase in the production of literary works by Native Americans in the United States. The poem was written at a time when Ortiz was collecting and recounting stories from Indigenous tribes across the United States, and his... Read My Father's Song Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, New Adult, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1983Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags History: U.S., Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Religion / Spirituality, American Literature

Publication year 2022Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Race / Racism

Publication year 2012Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: SiblingsTags Addiction / Substance Abuse, Surrealism

Publication year 2008Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Language, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Self Discovery, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Society: Education, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies

Publication year 1993Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Identity: RaceTags Lyric Poem, Race / Racism, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2019Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Society: Community, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Nation, Society: War, Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Natural World: EnvironmentTags History: U.S., Politics / Government, Social Justice, Race / Racism

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Self Discovery, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Vietnam War, Animals

Publication year 1994Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: FamilyTags Free verse

Publication year 2020Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Lyric Poem, Race / Racism, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, History: U.S., Social Justice

Written by Diane Glancy in 1996, Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears follows a group of Cherokee people as they are forced to relocate to “Indian Territory” in Oklahoma in 1838 and 1839. The novel is told from varying perspectives of members of the Cherokee Nation as well as soldiers, reverends, and disembodied voices. These shifting perspectives create a fragmented yet nuanced narrative as Glancy weaves together multiple viewpoints and utilizes... Read Pushing the Bear Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Fate, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: CommunityTags Poverty, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Grief / Death, Relationships

Publication year 1982Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Science / Nature

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Music, Life/Time: The PastTags Magical Realism, Humor

Reservation Blues tells the story of Coyote Springs, a Spokane Indian rock band. The band is founded on a reservation, slowly gathers fans, and begins to play shows. Coyote Springs is given the chance to audition for a major record company in New York City, but, ultimately, the band does not succeed. The book combines traditional narrative with a mixture of other narrative techniques, including newspaper articles, song lyrics, interviews, and excerpts from journals. Together... Read Reservation Blues Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Lyric Poem, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2021Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Relationships: Grandparents, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: Animals, Identity: IndigenousTags Animals, Health / Medicine

Publication year 2018Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Canadian Literature

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Masculinity, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Race / Racism, Poverty, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Grief / Death

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a young adult novel by Sherman Alexie, published in 2007 with art by Ellen Forney. Alexie, a Spokane/Cour d’Alene Indian (a term he prefers to “Native American”), began the book as a memoir inspired by experiences he had growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington, and attending the predominantly white Reardan High School in Reardan, Washington. The book received much praise and many... Read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Natural World: Environment, Self DiscoveryTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1986Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Identity: Indigenous, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Relationships, Depression / Suicide, LGBTQ, Race / Racism, Religion / Spirituality

Louise Erdrich’s The Beet Queen, published in 1986, is a sequel to her award-winning debut novel, Love Medicine. The Beet Queen was followed by two other novels in the series, Tracks and The Bingo Palace. Though most of The Beet Queen’s characters are non-Indigenous, the series as a whole is concerned with issues facing Indigenous Americans, particularly those living on tribal lands in Minnesota and North Dakota. Characters and storylines are woven throughout the four... Read The Beet Queen Summary


Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction, Children's Literature

The Birchbark House is a 1999 juvenile novel by Louise Erdrich. The book is the first in a five-book series. It takes place in 1847 on Madeline Island, or Moningwanaykaning, meaning “Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker,” located on Lake Superior. The book follows the story of Omakayas, a young Anishinabe (Indigenous Ojibwa) girl and her family over the course of one year. While the book is presented episodically, with four different segments highlighting various cultural... Read The Birchbark House Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Society: Community, Society: Colonialism, Self DiscoveryTags Gender / Feminism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2011Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: CommunityTags Technology

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Future, Natural World: Animals, Self Discovery, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, American Literature

The Game of Silence is work of middle-grade historical fiction by contemporary American author Louise Erdrich. Published in 2005, it is the second novel in Erdrich’s Birchbark House series. The first novel in this series, The Birchbark House (1999), is set in 1847 and introduces Omakayas and her family. The Birchbark House was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award. With The Game of Silence, Erdrich continues the saga of Omakayas’s family, and this... Read The Game of Silence Summary


Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Relationships

The Grass Dancer (1994) is the debut novel by Susan Power, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. This young adult novel is part of the magical realism genre. Using a nonlinear structure and overlapping narratives, Power slowly pieces together a story that links generations of Sioux families together in a complex and powerful way. The following material was gathered using a first edition copy of the text.Plot SummaryThe Prologue begins with Harley... Read The Grass Dancer Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: AgingTags History: U.S.

Joseph M. Marshall III, who is from the Sicangu Oglala tribe, grew up on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. He was raised by his maternal grandparents, who told him stories about Lakota traditions and culture. These stories transmit the virtues of Lakota culture, including humility, perseverance, respect, honor, love, sacrifice, truth, compassion, bravery, fortitude, generosity, and wisdom. He dedicates a chapter to each of these virtues, which are at the foundation of Lakota culture. The... Read The Lakota Way Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Lyric Poem, Animals

Publication year 1990Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Birth, Relationships: MothersTags Relationships, Survival Fiction

Publication year 1854Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Race, Society: NationTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1993Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Society: Community, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Language, Life/Time: The FutureTags American Literature, Relationships

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a collection of 24 loosely connected short stories by writer Sherman Alexie; all are set on or near the Spokane Reservation in Washington state. As a Salish descendant (his mother was of Spokane heritage and his father of Coeur d’Alene) and celebrated author, Alexie has become a mouthpiece for Northwestern American Indigenous tribes. Two stories cut from the original 1993 publication have been reinserted in the... Read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Summary


Publication year 1974Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Realistic Fiction, Religion / Spirituality, Relationships

Written by Indigenous American author Leslie Marmon Silko and published in 1968, “The Man to Send Rain Clouds,” a short story depicting the relationship between Laguna Pueblo customs and Christianity, received international acclaim. Inspired by an incident in Silko’s hometown, the short story won her a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” was later compiled into an anthology of works by Indigenous American writers called The Man... Read The Man to Send Rain Clouds Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: BirthTags Gender / Feminism, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline is a science fiction novel set in a post-apocalyptic Canada where climate devastation ravages the world and the Canadian government’s Recruiters hunt Natives for the dreams that are woven into their bone marrow. Millions have died in the wake of global warming, and those who remain have experienced such extensive trauma that they have lost the ability to dream. Dimaline describes a world plagued by natural disasters, with vivid descriptions... Read The Marrow Thieves Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Place, Society: Colonialism, Society: NationTags History: U.S., Politics / Government, Anthropology

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Place, Society: ColonialismTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Gothic Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, History: U.S., Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality, Politics / Government, American Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, Fiction

In her fifties, Faye Travers has no close relationships beyond that with her mother, Elsie, and even their interactions are limited to routine matters about the home and life they share. Among their neighbors on Revival Road in a small New Hampshire town is a sculptor, Kurt Krahe. Faye and Kurt are secret lovers, but their affair is limited to nocturnal hours; during the day, they remain aloof towards one another. After Kurt’s college-aged daughter... Read The Painted Drum Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, Fiction

Published in 2009, The Plague of Doves is a work of fiction written by author Louise Erdrich, an enrolled member of the Ojibwe people. The novel was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The novel concerns the ramifications of the horrific murder of the Lochren family, during which five family members were slaughtered and only the infant girl survived. This massacre resulted in the unjust lynching of a group... Read The Plague Of Doves Summary


Publication year 1974Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Society: War, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Mental Illness, American Literature

Content Warning: This guide contains references to war-related trauma, suicide, and systemic racism and violence against Indigenous Americans.“The Red Convertible” is a short story that explores themes of Coming of Age and The Trauma of War through the lives of two young Chippewa men. Protagonist Lyman Lamartine reflects on his relationship with his brother, Henry Junior, before, during, and after Henry’s time serving in the Vietnam War. Lyman focuses on the period when he and... Read The Red Convertible Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags History: U.S., Race / Racism, Politics / Government, Social Justice, Indian Literature, History: The Americas

Publication year 1986Genre Play, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Play: Drama, Realism

The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway is a two-act play that was first performed in 1986 at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. After being translated into French by Jocelyne Beaulieu, “Les Reines de la réserve” premiered by Théâtre Populaire du Québec in 1993. A version of the play in the Cree language was performed in 2010, and Canadian performances with Indigenous actors have been staged in the 2020s. Highway’s play re-envisions the 1965 play... Read The Rez Sisters Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship

The Round House is a harrowing work of fiction evolving around the rape and near murder of Geraldine Coutts, a Native American woman on a North Dakota reservation. The events are told by Joe, Geraldine’s thirteen-year-old son. In the narrative, Joe and his father, Bazil, must piece together a series of flimsy clues to try to make sense of Geraldine’s attack. The story is fast-paced, and the riveting chapters are interspersed with the daily lives... Read The Round House Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Environment, Self DiscoveryTags Historical Fiction, Science / Nature

Publication year 2001Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Identity: IndigenousTags Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Politics / Government

Publication year 2019Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: RaceTags Realistic Fiction, Play: Comedy / Satire, Holidays & Occasions

Publication year 1969Genre Anthology/Varied Collection, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Language, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Fairy Tale / Folklore, Narrative / Epic Poem, History: U.S., American Literature, Mythology

The Way to Rainy Mountain by Navarre Scott Momaday was first published in 1969. Momaday is a member of the Kiowa nation, a PhD-holding literary scholar, and a prominent American writer largely credited with initiating the Native American Literary Renaissance. On his father’s side, Momaday traces his family to Guipahgo (Lone Wolf), the last Principal Chief of the Kiowas, and this lineage features prominently in the book’s storytelling. The book is a work of creative... Read The Way to Rainy Mountain Summary


Publication year 1816Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Identity: IndigenousTags Fairy Tale / Folklore, Mythology, American Literature

Publication year 2019Genre Poem, FictionThemes Relationships: MothersTags Love / Sexuality, Race / Racism

Publication year 1993Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Society: ClassTags Grief / Death

Publication year 2015Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: ForgivenessTags Lyric Poem, Race / Racism, History: U.S., American Literature

Publication year 1988Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction

Tracks, by Louise Erdrich, appeared as the third in a tetralogy of works beginning with Love Medicine, continuing with The Beet Queen, and ending with The Bingo Palace. All of these novels center on the history of the Chippewa or Ojibwe tribe located in and around the fictional town of Argus, North Dakota. In Tracks, Erdrich reaches back into the early twentieth century to retell the great losses the Chippewa tribe experienced. When disease and... Read Tracks Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: Family, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 1993Genre Novel, Fiction

In the 1993 novella Two Old Women by Velma Wallis, the harsh Alaskan climate and rigidity of tribal life set the stage for a life-changing journey marked by perseverance and passion. Faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, two elderly women find themselves in the fight of their lives, a fight they rise to with beauty and determination. The story of these two women, Sa’ and Ch’idzigyaak, has come to reverberate through the ages. Part of an... Read Two Old Women Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Identity: Race, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Society: Globalization, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Society: Community, Society: Colonialism, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Realistic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 1988Genre Novel, Fiction

Ella Cara Deloria’s 1988 novel, Waterlily, is an examination of the Dakota Native American way of life. The novel follows a Dakota camp circle called White Ghost—a group composed of several families that live and travel together. While the novel provides perspectives from many different characters, the author places the greatest focus on Blue Bird and her daughter Waterlily. At the novel’s outset, Blue Bird gives birth to Waterlily by a river while her camp... Read Waterlily Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novella, FictionThemes Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction

Publication year 2003Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Birth

“What You Pawn I Will Redeem” is a short story by Sherman Alexie, an American writer and member of both the Spokane and Coeur-d’Alene nations. First published in The New Yorker in 2003, the story also featured in Alexie’s 2004 collection Ten Little Indians. Although largely realistic in its depiction of issues like homelessness and the legacy of Native American genocide, “What You Pawn I Will Redeem” contains references to and elements of fairy tale... Read What You Pawn I Will Redeem Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Magical Realism, Southern Literature

Publication year 2017Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: RaceTags Social Justice

Publication year 1978Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: Environment, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, American Literature

Wind From an Enemy Sky is a 1978 historical fiction novel by D’Arcy McNickle. It tells the story of the fictional Little Elk tribe in the northwestern United States and their attempts to navigate the advancement of white colonization on their lands. McNickle based the story on his life as a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation. The novel was McNickle’s last and was published posthumously. While it never... Read Wind from an Enemy Sky Summary


Publication year 1974Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Western, Historical Fiction, American Literature, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

James Welch’s novel, Winter in the Blood, is a seminal text in the field of Indigenous American literature. The novel was published in 1974 during the Native American Renaissance, a period that began in the late 1960s, when works by Indigenous Americans in the United States gained wider publication. Welch is a preeminent figure of the movement and received praise for representing Indigenous Americans in realistic ways that acknowledge cultural divisions.In the novel, Welch uses... Read Winter In The Blood Summary


Publication year 1974Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Identity: Femininity, Identity: SexualityTags Mythology, Love / Sexuality, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 1993Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionTags Gender / Feminism, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Yellow Woman and a Beauty of Spirit is a collection of twenty-one nonfiction essays examining modern Native American life. The collection is told entirely from the author-narrator’s point of view and concerns many of her own experiences growing up within the Laguna Pueblo community. Silko weaves her own personal experiences and observations with the stories told to her by other people, both ancient stories concerning Pueblo mythology and familial stories depicting the actions of her... Read Yellow Woman and a Beauty of Spirit Summary