June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada – a day to celebrate, honour, and recognize the lives, communities, ancestors, and land of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. We feel very honoured to work with Indigenous people every day both in the communities we work with and within our staff.
Although Indigenous Peoples Day looks very different for many Indigenous communities this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community members are finding ways to remain connected. Many communities are holding celebrations online with live performances and gatherings. Others are calling community elders, preparing traditional food to be delivered to community members, listening to the stories of knowledge keepers, being on the land, beading, and celebrating in many other ways.
This day has also raised a call to action from some Indigenous communities and organizations, to repurpose Indigenous Peoples Day into a National Day of Action against Systemic Racism. This calls on the support of allies to amplify Indigenous voices and prompt the Canadian government to take action to end the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two Spirit people; and to end police brutality.
It is critical to amplify the voices of Indigenous people and share their stories, both past and present. This Indigenous Peoples Day, our staff have put together a list of some of our favourite Indigenous books, movies and podcasts. Let us know your favourites!
Click on the links below to learn more about each of the books we recommend.
Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History – Edited by Martha Black, Lorne Hammond, Gavin Hanke, Nikki Sanchez, Jack Lohman
Canada’s Indigenous Constitution – John Borrows
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West – Dee Brown
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground – Alicia Elliot
Indigenous Relationships: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality – Bob Joseph
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality – Bob Joseph
The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America – Thomas King
From Recognition to Reconciliation: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal Treaty Rights – Edited by Patrick Macklem and Douglas Sanderson
There There – Tommy Orange
Moon of the Crusted Snow – Waubgeshig Rice
Monkey Beach – Eden Robinson
Split Tooth – Tanya Tagaq
The Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City – Tanya Talaga
Medicine Walk – Richard Wagamese
Reclaiming Indigenous Planning – Ryan Walker, Ted Jojola, David Natcher
Braiding Sweetgrass – Robine Wall Kimmerer
Click on the links below to watch the trailers for these movies.
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana
Reel Injun – Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, Jeremiah Hayes
Edge of the Knife – Gwaai Edenshaw, Helen Haig-Brown
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner – Zacharias Kunuk
Our People Will Be Healed – Alanis Obomsawin
Blood Quantum – Elle-Maija Tailfeathers
Click on the links below to listen to these podcasts.
Secret Life of Canada – Leah-Simone Bowen, Falen Johnson, TK Matunda
New Fire – Lisa Charleyboy
Metis in Space – Molly Swain, Chelsea Vowel
CBC Unreserved – Rosanna Deerchild
Coffee With My Ma – Kaniehtiio Horn
The Henceforward – Eve Tuck, Chelsea Vowel, Deanna Del Vecchio, Sefanit Habtom, Sid Roman
All My Relations – Matika Wilbur, Adrienne Keene