As an Indigenous scholar, there have been several pieces of writing that have greatly impacted my views and opinions on culture and society. Being able to find books I can either relate to or that relate to the stories told by my family members, inspires me more to finish my degree and achieve my goals. These pieces of writing have also inspired me to write my first poetry book, "She Called Herself Nizhoni". Here are a list of books every Indigenous College student should read before they graduate and move on to their career of choice.
1. "Heart Berries" by Terese Marie Mailhot
Mariholt started writing this memoir during her week long in-patient care after considering suicide. She goes into detail what it is like being a Native American woman in a white-ran mental hospital. Healing is compared between her tribes way of healing and the Westernized version of "healing". She talks of starting a family, her childhood and greatly impactful moments in her life. This book has several triggers in it, so take caution. This book represents a strong, Indigenous woman and the importance of recognizing how important mental health is.
2. "There, There" by Tommy OrangeImage: 12 Best Summer Books Reviewed by Book Editors 2018
Orange writes this book in different points of view in an Urban Native perspective. All of the story-tellers are from the Cheyenne tribe and live in or near Oakland, California. Hilarious in some parts, and too close to home in others.
3. "I, Rigoberta Menchu" by Rigoberta MenchuImage: I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchú
Do you ever read a book and it makes you feel greatful where you are at this point in life? That you realize your problems are huge, and others around the world are also dealing with this sort of uncertainty? "I, Rigoberta Menchu" spoke volumes into my academic career. If you have great interest in activsim, this book is just for you.
4. "The Round House" by Louise ErdrichImage: The Round House: A Novel: Louise Erdrich: 9780062065254 ...
Trigger warning. This book represents a story based-on real life events. Dealing with the epidemic across Indigenos communities, that is, Violence against Native Women & Children. You will not finish this book without shedding a tear or two.
5. "My name is Seepeetza" by Shirley SterlingImage: My Name is Seepeetza by Shirley Sterling
I read this book when I was 10 years old. My Grandparents, like so so many other Indigenous families, were forced into a residential school at a very young age. The stories always make me realize why it is so important we as Indigenous scholars must use these Westernized platforms to speak our own langauges, wear our regalia and stand up for our tribes.
6. "Corazon" & "Tesoro" by Yesika SalgadoImage: Yesika Salgado on Twitter: "I am the Khaleesi and these are the ...
Going through a bad breakup or wondering how to get over a bad/toxic relationship? These two poetry books by Yesika Salgado will do the trick.
7. "Split Tooth" by Tanya TagaqImage: Tanya Tagaq melds memoir and fiction with emotional first book ...
A well-known Inuit singer, Tanya Tagaq writes of her life and the challenges of being an Indigenous woman.
I hope these books end up being impactful in your life, and maybe you will read them more than once like I have.