For National Indigenous History Month, it is time to pick up a book to better understand what happened, how we can help the country move forward with reconciliation, and understanding to an emotional level of the trauma that happened. We must understand the past to make the best possible future for our Country. So check out these books to better inform yourself, as Knowledge is Power, and arming yourself with the knowledge of the past will help you make the best decisions for your future.

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act – by Bob Joseph

First, on our list, this book acts as the essential guide to help you understand the legal documentation of the Indian Act and its effect on several generations of Indigenous Peoples. Joseph dissects the complex issues of how proper reconciliation could take place. It explains the best way to move forward and help Canada become a better country. Joseph demonstrates how learning about the Indian Act’s cruel, enduring legacy is essential to help the country become a better place for every Canadian.

Bob Joseph is the son of the hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk Nation and will eventually become the hereditary chief himself. Joseph has also provided training on Indigenous and Aboriginal relations since 1994, becoming a highly respected member and someone to look to when wanting to learn about the Indian Act.

The Inconvenient Indian – by Thomas King

Thomas King’s novel is filled with rich context. The Inconvenient Indian makes use of the insights from critical evaluation and personal meditation of Thomas King’s understanding of what it means to be an “Indian” in North America. Thomas King does an excellent job explaining the encounters between non-Natives and Natives over the centuries of their exchanges. With a deep and revolutionary understanding of the effects accumulated over centuries, Thomas King provides a unique perspective on the continuously changing laws and treaties on Native People and lands. Being one of Canada’s best-known Indigenous authors, Thomas’s book tells a story that is timeless, offering hope after the hard inconvenient truths.

First Peoples in Canada  – by Alan D. McMillan & Eldon Yellowhorn

This book, now retitled, provides a comprehensive overview of all the Aboriginal groups in Canada. Taking in the latest research of archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, and history, the latest edition of this book describes the traditional ways of life and culture changes that have resulted from Native contact with Europeans. Examining the controversial issues of land claims and self-governance currently affecting Aboriginal societies.

Price Paid – by Bev Sellars

This book reveals to the audience the price paid by First Nations in their contact and treaties established over the colonial period through contemporary. Untangling truths and uncovering myths, Price Paid addresses misconceptions still believed today. With a target audience of treaty-makers, politicians, policymakers, and educators, Sellars’s book is great for understanding the real issues needed to understand the situations affecting First Nations People.

Our Story – by Various Authors

Last but not least, on our list is Our Story, a collection of original stories written by many of Canada’s most celebrated Aboriginal writers. The book is inspired by historical events and beautifully illustrated, making it a wonderful and insightful book to read. With a vast amount of perspectives, Our Story tells stories from the voices of Inuk, Cherokee, Ojibway, Cree, and Salish amongst others through the collection.

That concludes our top 5 books to read this National Indigenous History Month. It is important to understand what has happened in the past to arm ourselves with the knowledge to improve our country. These books will surely grant you a new perspective on past and present events.

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