On October 11, we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, recognizing the Native Americans as the first inhabitants of the land we live on here in North America.  Not sure how to introduce the topic to your kiddos?  Hike it Baby Bookclub has got you covered! With suggestions from Board Books to nonfiction for teens, we have titles for all ages.  

 

 

Board Books (Age 6 months- 4 years old)

Books specifically geared towards the celebration of this day are limited for our littlest readers, so we have also included some titles from Native American authors that introduce our readers to their culture:

We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers by Julie Flett 

Tribe: Cree-Metis

Count along with Cree numbers!  An introduction to Cree culture with beautiful illustrations, “We All Count” is sure to be a favorite for even the littlest readers in your family.

 

 

Good Morning, World by Paul Windsor

Tribe: Haisla and Heiltsuk (First Nations, Canada)

Good Morning World features vibrant Native American art, and is engaging as it helps children appreciate what Mother Nature provides.  It is also a wonderful book full of pictures for even non-reading kiddos to look through over and over again.

 

Picture Books (Ages 4-8)

All Around Us by Xelena Gonzalez

Tribe: Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation

This award-winning book celebrates community and relationships within families and nature.  It’s an engaging and beautiful picture book telling the story of a Latinx family that readers of all ages can appreciate.

 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day by Dr. Katrina Phillips

Tribe: Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe

All about the celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day, this book shares the history of the holiday in easy to understand terms, as well as Native American traditions.  It is a wonderful introduction to Native American culture and even touches on the concept of land acknowledgement.

 

The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz 

Tribe: Acoma Pueblo

This story is written to be read aloud in the rhythm of traditional oral narrative and shares the history of land being taken from the Indigenous Peoples throughout North America.  It is written from the Native American perspective and offers a powerful summary of what Native American tribes suffered when losing their lands, in a way that children can understand.

 

Middle Grades (Ages 8 – 12)

Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis (Tribe: Umpqua/Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde) and Traci Sorell (Tribe: Cherokee)

This multi-award winning read shares the heartbreaking story of a family relocated from the reserve they have known their whole life, to Los Angeles, during the Civil Rights Era. The family faces relentless racism, as they struggle to find their place in a world they have been forced into by the government.

 

 

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask: Young Readers Edition by Anton Treuer 

(Tribe: Ojibwe)

This Q&A style book answers all of the questions that young readers may have about Native Americans in an easy-to-read and understand format.  Tackling basic questions and even the tough stuff like racism and politics, this is a must-read for your middle schoolers that might have questions about Native Americans and their culture but do not know how to ask them! 

 

Teen (Ages 13+)

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Debbie Reese (Tribe: Nambé Owingeh) and Jean Mendoza

(Adapted from An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States By: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz)

This book has been adapted for teens and young adult readers, but you may find yourself picking it up too! It is written by an Indigenous human rights advocate, who does not sugarcoat the history that many teens have yet to hear in school.  It speaks to the resistance efforts and resilience of the Native American tribes and will help all readers reflect on the history that we are all a part of.

 

Share with us your favorite books to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day!

 

ABOUT HIKE IT BABY

Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities and removing barriers to access so families with babies and young children can take their first steps outside. With more than 300 communities across North America, they firmly believe all families have the right to connect with nature, benefit from spending time outdoors, and be inspired to a lifelong love of nature. To learn more, visit HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.  To support their mission and further their programming aimed at supporting families, donate here.

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