Authors & Illustrators






Canadian Literature 
for Young People






Environmental Concern







Joseph Bruchak suggests that when teachers are selecting aboriginal literature that they, "seek out books that depict characters from a well-defined individual native nation - as opposed to generic Indians. I say this because there are popular books that were written without understanding these specific differences. For example in Annie and the Old One by Miska Miles - which is a story of a little girl dealing with the death of her grandmother - descriptions and illustrations are totally incorrect for the Navajo culture. And no one in Native American culture would call his or her grandmother: old one". Books like this are insensitive due to ignorance, not through intention - but it hurts just as much."

He asks that we keep the following in mind:

  • Make available books that reveal today's Native American cultures.

  • Be prepared to talk about the ways in which Native American cultures have influenced world culture.

  • Talk about values Native American cultures share, such as respect, sharing, and reverence for living things.

  • Avoid books that suffer from what Joseph Bruchac refers to as "The Dances with Wolves Syndrome" -- books in which all Indians are noble and all white people are bad. Any children's book that builds up one culture at the expense of another ultimately keeps racial tension alive.

Choosing Aboriginal Materials may be very difficult.
We must consider Cultural Appropriation and Aboriginal Literature.

The following resources will help you to choose authentic aboriginal stories told with respect.


Click for Reviews
A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children.
by Doris Seale, Beverly Slapin
To be released in July 

Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children 
by Beverly Slapin, Doris Seale
ISBN: 0935626468

How to Tell the Difference: A Checklist for Evaluating Children's Books for Anti-Indian Bias
by Beverly Slapin, Doris Seale, Rosemary Gonzales
ISBN: 1550921622
Out of Print, but may be available in local libraries. (It is held in the Elizabeth Dafoe Library at the University of Manitoba.)

Native Americans in Children's Literature
by Jon Stott
ISBN: 0897747828


Oyate is a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed honestly, and so that all people will know our stories belong to us. For Native children, it is as important as it has ever been for them to know who they are and what they come from. It is a matter of survival. For all children, it is time to learn the truth of history. Only in this way will they come to have the understanding and respect for each other that now, more than ever, will be necessary for life to continue.

Aboriginal Collection Online
A thematic listing of resources with Aboriginal content. You may subscribe for a small charge.  

Thoughts On Not Seeing Oneself
by Debbie Reese

Learning with Literature in the Elementary Classroom
Aboriginal Authors and Illustrators
Aboriginal Authors by Tribe
Links to sites with Canadian First Nations Authors

Aboriginal Authors

Metis Authors

Metis Books

Native American Authors

Native American Children's Books

Bring A Legend To Life

Imagining Home in Children's Picture Books by Canadian Aboriginal Authors

A Select Bibliography of Children's Books by and about Aboriginal Peoples for Ages 4 - 14
Including a bibliography, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, myths and legends for older children, aboriginal language material and also indexed by aboriginal peoples represented.

Canada's First Nations Native Creation Myths

First Nations Periodical Index

Aboriginal Publishers

Kegedonce Press
Since it began in 1993, Kegedonce Press has been committed to the development, promotion, and publication of the work of Indigenous writers nationally and internationally.
Kegedonce Press is a Native owned and operated company based at Neyaashiinigmiing, on the traditional territory of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. We are committed to our guiding vision of publishing and promoting works of the Indigenous writers of Turtle Island and supporting the enterprise of Indigenous artists, graphic illustrators, designers, editors, printers and others in related fields.

Pemmican Publications
Pemmican Publications Inc. is a Metis Cultural and Educational Publishing House established in 1980 by the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. as a creative and vocational outlet for the Metis people of Manitoba. Pemmican is the only Metis book Publishing House in Canada. Pemmican promotes Metis Culture and History through it's publications, many of which depict traditional lifestyle, the art of oral storytelling, living in harmony with nature and the environment, and the rich and living heritage of the Metis and the Province of Manitoba.

Penumbra Press
A small fine-art and literary publishing house, Penumbra has carved its niche with Northern and Native literatures, as well as children's literature, poetry, belles lettres, translations of Scandinavian literature, history, mythology, and art books. In recent years, we've added biographies and memoirs to the ensemble.

Theytus Books 
Theytus Books is an Aboriginal owned and run publishing company which publishes Aboriginal authors. Theytus' general philosophy has remained intact since its inception and is contained in the Company's name. Theytus is a Salishan word which means preserving for the sake of handing down.

Wordcraft Circle
of Native Writers and Storytellers
To ensure that the voices of Native writers and storytellers - past, present and future - are heard through out the world.

Grants to Aboriginal Writers, Storytellers and Publishers
The objectives of the Grants to Aboriginal Writers, Storytellers and Publisher Program are to encourage the artistic development of established and emerging Aboriginal writers and storytellers, to encourage the development of Aboriginal publishers and collectives, and to increase the appreciation for Aboriginal literature in Canada. Aboriginal peoples include Status, Non-status, Metis and Inuit people.

Our Story: Aboriginal Youth Writing Challenge
Challenging Aboriginal youth across the country to write a short story about a defining moment in Aboriginal history. Students will have the opportunity to win great prizes and be profiled on TV. We hope to uncover the budding creativity and talent of our youth and through these stories to educate Canadians about the moments that have shaped our country and its people. The deadline for submissions is May 6, 2005.

*Aboriginal People, First People, First Nations, Native, Indian, Inuit, Metis
- Both Non-Status and Status.

Posted by Janice Biebrich

Posted April 15, 2005