Reading for Reconciliation: Indigenous Reading List

By Hannah Yaghmaei, Project Coordinator, DiversiPro

Hannah is an organized and detail-oriented Project Coordinator, who acts as an Executive Assistant to DiversiPro’s CEO and founder, Hamlin Grange. She holds an International Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and Psychology from the Glendon Campus of York University. With a diverse background in administrative support, customer service, and workshop facilitation, Hannah leverages her expertise to provide exceptional customer support to DiversiPro’s clients. She efficiently manages and organizes schedules, ensuring smooth coordination of meetings and engagements. Passionate about adult education and training, Hannah also assists in the development of e-learning courses and training programs at DiversiPro. She is dedicated to creating an excellent client experience while helping clients achieve their IDEA goals.

As the Month of June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, it is a great time to explore the world of Indigenous literature. Reading books written by Indigenous authors serves as a gateway to understanding Indigenous culture and history. By exploring Indigenous literature, we can learn about the diverse experiences of individuals who have endured historical marginalization, and whose narratives are frequently excluded from mainstream discourse. In addition, we are amplifying indigenous voices and perspectives. Honouring Indigenous literature is crucial to decolonization and reconciliation efforts.

Each year, the Toronto Public Library (TPL) puts together a list of titles selected by their Indigenous Advisory Council. This reading list, called Read Indigenous, contains books written by Indigenous authors and illustrators, and includes options for various age groups. You can select between literature for adults, teens and children here. You can also take a look at selections from previous years.

Additionally, The Toronto Public Library has a list of 22 books called Reading for Reconciliation. This reading list explores various topics such as residential schools, indigenous justice, colonialism and reconciliation. TPL states that these titles are “a testament to the power of the human spirit and the resiliency of Indigenous peoples, and our collective journey towards hope, healing, and reconciliation.” You can find this reading list here.

The following are a few of the titles featured in the Read Indigenous and Reading for Reconciliation lists:

Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools – A Memoir, by Theodore Niizhotay Fontaine

Broken-Circle--The-Dark-Legacy-of-Indian-Residential-Schools---A-Memoir,-by-Theodore-Niizhotay-FontaineTheodore Fontaine recounts a powerful story of survival and healing after years of abuse in residential schools. This memoir captures his experience of disconnection from his language and culture, and the loss of his family and community. It also into a discussion of post-traumatic stress disorders among residential school survivors. It serves as a powerful testament to survival, self-discovery, and healing

Truth Telling: Seven Conversations About Indigenous Life in Canada, by Michelle Good

Truth-Telling--Seven-Conversations-About-Indigenous-Life-in-Canada,-by-Michelle-GoodActivist and award-winning novelist, Michelle Good, explores resistance, reconciliation and the reclamation of Indigenous power, through a series of personal essays. These essays document contemporary Indigenous experience in Canada.

We All Go Back to the Land: The Who, Why, and How of Land Acknowledgements, by Suzanne Keeptwo

We-All-Go-Back-to-the-Land--The-Who,-Why,-and-How-of-Land-Acknowledgements,-by-Suzanne-KeeptwoLand acknowledgements started as an act of reconciliation, but have become so routine that sometimes the meaning behind them is lost. Métis artist and educator Suzanne Keeptwo created We All Go Back to the Land as a guide to getting the land acknowledgement right and avoiding empty words.

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