Minnesota Public Radio Picks Reading List for Indigenous Book Club Month

The Indigenous Book Club Month was started in Canada at the behest of Carolyn Bennett, Canada's Minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs. The idea was shared with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) journalist Connie Walker in a wide ranging interview with Minister Bennett on CBC's The Current. This is the inaugural year that Minister Bennett has sought to make Indigenous Book Club month a reality, since working earlier this year to see it come to fruition. 

We’re hoping to make June Indigenous Book Club month such that all the book clubs in Canada could pick an indigenous author or book of an ally that we could actually begin this work of saying it’s never too late and that life long learning is now one of the four pillars of an active aging movement.
— Carolyn Bennett, Canada's Minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) has taken part in June's Indigenous Book Club by offering up a list of books by Native authors or ally's which was curated by three avid readers: "Patina Park, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Woman's Resource Center; Rhiana Yazzie, a playwright and artistic director of New Native Theatre; and Odia Wood-Krueger, a teacher in the office of Indian Education for Minneapolis Public Schools."

The list comprises over 30 selections of Indigenous works that span poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children's books. Some selections from the list are:

  • "Custer Died for Your Sins" by Vine Deloria
  • "Three Day Road" by Joseph Boyden
  • "Rez Life" by David Treuer
  • "The Night Wanderer" by Drew Hayden Taylor
  • "How I Became a Ghost" by Tim Tingle

Check out the full reading list at MPR.

In January of this year, when Minister Bennett first introduced the idea of June as Indigenous Book Club Month, Walker asked three indigenous authors (Lee Maracle, Tracey Lindberg, and Drew Hayden Taylor) for their recommendations of Native authors and works as well as covered questions on what story means to indigenous peoples in a 24-minute interview. The trio offered up some more works and a list of authors to look at. Among some of the authors listed were some lesser known ones: Leanne Simpson, Marilyn Dumont, Jeanette Armstrong, and Beatrice Culleton Mosionier. 

Celebrate Indigenous Book Club Month by reading one of the books from MPR's list or by reading a book by one of these authors.