NIHM Adult Fiction

National Indigenous History Month

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Bone black

Bone black

GoldenEagle, Carol Rose, 1963- author
2019

There are too many stories about Indigenous women who go missing or are murdered, and it doesn't seem as though official sources such as government, police or the courts respond in a way that works toward finding justice or even solutions. At least that is the way Wren StrongEagle sees it. Wren is devastated when her twin sister Raven mysteriously disappears after the two spend an evening visiting at a local pub. When Wren files a missing person's report with the local police, she is dismissed and becomes convinced the case will not be properly investigated. As she follows media reports, Wren realizes that the same heartbreak she's feeling is the same for too many families, indeed for whole Nations. Something within Wren snaps and she decides to take justice into her own hands. She soon disappears into a darkness, struggling to come to terms with the type of justice she delivers. Throughout her choices, and every step along the way, Wren feels as though she is being guided. But, by what?

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The break

The break

Vermette, Katherena, 1977- author
2016

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break , a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house. She calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. People who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night.

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Crooked hallelujah

Crooked hallelujah

Ford, Kelli Jo, author.
2020

Tells the stories of Justine--a mixed-blood Cherokee woman--and her daughter, Reney, as they move from Eastern Oklahoma's Indian Country in the hopes of starting a new, more stable life in Texas amid the oil bust of the 1980s. However, life in Texas isn't easy, and Reney feels unmoored from her family in Indian Country. Against the vivid backdrop of the Red River, we see their struggle to survive in a world--of unreliable men and near-Biblical natural forces like wildfires and tornadoes--intent on stripping away their connections to one another and their very ideas of home. In lush and empathic prose, Kelli Jo Ford depicts what this family of proud, stubborn women sacrifice for those they love, amid larger forces of history, religion, class, and culture. This is a big-hearted and ambitious novel-in-stories of the powerful bonds between mothers and daughters by an exquisite and rare new talent.

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Crow winter

Crow winter

McBride, Karen, author
2019

Nanabush. A name that has a certain weight on the tongue--a taste. Like lit sage in a windowless room or aluminum foil on a metal filling. Since coming home to Spirit Bear Point First Nation, Hazel Ellis has been dreaming of an old crow. He tells her he's here to help her, save her. From what, exactly? Sure, her dad's been dead for almost two years and she hasn't quite reconciled that grief, but is that worth the time of an Algonquin demigod? Soon Hazel learns that there's more at play than just her own sadness and doubt. The quarry that's been lying unsullied for over a century on her father's property is stirring the old magic that crosses the boundaries between this world and the next. With the aid of Nanabush, Hazel must unravel a web of deceit that, if left untouched, could destroy her family and her home on both sides of the Medicine Wheel.

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Empire of wild

Empire of wild

Dimaline, Cherie, 1975- author
2019

Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year--ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One terrible, hungover morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher named Eugene Wolff. By the time she staggers into the tent, the service is over. But as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice. She turns, and there Victor is. The same face, the same eyes, the same hands. But his hair is short and he's wearing a suit and he doesn't recognize her at all. No, he insists, she's the one suffering a delusion: he's the Reverend Wolff and his only mission is to bring his people to Jesus. Except that, as Joan soon discovers, that's not all the enigmatic Wolff is doing. With only the help of Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with a knowledge of the old ways, and her odd, Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan has to find a way to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor. Her life, and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon it.

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Five little Indians

Five little Indians

Good, Michelle, author
2020

Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn't want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission. With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward.

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Glass beads

Glass beads

Dumont, Dawn, 1978- author
2017

"These stories interconnect the friendships of four First Nations people spanning over two decades against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of the 1990s and early 2000s."-- Provided by publisher.

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Humane

Humane

Sewell, Anna Marie, author
2020

Who steals a dog from a shelter after receiving a dream message from their grandmother? Hazel Lesage never expected it to be her. Then again, she didn't plan on becoming an unlicensed PI, helping the 'throwaway people.' However much has changed in Amiskwaciy, the problem of poor Indigenous women and girls being expendable hasn't. Nobody else is going to help the Augusts find out who killed their daughter Nell; so Hazel takes the case. And then she takes the dog. What follows will force Hazel and her family to confront the question of what it means to be Human, and what it matters to be Humane.

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Hunter with harpoon

Hunter with harpoon

Markoosie, author.
2020

"Published fifty years ago under the title Harpoon of the Hunter, Markoosie Patsauq's novel helped establish the genre of Indigenous fiction in Canada. This new English translation unfolds the story of Kamik, a young hero who comes to manhood while on a perilous hunt for a wounded polar bear. In this astonishing tale of a people struggling for survival in a brutal environment, Patsauq describes a life in the Canadian Arctic as one that is reliant on cooperation and vigilance. In collaboration with the author, Valerie Henitiuk and Marc-Antoine Mahieu return to the original Inuktitut text to provide English readers with a more accurate translation. With a preface by Patsauq, an introduction from the translators, and an afterword by throat singer and filmmaker Evie Mark, this edition offers a fresh and contextualized interpretation of a cultural milestone. Whether revisiting this classic or discovering it for the first time, readers will find in Hunter with Harpoon a sophisticated coming-of-age tale illustrating a way of life not as it appeared to southerners, but as it has survived in the memory of the Inuit themselves."-- Provided by publisher.

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Jonny Appleseed

Jonny Appleseed

Whitehead, Joshua (Writer), author
2018


Love after the end : an anthology of two-spirit & Indigiqueer speculative fiction

Love after the end : an anthology of two-spirit & Indigiqueer speculative fiction

2020

"A bold and breathtaking anthology of queer Indigenous speculative fiction, edited by the author of Jonny Appleseed. This exciting and groundbreaking fiction anthology showcases a number of new and emerging 2SQ (Two-Spirit and queer) Indigenous writers from across Turtle Island. These visionary authors show how queer Indigenous communities can bloom and thrive through utopian narratives that detail the vivacity and strength of 2SQness throughout its plight in the maw of settler colonialism's histories. Here, readers will discover bioengineered AI rats, transplanted trees in space, the rise of a 2SQ resistance camp, a primer on how to survive Indigiqueerly, virtual reality applications, mother ships at sea, and the very bending of space-time continuums queered through NDN time. Love after the End demonstrates the imaginatively queer Two-Spirit futurisms we have all been dreaming of since 1492."-- Provided by publisher.

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The lover, the lake

The lover, the lake

Pésémapéo Bordeleau, Virginia, 1951-
2021

At a time when Indigenous peoples were being dispossessed of their land and history as well as their relationship to the body, the love explored by Wabougouni and Gabriel is an act of defiance. Their intimate connection plays out on the shores of Lake Abitibi in an affair as turbulent and unfathomable as the lake itself.

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Moon of the crusted snow

Moon of the crusted snow

Rice, Waubgeshig, 1979- author
2018

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadearship loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again.

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Moonshot : the indigenous comics collection. Volume 1

Moonshot : the indigenous comics collection. Volume 1

2015

Moonshot: the indigenous comics collection volume 1 brings together dozens of creators form all over North America to contribute comic book stories showcasing the rich heritage and identity of indigenous storytelling. From tratitional stories to exciting new visions of the future, this collection presents some of the finest comic book and graphic novel work from across the continent.

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The night watchman : a novel

The night watchman : a novel

Erdrich, Louise, author
2020

Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new 'emancipation' bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a 'termination' that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans 'for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run'?

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Noopiming : the cure for white ladies

Noopiming : the cure for white ladies

Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake, 1971- author
2020

Mashkawaji (they/them) lies frozen in the ice, remembering a long-ago time of hopeless connection and now finding freedom and solace in isolated suspension. They introduce us to the seven main characters: Akiwenzii, the old man who represents the narrator's will; Ninaatig, the maple tree ; Mindimooyenh, the old woman; Sabe, the giant; Adik, the caribou; Asin, the human; and Lucy, the human. Each attempts to commune with the unnatural urban-settler world. Noopiming is Anishinaabemowin for "in the bush" and the title is a response to English Canadian settler and author Susanna Moodie's 1852 memoir Roughing it in the bush.

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The only good Indians

The only good Indians

Jones, Stephen Graham, 1972- author
2020

Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

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The removed : a novel

The removed : a novel

Hobson, Brandon, author
2021

"Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago-from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson"-- Provided by publisher.

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Son of a trickster

Son of a trickster

Robinson, Eden, author
2017


Split tooth

Split tooth

Tagaq, 1975- author
2019

Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them. A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this. Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals, and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains. Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine readers will never forget.

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Sufferance : a novel

Sufferance : a novel

King, Thomas, 1943- author
2021

Jeremiah Camp can look into the heart of humanity and see the patterns that create opportunities and profits for the rich and powerful. Ash Locken, head of the Locken Group, the multinational consortium that Jeremiah had fled, arrives on his doorstep with a simple proposition. She wants our hero to formulate one more forecast. Before he left the Locken empire, Jeremiah had created a list of twelve names, every one a billionaire. The problem is, the people on the list are dying at an alarming and unnatural rate. And Ash Locken wants to know why.

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There there

There there

Orange, Tommy, 1982- author
2018

Here is a story of several people, each of whom has private reasons for travelling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honour his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss. Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking, There There is a relentlessly paced multi-generational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. A glorious, unforgettable debut.

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This town sleeps

This town sleeps

Staples, Dennis E., author
2020


Tilly and the Crazy Eights

Tilly and the Crazy Eights

Gray Smith, Monique, 1968- author
2018

When Tilly receives an invitation to help drive eight elders on their ultimate bucket-list road trip, she impulsively says yes. Before she knows it, Tilly has said good-bye to her family and is on an adventure that will transform her in ways she could not predict, just as it will for the elders who soon dub themselves the "Crazy Eights". They each choose a stop, somewhere or something they've always wanted to experience, on the way to their ultimate goal, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque. Their plan is to travel to Las Vegas, Sedona, and the Redwood Forests, with each destination the inspiration for secrets and stories to be revealed. The trip proves to be powerful medicine as they laugh, heal, argue, and dream along the way. By the time their bus rolls to a stop in New Mexico, Tilly and the Crazy Eights, with friendships forged and hearts mended, feel ready for anything. But are they?

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