A comprehensive list of Canadian Indigenous fiction.
Good, Michelle .
Five Little Indians
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.
Thumps DreadfulWater's world is turned upside down when Nina Maslow, the producer of a true-crime reality-TV show, turns up dead after working on a cold case that Thumps has spent years trying to forget. What's more, someone seems set on taunting Thumps, leaving reminders of the Obsidian murder case around town. Is it possible that the elusive serial killer who murdered his girlfriend and her daughter all those years ago has resurfaced in Chinook?
Taylor, Drew Hayden
Chasing painted horses
When Ralph Thomas comes across graffiti of a horse in an alleyway in the early hours of the morning, he is stopped in his tracks. He recognizes this horse. A half-asleep Indigenous homeless man sees Ralph's reaction to the horse and calls out to him. Over the course of a morning's worth of hot coffee on a bitterly cold day, Ralph and the homeless man talk and Ralph remembers a troubling moment from his childhood when an odd little girl, Danielle, drew the most beautiful and intriguing horse on his mother's Everything Wall, winning the competition set up for children on the Otter Lake Reserve. Ralph has lived with many questions that arose from his eleventh winter. What did the horse mean -- to him, his sister, his best friend, and, most importantly, the girl who drew it? These questions have never left him. Chasing Painted Horses has a magical, fablelike quality that will enchant readers, and haunt them, for years to come.
GoldenEagle, Carol Rose
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 persons 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?
Empire of wild
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.
McBride, Karen .
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. Trickster. Storyteller. Shape-shifter. An ancient troublemaker with the power to do great things, only he doesn't want to put in the work. 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.
These short stories interconnect the friendships of four First Nations people -- Everett Kaiswatim, Nellie Gordon, Julie Papequash, and Nathan (Taz) Mosquito -- as the collection evolves over two decades against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of the 90s and early 2000s. These young people are among the first of their families to live off the reserve for most of their adult lives, and must adapt and evolve.
Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, has to return to the his former life when he attends the funeral of his stepfather.
A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy and love. She knows boredom and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday and the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol and violence. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this. Veering between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the animal world and the ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.
A matter of conscience
When Brenda, an Indigenous woman, meets and falls for Greg, a man claiming to be Métis, she has no way of knowing that he's lying about his heritage - and is doing so as a means of dealing with his involvement in the murder of a residential school student as a teenager. Includes a section of documents for background reading.
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.
The marrow thieves
Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive after the world is nearly destroyed by global warming and the Indigenous people of North America become hunted once it's discovered that they are the only people who have retained the ability to dream and that their bone marrow can provide a cure.
He who dreams
When John discovers dancing, he finds himself facing ridicule from his soccer teammates and hostility from the dancers at the cultural center. To dance at the Pow Wow, he must learn to balance his responsibilities, confront his fears and embrace both the Irish and the Cree sides of his heritage.
Taken from the arms of her mother as soon as she was born, Sandy was adopted by a Ukrainian family and grew up as the only First Nations child in a town of white people. Ostracized by everyone around her and tired of being different, Sandy emerges strong--finding her way by embracing the First Nations culture.
Son of a trickster
Jared is only sixteen but feels like he is the one who must stabilize his family's life, even look out for his elderly neighbours. But he struggles to keep everything afloat...and sometimes he blacks out. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why she says he's the son of a trickster, that he isn't human. Mind you, ravens speak to him--even when he's not stoned. You think you know Jared, but you don't.
When a Métis woman sees a possible crime she telephones the police. Told from the perspectives of various people connected to this violence in a Metis community, we hear their stories leading up to that fateful night.
In Secret Path, Gord Downie's lyrics and Jeff Lemire's illustrations tell the story of twelve-year-old Chanie "Charlie" Wenjack, who died on October 22, 1966, after running away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School and attempting to make his way back to his home, more than 600 km away.
Taylor, Drew Hayden
Take us to your chief
The nine stories in this collection span all traditional topics of science fiction--from peaceful aliens to hostile invaders; from space travel to time travel; from government conspiracies to connections across generations.
The reason you walk
When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who'd raised him. Born to an Anishinaabe father and a non-native mother, he has a foot in both cultures. He is a Sundancer, an academic, a former rapper, a hereditary chief, and an urban activist. Kinew writes affectingly of his own struggles in his twenties to find the right path, eventually giving up a self-destructive lifestyle to passionately pursue music and martial arts. From his unique vantage point, he offers an inside view of what it means to be an educated aboriginal living in a country that is just beginning to wake up to its aboriginal history and living presence.
Bernice Meetoos, a Cree woman, leaves her home in Northern Alberta to Gibsons, BC. She tries to recover from wounds of the past and build a new life.
The outside circle
Pete, a young Aboriginal gang member, is sent to jail for killing his mother's boyfriend during a fight. While there, he realizes that he has become a negative influence on his younger brother and decides to turn his life around with the help of traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies.
Celia's vision of the past during a weather disturbance becomes a reality when her great-niece is horribly abused.
Set in the dramatic landscape of the BC Interior, 16 year-old Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father, Eldon, a man he barely knows. The rare moments they have shared trouble Frank, but, he answers the call, a son's duty to a father. He finds Eldon dying of liver failure after years of heavy drinking. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner.
An epic story of first contact between radically different worlds, steeped in the natural beauty and brutality of our country's formative years.