Loading

Celebrate Indigenous Authors Resources at MVCC library

In honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, explore the works of Native American authors available at the library.

Curious about the history of Indigenous People's Day? Check out the American Indian Center of Chicago's page.

For help with Library resources, stop by the E-resources Help page or Ask a Librarian!

Joy Harjo

"Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She earned her BA from the University of New Mexico and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Harjo draws on First Nation storytelling and histories, as well as feminist and social justice poetic traditions, and frequently incorporates indigenous myths, symbols, and values into her writing. Her poetry inhabits landscapes—the Southwest, Southeast, but also Alaska and Hawaii—and centers around the need for remembrance and transcendence...She was named U.S. poet laureate in June 2019."--Poetry Foundation biography

How We Became Human “Show[s] the remarkable progression of a writer determined to reconnect with her past and make sense of her present, drawing together the brutalities of contemporary reservation life with the beauty and sensibility of Native American culture and mythology....Alive with compassion, pain and love, this book is unquestionably an act of kindness.”-- Publishers Weekly

Louise Erdrich

'Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction...She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore." Publisher's biography

"One of the most revered novelists of our time—a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life—Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family."--Publisher's description

Robin Wall Kimmerer

"Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim... Kimmerer lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment." --Publisher's biography

In Braiding Sweetgrass, "drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world." --Publisher's description

Terese Marie Mailhot

"TERESE MAILHOT graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an M.F.A. in fiction. Mailhot’s work has appeared in The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Times, Carve Magazine, The Offing, The Toast, Yellow Medicine Review, and elsewhere...she was recently named the Tecumseh Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University." Publisher's biography

"Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma." Publisher's description

Brandon Hobson

"Dr. Brandon Hobson is the author of...Where the Dead Sit Talking, which was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, winner of the Reading the West Award, and long listed for the Dublin International Literary Award... Hobson is an assistant professor of English at New Mexico State University and also teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma."

"Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, Where the Dead Sit Talking is a stunning and lyrical Native American coming-of-age story. With his single mother in jail, Sequoyah, a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy, is placed in foster care with the Troutt family. Literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse, Sequoyah keeps mostly to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface. At least until he meets seventeen-year-old Rosemary, a troubled artist who also lives with the family."--Publisher's description

Diane Glancy

"Proficient in numerous genres—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting—Diane Glancy often creates work that reflects her Native American heritage. Part Cherokee, and of English and German descent."--Poetry Foundation biography

The Book of Bearings puts the puzzle pieces of the New World together without a picture on the puzzle box. The characters struggle to situate themselves between what they were and what they are supposed to become. The poems include voices from the mid-nineteenth-century Cherokee Female Seminary in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and the mid-twentieth-century Eskimo experience in Alaska, as well as personal narratives. This book addresses the Native American process of assimilation from first contact through education in the civilized world. It is a view of that world from the eyes of those who were seen as the conquered."--Publisher's description

N. Scott Momaday:

"N. Scott Momaday was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, to a father of Kiowa Indian heritage and a mother of European and Cherokee heritage. He spent much of his childhood on Navajo, Apache, and Jemez Pueblo reservations in the Southwest, where his parents taught...His first novel House Made of Dawn (1968) won a Pulitzer Prize and brought attention to Momaday as a leading figure in a Native American literary renaissance. His subsequent works have shown what richness and power can result from blending Native-American oral traditions with classical European forms."

""In the Presence of the Sun presents 30 years of selected works by (N. Scott) Momaday, the well-known Southwest Native American novelist. His unadorned poetry, which recounts fables and rituals of the Kiowa nation, conveys the deep sense of place of the Native American oral tradition. Here are dream-songs about animals (bear, bison, terrapin) and life away from urban alienation, an imagined re-creation based on Billy the Kid, prose poems about Plains Shields (and a fascinating discussion of their background), and new poems that utilize primary colors ('forms of the earth') to express instinctive continuities of a pre-Columbian vision."--Library Journal

David Treuer

"Bestselling author David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota...His book, "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee" was a 2019 finalist for both the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal. He divides his time between his home on the Leech Lake Reservation and Los Angeles, where he is a Professor of English at USC." --Author's website

"In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes' distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don't know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era." --Publisher's description

Tommy Orange

"Tommy Orange is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, he was born and raised in Oakland, California." --Publisher's biography

"Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering bestselling novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism."--Publisher's description

Need help accessing these resources? Ask a Librarian!

Credits:

Created with an image by Dan Dennis - "Amber Waves"