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National Indigenous History Month: A Reading List for Families

In Canada, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month annually in June. During this month, we take the opportunity to learn more about the experiences of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples. It is a time to honour the stories, achievements and resilience of the Indigenous Peoples. We ask families to join us this June as we engage in meaningful dialogues, celebrate the rich heritage of Indigenous communities, and foster a deeper understanding of their history. While we take this month as a chance to learn and reflect, here at The Clover School we believe that a commitment to understanding and appreciating Indigenous contributions to Canadian history must extend throughout the entire school year. Through field trips, projects, research, classroom discussions, and more, we strive to nurture a stronger connection with Indigenous cultures and histories.

A great way to gain a richer understanding of another community’s customs and traditions is by listening to their own voices. One way we can do so is by celebrating Indigenous authors and enjoying Indigenous storytelling through books. By immersing ourselves in their stories, we gain their wisdom and perspective. Let’s embrace this month as our opportunity to uplift and amplify Indigenous voices through the power of literature. We have curated a list of books by Canadian Indigenous authors, for each of our program levels, for you to read at home with your families this month and beyond. 

Toddler and Pre-Primary Level

Sweetest Kulu - Cellna Kalluk

My Heart Fills With Happiness - Monique Gray Smith

Little You - Richard Van Camp

In My Anaana’s Amautik - Nadia Sammurtok

Primary Level

Stand Like a Cedar - Nicola L. Campbell

When We Are Kind - Monique Gray Smith

The Girl and The Wolf - Katherena Vermette

Birdsong - Julie Flett

Powwow Counting in Cree - Penny M. Thomas

We Sang You Home - Richard Van Camp

Lower Elementary Level 

Stolen Words - Melanie Florence

When We Were Alone - David A. Robertson

Sweetgrass - Theresa Meuse

Phyllis’s Orange Shirt - Phyllis Webstad

On The Trapline - David A. Robertson

Go Show The World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes - Wab Kinew

The Water Walker - Joanne Robertson

Shi-shi-etko - Nicola Campbell

When I Was Eight - Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton, Christy Jordan-Fenton

Upper Elementary Level

Treaty Words: For As Long As The Rivers Flow - Aimee Craft

Turtle Island: The Story of North America’s First People - Eldon Yellowhorn, Kathy Lowinger

I Am Not A Number - Jenny Kay Dupis, Kathy Kacer

Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children - Wendy Proverbs

Siha Tooskin Knows The Catcher Of Dreams - Charlene Bearhead and Wilson Bearhead

Fatty Legs - Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton, Christy Jordan-Fenton

Let us all take this month as a reminder of the ongoing journey of truth and reconciliation that we are all on together and be open to continuing to learn, grow and appreciate the beautiful diversity of our nation. Together, let us embrace the spirit of Indigenous History Month and celebrate the vibrant tapestry of Indigenous cultures and voices that have shaped our Canadian landscape and history and continue to contribute to our vibrant and evolving identity. 

The Clover School sits on the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. We acknowledge that Toronto (Tkaronto) is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. Toronto is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to learn, work, and live on this land.