The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, is based on the author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C. This powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.
Black Water is David Alexander Robertson's autobiography. The son of a Cree father and a non-Indigenous mother, David A. Robertson was raised with virtually no knowledge or understanding of his family’s Indigenous roots. His father, Don, spent his early childhood on a trapline in the bush northeast of Norway House, Manitoba, where his first teach was the land. When his family was moved permanently to a nearby reserve, Don was not permitted to speak Cree at school unless in secret with his friends and lost the knowledge he had been gifted while living on his trapline.
Five Little Indians is written by Michelle Good of Cree ancestry and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and whose mother and grandmother were residential school survivors. In Five Little Indians, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school. They are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention.
Birdie is the outstanding debut novel by Cree law professor and activist Tracey Lindberg. A member of the As’in’i’wa’chi Ni’yaw Nation Rocky Mountain Cree she has a doctoral degree in law as well as law degrees from the University of Ottawa, Harvard Law School and the University of Saskatchewan. She was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal, the most prestigious award given to a doctoral student in humanities.
Crow Winter by Karen McBride, Algonquin Anishinaabe from Timiskaming First Nation in the territory that is now known as Quebec, is a story about trickster and Hazel Ellis. Returning home to Spirit Bear Point First Nation, Hazel dreams of an old crow. A new job at the Band office introduces her to evidence that will prove useful as she tries to unravel a complicated land issue involving family and historic records. Nanabush, her mother, Gus, Mia, Joni, Robby and Thomas are the links between her life, family and home and the Medicine Wheel.
I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day (Upper Skagit) is the journaling story of Edie who wonders where her name actually comes from. After finding photos and letters in her attic with her friends, twelve-year old Edie is on a quest to find out why she is named after glamourous Edith Graham. The mystery begins to unravel amidst challenging and new friendships. A keen artist, Edie paints to find the beauty others have missed in her landscapes when she begins to include her people who lived in the area previously.
This is the fourth in a Dreadful Water Mystery series by award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter, and photographer. This novel about Thumps, Claire and the cat and local characters from Chinook is centred around a true crime reality TV show. Written in an engaging way this novel draws the reader into the lives of the TV crew and locals while also weaving a murder mystery casually through the story. This is a clever, amusing book that will make you want to read the whole series again.
A magical realism novel by Cherokee/Greek author Thomas King in which four Indian elders and the trickster Coyote change the lives of several individuals who come to the Blackfoot reserve for the Sun Dance. Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer of Cherokee and Greek descent. His acclaimed, bestselling fiction includes Medicine River; Truth and Bright Water; One Good Story, That One; and A Short History of Indians in Canada.
The 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction is The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King. This title is Thomas King’s first literary novel in 15 years and follows on the success of the award-winning and bestselling novels and non-fiction. In The Back of the Turtle, Gabriel returns to Smoke River, the reserve where his mother grew up and to which she returned with Gabriel’s sister. The reserve is deserted after an environmental disaster killed the population, including Gabriel’s family, and the wildlife.