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Native and Indigenous Peoples of the World

Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story: by S.D. Nelson; Native American – Hidatsa. The true story of Buffalo Bird Girl, a Hidatsa native girl growing up on the Great Plains of North Dakota at the turn of the 20th century. This story chronicles daily life, farming, housing, trading with pioneers and battling with other local tribes. Non-fiction with primary source photographs. Native author/illustrator. Author’s Note. Late elementary and older.

The Cloud Artist: by Sherri Maret, illustrated by Merisha Sequoia Clark, Native American – Choctaw; Young leona is a cloud painter, a gift her Choctaw tribe has not seen in generations, and a gift she learns self-boundaries with. This tale was handed down from the author’s grandmother. Told in English and Choctaw. Native author and illustrator. Elementary and older.

Dreambirds: by David Ogden, illustrated by Jody Bergsma; Native American. A young boy trains for years and searches for his dreambird and the gift it has for him. The journey is not at all what he expects. Late elementary and older.

The Forever Sky: by Thomas Peacock, illustrated by Annette S. Lee; Native American – Ojibwe. Niigaanii and Bineshiinh’s grandmother, Nooko, has died and they miss her very much. Their uncle has told Niigaanii the stories of where loved ones go when they pass, and Niigaanii in turn tells Bineshiinh. Their family and friends are closer than they think. Pronunciation guide at the end of the book. Elementary and older.

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message: by Chief Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr., Native American – Iroquois; Based on the Thanksgiving Address of the Iroquois/Six Nations tribes, this morning message gives thanks to all of nature of the blessings they give. Native author and illustrator. Elementary and older.

Gluskabe and the Four Wishes: Retold by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Christine Nyburg Shrader; Native American – Wabanaki tribes. Wabanaki hero, Gluskabe, uniquely grants the wishes of four tribesmen who travel far to reach him, teaching each of them a lesson. Native author. Elementary and older.

Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher: by Becky Ray McCain, illustrated by Stacey Schuett; Native American – Chippewa. A young girl, staying with her grandmother while her parents are away, has a nightmare. She learns about dreamcatchers and makes one with her grandmother. Pre-K and older.

Greet the Dawn: written and illustrated by S.D. Nelson; Native American – Lakota. Stunning illustrations paired with simple text (including the Lakota language) about going through the day and and acknowledging nature around us with our senses. Native author/illustrator. Pre-K and older.

The Legend of Blue Jacket by Michael P. Spradlin, illustrated by Ronald Himler; Native American – Shawnee. Who Blue Jacket really was is a historical debate that has gone on for years. Was he a Native Shawnee? Was he a White man, accepted into a Shawnee tribe? This legend is a theory based on the author’s research, as well as based in historical facts that are known about Blue Jacket. Elementary and older.

The Legend of Leelanau: by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen; Native American. A telling of the Legend of Leelanau. A young Native girl is drawn to the Spirit Wood and the fairies that live there. Late elementary and older.

The Legend of Mackinac Island: by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen; Native American. Many years ago, when the earth was covered in water, the great turtle asks the water animals to go to the bottom of the great water to gather a handful of mud to create a new land. Elementary and older.

The Legend of the Petoskey Stone: by Kathy-jo Wargin, illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhyzen; Native American. The legend of Ignatius Petosegay, namesake of the town of Petoskey and the Petoskey stone. Elementary and older.

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. Aztec Mexican legend; The origin story of the two volcanoes located outside of Mexico City: Iztzccíhuatl and Popocatépetl. A princess falls in love with a soldier, which displeases her father, who gives the warrior a challenge to prove his worthiness. Author’s note at the end of the book gives historical background. Native author/illustrator. Elementary and older.

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Greg Shed; Native American – Wampanoag. A telling of the first Thanksgiving and the historical evens leading up to that feast from the perspective of Squanto (Tisquantum). Middle elementary and older.

The Story of Blue Elk: Retold by Gerald Hausman, illustrated by Kristina Rodanas; Native American. A variation of a traditional Native American story of a boy who can’t speak, but through a bond with an elk, finds a voice through music. Elementary and older.

Tasunka: A Lakota Horse Legend: told and illustrated by Donald F. Montileaux; Native American – Lakota. A Lakota legend of how the horse was given and taken away from their people. Native author/illustrator. Elementary and older.

Ten Little Rabbits: by Virginia Grossman, illustrated by Sylvia Long; Native American – Various Tribes. Rabbits are personified as representing various Native tribes and their customs. The afterward identifies and describes tribes and the custom(s) depicted in the story. Elementary and older.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac; Native American – Cherokee. The words, traditions and celebrations of the Cherokee Nation throughout the seasons of the year are highlighted in these experiences of gratitude. Includes Cherokee words, pronunciations and syllabalizations as well as a small glossary and Author’s Note. Elementary and older.

Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker, illustrated by Stephen Gammell; Native American. A young boy is inspired by an older wise man’s tell of the legend of where the buffalo came from, and goes to watch the phenomenon himself. Elementary and older.

Available on MelCat:

Firestarters by Jen Storm, Scott B Henderson & Donovan Yaciuk; Native Canadian – Graphic Novel. A poingent story of Native boys being the fall guys for a white boy’s crime, simply because they are Native. High school and older, due to language.

Fry Bread: by Kevin Noble Millard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal; Native American. Written in verse, this story tells of a Native family and their creation of fry bread and the relation of fry bread to their culture. There is an author’s note at the end of the story explaining many of the cultural details of fry bread. Native author. Elementary and older.

Jonny’s Pheasant by Cheyrl Minnema, illustrated by Julie Flett; Native American. Johnny and his grandmother find a pheasant on the side of the road. Will it be okay? Pre-K and older.#OwnVoices author and illustrator.

Malian’s Song by Marge Bruchac, illustrated by William Maughan; Native American – Abenaki; Based on the true survival story of Malian, an Abenaki girl who lived through the Rogers Raid during the French & Indian War. Historical note at the end of the story. Late elementary and older.

We Are the Many: A Picture Book of American Indians: by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Uing-Hwa Hu; Native American – Various Tribes. Short vignettes of well-known and lesser-known, but important, Native Americans across generations. Author’s Note at the end. Elementary and older.