4 Indigenous Books to Read
Asking questions and seeking knowledge about the rich and diverse cultures and ancestral teachings of Indigenous peoples can be a difficult process, especially if you are not Indigenous yourself. There are protocols and ethics surrounding Indigenous wisdom and principles, and these should be respected and upheld. However, by seeking out Indigenous authors who share details and information about reclaiming Indigenous world-views and concepts, we have the privilege of more readily learning about Indigenous knowledge and teachings. Here are four great books that we think you should add to your reading list:
1. Indigenomics by Carol Anne Hilton
Carol provides readers with a unique perspective on wisdom, combining Indigenous values and ethics with economic development. This book highlights the contrast between the two systems, and how colonial policies have led to the mistreatment of resources that are essential to Indigenous way of life. The rich history of Indigenous peoples is full of examples of entrepreneurship and natural economic success. However, present day policies are based on post-colonial timelines that are meant to destroy Indigenous systems and leave them out of the economic table. This book examines how these policies are detrimental to Indigenous peoples and their businesses, which are based on taking away valuable principles and ethics that follow the law of nature. It is estimated that the Indigenous economy expected to reach $100 billion annually, making up 5% of Canada's GDP.
2. 21 Thinks You May Not Know bout the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
Author Bob Joseph offers surface-level detail regarding the Indian Act, which was implemented to dictate and constrain the lives and opportunities of Indigenous peoples, and has created the root of many stereotypes and false narratives about Indigenous peoples. The book provides useful information to educate Canadians about harmful illusions that many continue to hold. It is a good start to reconciliation for anyone who wants to learn more about Indigenous history.
3. The Colonial Problem by Lisa Monchalin
This book exposes the dark side of Canada's colonial history and offers a new perspective on decolonization. Lisa Monchalin shares cold hard facts illuminating the detrimental and on-going effects of colonialism on Indigenous communities and how colonization creates and upholds on-going injustices and issues within our communities. It is essential that we comprehend the information in this book if we are truly committed to mending such a distressing past. Taking this step forward shows our dedication to learning how to "co-exist with one another" and prosper together.
4. Indigenous Relations by Bob Joseph & Cynthia F. Joseph
This book is an insightful guide for anyone seeking to work more effectively with Indigenous peoples. Each year we celebrate Indigenous History Month, and while businesses often use this time for marketing purposes, it's important to remember the intent that should be upheld when reaching out to Indigenous talents, businesses, and organizations. By understanding the culture and customs of Indigenous peoples, we can create a more respectful and collaborative working relationship. In today's increasingly connected world, it's more important than ever to be respectful of other cultures. Bob Joseph's guide provides the tools you need to avoid cultural missteps and build strong personal and professional relationships with Indigenous peoples. Packed with essential information, this book will help you create a more positive workplace culture while also deepening your understanding of and appreciation for the rich tapestry of Indigenous values.
As we approach September, we would like to remind those who are interested in commemorating Orange Shirt Day to take some time to read these books. By doing so, they can learn about the history of Indigenous peoples, the current realities they face, and the ongoing reconciliation processes. This knowledge will help everyone move forward together in a more respectful and understanding way.
Written by Denita Gladeau @lushtre