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Native Languages of the Americas:
American Indian Literature

This page is our collection of links to good books by Native American writers for sale online. If you would like to recommend an American Indian book for this list or think one of the ones here should be removed, please contact telling us why.

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Anthologies of Native American Writing

Nothing But The Truth * Native American Literature:
     Two excellent anthologies of American Indian writing from the tribes of North America.
Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry:
     Compilation of contemporary literature written by Native American poets.
Changing Is Not Vanishing: A Collection of American Indian Poetry to 1930:
     A great anthology of older Native American literature, which was recorded from many different tribal traditions.
Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America:
     Examples of traditional poems, chants, stories, songs, and other oral art forms of Native American societies.
Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California:
     Anthology of writings from 29 Native California tribes.
Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community:
     Anthology of poetry and prose by contemporary Native women.
Walking the Clouds:
     Interesting collection of indigenous magical realism and science fiction stories.
This Place:
     Graphic novel anthology of ten stories depicting different aspects of the First Nations experience.
That Dream Shall Have a Name: Native Americans Rewriting America:
     Profiles of five major Native American authors and their contributions to American literature.

Literature in Native American Languages

Earth Movements/Jewed 'I-Hoi * When It Rains/Mat Hekid O Ju
     Bilingual poetry collections by Tohono O'odham author Ofelia Zepeda.
Beautiful Words: The Complete Ahtna Poems:
    Collection of poetry written in the Ahtna language and translated into English.
Ancient American Poets:
    Introduction to pre-Columbian classical poetry from the Aztec, Inca and Mayan civilizations.
Like A New Sun: New Indigenous Mexican Poetry:
    Modern poetry in Nahuatl, Maya, Zapotec and other Native Mexican languages.
Poetry of the Earth: Mapuche Trilingual Anthology:
    Contemporary South American poetry with translations into English and Spanish.
This Is How I Know:
    A lovely bilingual picture book in English and Anishinaabe.

Books by Native American Authors

House Made of Dawn: * Way to Rainy Mountain: * The Ancient Child: * In the Presence of the Sun:
     The Man Made of Words: * The Names: * Conversations With N. Scott Momaday:
     Novels, stories, poems and memoirs by Pulitzer Prize-winning Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday
Smoke Signals: * The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven: * Reservation Blues: * Ten Little Indians:
     First Indian on the Moon: * The Business of Fancydancing: * Indian Killer:
     Screenplay, stories and poems by acclaimed Spokane/Coeur d'Alene writer Sherman Alexie
Custer Died For Your Sins: * Spirit and Reason: * Red Earth, White Lies:
     Essays and criticism by Standing Rock Lakota thinker Vine Deloria Jr.
Fools Crow: * The Heartsong of Charging Elk: * Winter in the Blood: * Riding the Earthboy 40:
     Novels and poems by Blackfoot/Gros Ventre writer James Welch
Ceremony: * Storyteller:
     Novels, stories and poems by Pueblo Indian author Leslie Silko.
Love Medicine * Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse * Original Fire * The Red Convertible:
     Tracks: * The Round House: * Tales of Burning Love: * Antelope Woman:
     Novels, poetry, and stories by Turtle Mountain Chippewa writer Louise Erdrich.
The Hiawatha: * Little:
     Novels by Leech Lake Ojibwe writer David Treuer.
Walking the Rez Road:
     Short stories by Fond du Lac Ojibwe writer Jim Northrup.
Black Eagle Child: * Remnants of the First Earth: * The Rock Island Hiking Club:
     Poetry and stories by Meskwaki author Ray A. Young Bear
We Are The Dreamers:
     Recent and early poetry by Mi'kmaq poet Rita Joe.
Indian Singing:
     Poems by Onondaga-Micmac writer Gail Tremblay.
Absentee Indians and Other Poems : * Trailing You:
     Poems by White Earth Ojibwe writer Kimberly Blaeser.
Briefcase Warriors: * Survivor's Medicine:
     Stories and plays by Fond du Lac Ojibwe writer E. Donald Two-Rivers.
The Surrounded: * Wind From an Enemy Sky: * Runner in the Sun:
     Books on American Indian life by Cree author D'Arcy McNickle.
The Rez Sisters: * Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing: * Kiss of the Fur Queen:
     Contemporary plays and a novel by Cree author Tomson Highway.
In Search of April Raintree: * Spirit of the White Bison: * In the Shadow of Evil:
     Novels and stories written by Canadian Metis author Beatrice Mosionier.
Sojourners and Sundogs: * Daughters Are Forever: * Ravensong:
     Novels and short stories by Metis author Lee Maracle.
Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth: * The Baby Blues: * Motorcycles & Sweetgrass:
     Curve Lake Ojibway playwright/essayist Drew Hayden Taylor.
     Wrenching autobiography of Metis writer Maria Campbell.
Dirt Road Home:
     Poems by Abenaki writer Cheryl Savageau.
Postcolonial Love Poem:
     Book of poetry by Mojave author Natalie Diaz.
American Indian Stories:
     Classic collection of semi-autobiographical tales of 19th-century Indian life by Lakota Sioux author Zitkala-Sa.

Children's Literature

When the Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans:
     Poetry by Native American elementary and middle school students presented by the National Museum of the American Indian.
Ancestor Approved:
     Excellent collection of short stories for kids celebrating Native American communities and traditions.
Arrow Over The Door * The Winter People * My Name Is Sepeetza * The Birchbark House *Mary and the Trail of Tears:
    Historical fiction books teaching about different time periods in history, written by Native American authors.
Rain Is Not My Indian Name * The Heart of a Chief * Eagle Song: * Muskrat Will Be Swimming
    Contemporary novels discussing the lives of Native American kids and teenagers today.
Dreamcatcher * Powwow Summer: * Old Father Story Teller: * Jingle Dancer:
     Picture books for young children about American Indian culture.
Sharice's Big Voice:
    Inspirational story book based on the life of a real Native American congresswoman.
Code Talker:
    Young adult novel by a Native author based on the true story of the famous Navajo marines of World War II.
A Girl Called Echo:
    Comic book series about a time-traveling Metis teenager.

Mythology and Traditional Storytelling

We have more extensive resources about Native American mythic and ceremonial literature available at our Native American Myths website, where you can read online information and stories from each tribe as well as book recommendations. But if you are trying to find a more general type of Native American mythology book to start out with, here are some of the best collections we know of:

American Indian Myths and Legends:
     Diverse collection of traditional stories of Native America organized by themes. (Like any other body of mythology,
     some of the stories involve adult situations, so be sensible about which ones you share with young children.)
Trickster: Native American Tales:
    American Indian stories about trickster animals, this collection is child-appropriate.
And It Is Still That Way:
    Charming book of traditional legends told by Arizona Indian children.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Rich anthology of folklore, songs, and oral history from the Northeast Woodland tribes.
American Indian Genesis:
     Creation myths explored by a Blackfoot author.
Spirits of the Earth:
     Book describing the characteristics and symbolism of animal totems in the mythology of different indigenous tribes.

Literature From Specific Native American Tribes and Nations

Abenaki Alabama Aleut Algonquin Apache Arapaho Arikara
Assiniboine Blackfeet Caddo Catawba Cayuga Chehalis Cherokee
Cheyenne Chickasaw Chinook Choctaw Chumash Coeur d'Alene Comanche
Cree Creek Dakota Delaware Flathead Fox Gabrielino
Gros Ventre Haida Havasupai Ho-Chunk Hoopa Hopi Huichol
Illinois Inuit Innu Iowa Iroquois Kansa Kickapoo
Kiowa Klamath Kwakiutl Lumbee Lummi Maidu Makah
Mandan Mapuche Maya Menominee Miami Miccosukee Mi'kmaq
Miwok Mohawk Mohegan Mohican Mojave Munsee Nanticoke
Narragansett Natchez Navajo Nez Perce Nootka Ohlone Ojibwa
Okanagan Oneida Onondaga Osage Otoe Ottawa Paiute
Pawnee Passamaquoddy Penobscot Ponca Pomo Potawatomi Powhatan
Pueblo Quapaw Quechan Quinault Sauk and Fox Seminole Shawnee
Shoshone Tanana Tarahumara Tlingit Tohono Oodham Tsimshian Umatilla
Ute Walla Walla Wampanoag Washoe Wichita Wintu Wiyot
Wyandotte Yakama Yaqui Yavapai Yurok Zapotec Zuni

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