Indigenous Peoples Literary Renaissance

Slowly, since the 1960s and the start of the Native American Renaissance, indigenous literature has begun to flourish. These items are more than entertaining; they are a connection to cultures that were almost erased from history. Below is a linked short list of graphic novels, and books written by indigenous people.

Indigenous graphic novels:

Trickster is an anthology of graphic novel tales of various indigenous stories.

Jr. Graphic Ghost Stories: The Maid of the Mist by Tanya Anderson is a tale about an Iroquois woman who lived near Niagara Falls.

Cowboys & Aliens by Fred Van Lente is a graphic story of how indigenous battles end when aliens decide to land on Earth in the midst of war.

Indeh: a Story of the Apache Wars, written by Ethan Hawke, depicts actual historic events during the Apache uprising of the late 1800s featuring Goyahkla/Geronimo. 

Surviving the City by Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan is a graphic novel depicting the lives of Urban Indians making it in the big city alongside two-spirit folk and ancestors.

Indigenous books & poems:

The Bingo Palace by Louise Erdrich is a fictional story about a small indigenous community, and a love story surrounded by a bingo hall. 

There There by Tommy Orange is an amazing fictional tale based on true to life events of an Urban Indian dealing with problems as a marginalized indigenous person who has a few physical and mental issues -- don't we all?

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday is a seminal work of indigenous fiction and a Pulitzer Prize winner. It describes the life of Abel -- a young American Indian picking his battles where he may between traditional family ways and modern industrial America.  

How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle is a young adult fiction tale based on the true events of the Trail of Tears -- the Choctaw people of Mississippi were the first tribe to make the harsh, long winter trek to Indian Territory. 

Crazy Brave is a memoir by Joy Harjo -- first indigenous person to be awarded the title of U.S. Poet Laureate.

Want to dive into the literature of indigenous peoples even deeper? Consider visiting Indigipop X Denver the weekend of July 26-28. Born from the Indigenous Comic Con, IPX Denver is a three-day comic convention and pop culture festival. IPX Denver is more than a gathering of indigenous creators and artists. It is about how indigenous people advocate, educate and create connection through art, music, fashion, futurisms, film and more!

This blog post was contributed by Randell Baze, Hampden Branch Library.

Written by Dodie on July 19, 2019