Connect with us

These Are The 12 Books To Read With Kids In Honor Of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Image Source: Skolova / Shutterstock


These Are The 12 Books To Read With Kids In Honor Of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Though parts of our nation continue to celebrate Columbus Day, here at The Everymom, we are committed to honoring Native and Indigenous People and their diverse cultures and rich traditions by marking October 9 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We encourage parents to start a conversation with little ones that center on this country’s first inhabitants and acknowledges the painful truth of our intertwined story. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my relatively short time as a parent, it’s that books are a wonderful entry point into discussing tough topics with kids. They’re the foundation we lay today so that tomorrow, even our smallest children can approach the world with a humble heart and open mind. To begin the work of reframing the narrative for kids, we’ve compiled a list of 12 beautiful picture books that offer a window into the lives of Indigenous people that are great to read this Indigenous Peoples’ Day and every day.

12 Indigenous Peoples’ Day Books to Read With Kids

From the editor-favorite series Little People, BIG DREAMS comes the story of Native American activist—and the first woman to be elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation—Wilma Mankiller.

Kevin Noble Maillard
2. Fry Bread

Fry Bread is an award-winning picture book that centers around the love and warmth of family and food—all the while exploring what it means to grow up Native.

Cynthia L. Smith
3. Jingle Dancer

This book centers on a child of Muscogee and Ojibway descent, as she yearns to dance the traditional Jingle Dance of her people. The story is a powerful reflection on family, culture, and the traditions that tie generations together.

Carole Lindstrom
4. We Are Water Protectors

We Are Water Protectors follows the story of a young Native child as she fights alongside her family and friends to save the Earth’s water from human negligence and harm.

Paul Goble
5. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

A recipient of the Caldecott Medal for extraordinary children’s books, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses depicts the life of a young Native girl through bold, vibrant illustrations.

Gabrielle Grimard
6. Lila and the Crow

When Lila begins a new school, she finds herself the focus of her classmates’ ridicule—all because she doesn’t look like them. This heartwarming story follows Lila on her path to discovering a sense of pride in her Native identity.

Celina Kalluk
7. Sweetest Kulu

A lyrical bedtime poem, Sweetest Kulu was written by Celine Kalluk, a renowned Inuit throat singer, and describes how Inuit culture views a beloved baby’s entry into the world.

Nicola I. Campbell
8. A Day With Yayah

Sweet, heartwarming, and sure to enchant, A Day With Yayah accompanies a First Nation family as they forage for herbs alongside their grandmother, all the while picking up bits of their family’s history and culture.

Brenda J. Child
9. Bowwow Powwow

This book is delightful, imaginative, and full of heart. It’s a celebration of tradition and history and a love letter to the Ojibwe people. The book includes an Ojibwe translation as well.

Julie Flett
10. Birdsong

Widely praised by big names such as Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and the American Indian Library Association, Birdsong is a celebration of love and friendship by Cree-Métis writer and illustrator Julie Flett.

Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
11. When I Was Eight

Based on a bestselling memoir titled Fatty Legs, this picture book makes a moving true story digestible for young readers. It’s a tale of would-be assimilation and triumph as an 8-year-old holds tight to her Native identity—despite the world’s efforts to erase it.

Tasha Spillet-Sumner
12. I Sang You Down from the Stars

Awarded by the American Indian Library Association and a New York Times best seller, this sweet story follows an expectant mother preparing for her baby’s arrival as she lovingly incorporates her Native traditions.

because we all want to raise nice humans!

Continue Reading
You may also like...

More in Parenting

To Top