13 Must-Read Books & Collections by Indigenous Writers

Photo Courtesy: Goodreads

On October 11, 2021, more people, cities and states across the country will recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day than ever before. In years past, Columbus Day has served to downplay white supremacist-motivated genocide, colonization and the stealing of land, much of which stems from Christopher Columbus and so-called “explorers” like him. This year, however, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation ahead of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, marking the first time a president has done so.

“The contributions that Indigenous peoples have made throughout history — in public service, entrepreneurship, scholarship, the arts, and countless other fields — are integral to our Nation, our culture, and our society," Biden’s proclamation noted on Friday, October 8. "Today, we acknowledge the significant sacrifices made by Native peoples to this country — and recognize their many ongoing contributions to our Nation."

While attending rallies for Indigenous-led climate justice efforts, supporting the Land Back movement, and providing mutual aid funds to Indigenous-led organizations are great ways to honor the day, you can also educate yourself by reading the works of Indigenous authors and poets. Here, we’ve compiled a list of must-read works by incredible writers. Of course, self-education isn’t all about learning history; while understanding history from other perspectives is essential, these works, which range from coming-of-age memoirs to renowned poetry collections, capture the varied, nuanced experiences of Indigenous folks living in the present-day United States.