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Celebrating Non-Fiction Works of Indigenous Authors

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

By: Aiden C. , Halton Youth Initiative Website Advisory Group and Communications Crew

June 22, 2020

In celebration of National Indigenous History Month, below are a select few non-fiction titles that illustrate something only now becoming more widely spoken about in Canada: an Indigenous person’s perspective on hardships tied to their identity.

On/Me - Francine Cunningham

Available at local libraries including Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills

Francine Cunningham is an Indigenous artist, writer and educator who graduated from University of British Columbia’s Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program. In her book, she distinguishes her intertwined life: her city upbringing clashing with her indigenous heritage, the reality of living with mental illness, racism, and the intergenerational trauma left by residential schools. On/Me is Francine’s first book, in which she communicates these past experiences incarnated as poetry.

Check out her blog

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground - Alicia Elliott

Available local libraries including Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills

“A mind spread out on the ground” is how the Mohawk phrase for depression can be roughly translated into English. In her book, Elliott connects this phrase with the past and ongoing situation for indigenous people across Canada. From the perspective of a Tuscarora tribe member, she explores colonialism’s persistent effect on indigenous communities, as well as such serious topics as sexual assault and mental illness.


- Darrel McLeod

Available at local libraries including Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills

From his upbringing’s memories of moose stew to his mother’s account of her cruel experience in the residential school system, Mamaskatch is a memoir that holds nothing back. McLeod, a Cree writer tells of his childhood alongside his fierce but loving mother and his siblings adorned with indigenous culture and tradition.

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