Books that celebrate Native American and Indigenous heritage and stories.
Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction
A book list for older kids: Middle Grade and YA Titles
The rich Native American tradition of carrying babies safely, comfortably and close to their mothers in cradle boards endures to this day. Cradle Me celebrates Native American families and shows how they carry their babies.
Board books for babies and toddlers that celebrates every child and the joy babies bring into the world.
Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy's daily drum artworks paired with a different day of the week in an accessible and beautiful baby board book.
This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.
The word "otsaliheliga" (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. This picture book chronicles a full year of Cherokee celebrations and experiences.
In this adorable book to be shared with babies and toddlers, mothers explore their love for their babies as experienced through the five senses. From the sound of a baby's giggles to the smell of a kunik, this book celebrates the unique bonds shared between mothers and babies.
Fry Bread is an evocative story about family, history, culture, and traditions, new and old.
This book celebrates diversity and the interconnectedness of nature through an Indigenous perspective, complete with a glossary of Cree words for wild animals at the back of the book.
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption.
On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries. Salmonberry, Cloudberry, Blueberry, Nagoonberry. Huckleberry, Snowberry, Strawberry, Crowberry. Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all. Michaela Goade's luminous rendering of water and forest, berries and jams glows with her love of the land and offers an invitation to readers to deepen their own relationship with the earth.
Three girls follow their grandmother into her garden, where they examine her collection of rocks, crystals, shells, and meteorites and learn about the marvels they reveal.
A love letter to Indigenous communities everywhere, this picture book gorgeously illustrated by Julie Flett celebrates seasons, nature, and community. Based on Academy Award-winning Cree icon Buffy Sainte-Marie's song of the same name, Still This Love Goes On is a stunning celebration of Indigenous experience. Breathtaking illustrations from celebrated Cree-Métis artist Julie Flett combine with Sainte-Marie's vivid lyrics to craft a remarkable piece of art.
Wampanoag children listen as their grandmother tells them the story about how Weeâchumun (the wise Corn) asked local Native Americans to show the Pilgrims how to grow food to yield a good harvest--Keepunumuk--in 1621.
Because she has been very ill and weak, River cannot join in the dancing at this year's tribal powwow, she can only watch from the sidelines as her sisters and cousins dance the celebration--but as the drum beats she finds the faith to believe that she will recover and dance again.
Amanda and Kara are cousins and best friends in an intertribal Native American family; but Kara's family leaves the city and moves back to the Rez, making both girls sad--but the summer reunion reminds them that they will always be cousins.
Hiawatha, a Mohawk, is plotting revenge for the murder of his wife and daughters by the evil Onondaga Chief, Tadodaho, when he meets the Great Peacemaker, who enlists his help in bringing the nations together to share his vision of a new way of life marked by peace, love, and unity rather than war, hate, and fear.
When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from. When she goes home for the summer, her parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. What will happen when they disobey the law?
When Regina's Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.
Filled with lots of glitter, raised pinkies, and humorous misunderstandings, this second book in the Jo Jo Makoons series is filled with the joy of a young Ojibwe girl discovering her very own special shine from the inside out. First grader Jo Jo Makoons knows how to do a lot of things, like how to play jump rope, how to hide her peas in her milk, and how to be helpful in her classroom. But there's one thing Jo Jo doesn't know how to do: be fancy. She has a lot to learn before her Aunt Annie's wedding! Favorite purple unicorn notebook in hand, Jo Jo starts exploring her Ojibwe community to find ways to be fancy.
In this magical, modern twist on Peter Pan, stepsisters Lily and Wendy are spirited away to Neverland by a mysterious boy and must find a way back to the family they love.
Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction
Mary Golda Ross designed classified projects for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as the company's first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.
Fifteen thousand years before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas, people had already spread from tip to tip and coast to coast. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged. The answers lay in their sacred stories.
At the age of eight, Aslan arrived in North Dakota to help stop a pipeline. A few months later he returned - and saw the whole world watching. Read about his inspiring experiences in the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock. Learn about what exactly happened there, and why.
A group of Native American kids from different tribes presents twelve historical and contemporary time periods, struggles, and victories to their classmates, each ending with a powerful refrain: We are still here!
In her debut picture book, professional Indigenous dancer Ria Thundercloud tells the true story of her path to dance and how it helped her take pride in her Native American heritage.
In 2021, Deb Haaland made history as the first Indigenous cabinet secretary. Serving as Secretary of the Interior, Haaland has championed climate and the rights of Native peoples. Discover Haaland's early life, her political career, and more.
The descendant of Cherokee ancestors who had been forced to walk the Trail of Tears, Wilma Mankiller experienced her own forced removal from the land she grew up on as a child. As she got older and learned more about the injustices her people had faced, she dedicated her life to instilling pride in Native heritage and reclaiming Native rights. She went on to become the first woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
An accessible and educational illustrated book profiling 50 notable American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, from NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Standing Rock Lakota to Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Celebrate the lives, stories, and contributions of Indigenous artists, activists, scientists, athletes, and other changemakers in this illustrated collection. Also offers accessible primers on important Indigenous issues, from the legacy of colonialism and cultural appropriation to food sovereignty, land and water rights, and more. An indispensable read for people of all backgrounds seeking to learn about Native American heritage, histories, and cultures, Notable Native People will educate and inspire readers of all ages.
Indigenous Peoples' Day is about celebrating! The second Monday in October is a day to honor Native American people, their histories, and cultures. People mark the day with food, dancing, and songs. Readers will discover how a shared holiday can have multiple traditions and be celebrated in all sorts of ways.