We meet again… on another long weekend… asking ourselves:
Why don’t I have work on Monday?
I get it, any day off is amazing and when your boss tells you to leave the office you don’t question her, but do you really understand what this day off is celebrating?
There is concrete evidence that aboriginal people inhabited both Northern and Southern America prior to Christopher Columbus stumbling upon the island of Hispaniola (the modern day Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in 1492. Despite this, American History textbooks whitewash and conceal the mass genocides and injustices the aboriginal people of America have suffered at the hands of Christopher Columbus, the colonial settlers, the United States government, and many, many more.
This weekend, in order to become more informed about these atrocities, we urge you to read, or plan to read, at least one of the following books.
We also encourage you to hereafter celebrate this holiday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day!
1. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American Histry Textbook Got Wrong
by James W. Loewen
Genres: Non-fiction, History, Education, Politics
Awards: American Book Award (1996), The Oliver C. Cox Anti-Racism Award
2. The Other Slavery: The Undiscovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
by Andrés Reséndez
Genres: Non-fiction, History, Politics
Awards: Bancroft Prize (2017), California Book Award for Nonfiction (Gold) (2016), PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction Nominee for Longlist (2017)
3. Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People
by Elizabthe A. Fenn
Genres: Non-fiction, History
Awards: Pulitzer Prize for History (2015), Colorado Book Award Nominee for History (Finalist) (2015), Albert J. Beveridge Award (2015)
by Layli Long Soldier
Genres: Poetry, Non-fiction
Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry (2017), National Book Award Finalist for Poetry (2017), PEN/Jean Stein Book Award (2018)
4. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
Awards: National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (2007), Odyssey Award (2009), American Indian Library Association Award, South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award (2010), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2008), Florida Teens Read Nominee (2009), American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Young Adult Book (Award Retroactively Rescinded in 2018) (2008), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction (2008), The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky (2009), California Young Readers Medal for Young Adult (2010), Lincoln Award Nominee (2011), James Cook Book Award Nominee (2009), The Inky Awards Shortlist for Silver Inky (2009)
5. The Plague of Doves
by Louise Erdich
Awards: Pulitzer Prize Nominee for Fiction (2009), Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (2009), Dayton Literary Peace Prize Nominee for Fiction (2009), Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story (2009)
6. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
by Sheman Alexie
Genres: Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry
Awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Memoir & Autobiography (2017)
9. Fools Crow
by James Welch
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Academic
Awards: American Book Award (1987), Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction (1987)
8. The Round House
by Lousie Erdrich
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Historical, Coming of Age
Awards: National Book Award for Fiction (2012), American Book Award (2013), ALA Alex Award (2013), Indies Choice Book Award for Adult Fiction (2013), Dayton Literary Peace Prize Nominee for Fiction (2013), Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Fiction (Shortlist) (2013), Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story (2013)
9. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Genres: History, Non-fiction, Politics, Social Justice
Awards: American Book Award (2015)
10. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
by Dee Brown
Genres: History, Non-fiction, Classics
Please comment below and let us know what you are reading this weekend!