In June, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
National Indigenous History Month is a time for learning about, appreciating and acknowledging the contributions First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have made in shaping Canada.
Find activities, games and stories for youth and educators about Indigenous peoples’ culture, history and languages at the Government of Canada’s Kids’ Stop!
Check out some of our best picks for Indigenous contributions to children’s literature. Click on a book cover to place a hold in our catalogue.
Celebrating the stories of Indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book, illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse. Including figures such as Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington and Canadian NHL goalie Carey Price, Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of Indigenous people in the US and Canada, both the more well known and the not-so-widely recognised. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring; collectively, they empower the reader with this message: ‘We are people who matter, yes, it s true; now let s show the world what people who matter can do.’
“Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission.
Based on an actual journal entry by French explorer Jacques Cartier from his first expedition to North America in July 1534, this story imagines the first encounter between a European sailor and a Stadaconan fisher. As the two navigate their differences (language, dress, food) with curiosity, the natural world around them notes their similarities.
Based in Duck Bay, Manitoba, in the 1940s, an Elder shares his experience of packing up to go out to collect blueberries, a traditional gathering that took place every summer. He describes the journey and landscape with humor and such vivid imagery that readers will see themselves there with him, boarding the trail of wagons from surrounding communities and heading east toward the blueberry patch. The Elder’s stories offer a journey back in time and are complemented by images of fields of plump blueberries, tall green grass, bannock baking over an open fire, clear freshwater streams and the tents the people slept in.
Part of the nonfiction Orca Origins series for middle readers. Illustrated with photographs, Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance in North America.
In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, shadowy spirits, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog).