One of the most persistent stereotypes about Native/First Nations people in North America is that they all lived long ago. Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), who writes the blog Native Appropriations, “a forum for discussing representations of Native peoples, including stereotypes, cultural appropriation, news, activism, and more,” posted this reminder recently on Twitter:
Recently at the Diverse BookFinder, we’ve been pleased to see more titles featuring contemporary Native children and families — and better yet, written by Indigenous authors who are citizens of the nations portrayed.
Here is a sampling of recent titles in our collection:
On an outing in Nicola Valley, British Columbia, a First Nations family forages for herbs and mushrooms while the grandmother passes down her language and knowledge to her young grandchildren. Includes glossary.
Dragonfly kites refers to "kites" made by tying a string around the middles of dragonflies. Two Cree brothers in northern Manitoba fly these kites during the day, but at night fly themselves in their dreams. This is the second book in the Magical Songs of the North Wind trilogy.
"Adventure begins when Grandma takes her two grandchildren out for a trip on the lake. After showing the kids how to prepare of a fishing trip, Grandma and the kids enjoy a day of jigging in the ice for fish. Grandma shows them everything they need to know to complete a successful fishing trip, from what clothes to wear, to how to drill and clear holes in the ice, to how to make a traditional Inuit jigging rod. By the end of the day, the kids have a yummy meal of Arctic char, and they have also learned everything they need to know to have a successful day on the lake."--Provided by publisher
Feeling frustrated when his first attempt to weave a basket fails, a Penobscot Indian boy receives help and encouragement from his grandfather.
When Uncle and Windy Girl attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. Later, Windy falls asleep under the stars. Uncle's stories inspire visions in her head: a bowwow powwow, where all the dancers are dogs. In these magical scenes, Windy sees veterans in a Grand Entry, and a visiting drum group, and traditional dancers, grass dancers, and jingle-dress dancers -- all with telltale ears and paws and tails. All celebrating in song and dance. All attesting to the wonder of the powwow.--Provided by publisher
The First Laugh Ceremony is a celebration held to welcome a new member of the community. As everyone—from Baby's nima (mom) to nadi (big sister) to cheii (grandfather)—tries to elicit the joyous sound from Baby, readers are introduced to details about Navajo life and the Navajo names for family members. --publisher
Otsaliheliga is a Cherokee word that is used to express gratitude. Journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations big and small. This book presents a look at modern Native American life as told by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
For more titles with Native characters, check our Search tool. (Note: Although more than 170 Native characters have been identified in the Diverse BookFinder collection, not all are in Native stories; some appear as characters in stories of people of other races.)