Decolonize Your Reading List

People often say that they don’t have enough time to read. The truth is, we do have enough time to read, it’s just that our free time is stolen by endless scrolling on our smartphones. But what if that time could be redeemed and used to enjoy a new book? 

Now, more than ever, is the time to give eBooks and eAudiobooks a try. By using CloudLibrary, you can have thousands of titles available to you. Get the cloudLibrary app on your smartphone or tablet, or use the web-based version on your laptop, PC or MAC.  Go to www.tbpl.ca/ebooks to get started.  Simply login with your library card and pin. If you have any technical difficulties with this, don’t hesitate to email us at comments@tbpl.ca

After logging in to the app, click “search”, which will take you to a page of curated virtual shelves. Scroll down to the one called “Mazina’iganan” (“books” in anishinaabemowin) to see the Indigenous content the library has to offer.  On the web-based version you’ll see the shelves right away.

Thunder Bay could definitely benefit from increased understanding between Indigenous and settler communities. Reading Indigenous books is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this. Below is a list of Indigenous books available through CloudLibrary, as well as the author’s Instagram or Twitter handle. Another easy way to work towards reconciliation is to Indigenize your social media feed!

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline 

This is a thrilling science fiction novel about the Métis werewolf Rogarou and a community near Georgian Bay facing resource extraction. The audiobook version of this novel is particularly gripping. Follow the author on social media @cherie.dimaline on Instagram and @cherie_dimaline on Twitter 

In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott 

This is a memoir by a young Indigenous woman who speaks about her experiences of trauma, healing, and return to nehiyaw ceremonies. Follow the author on social media: @helenknott05 on Instagram and @helen_knott on Twitter.

Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard

This anthology of poetry is by an Anishinaabekwe from Treaty 9 territory. This beautiful poetry with imagery of northwestern Ontario is also the Winner of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize. Follow the author on social media @infinitecitizen on Instagram and @ParabolicOcelot on Twitter.

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

This award winning novel brings you into the world of a Two-Spirit Indigenous man navigating kinship, sexuality, trauma, and love. Follow the author on social media @jwhitehead204 on Instagram and Twitter.

Disintegrate/Dissociate by Arielle Twist 

This debut book of poetry by trans femme author Arielle Twist explores the intersections of colonialism, transgender identity, intimacy, and hope. Follow the author on social media  @arielletwist on Instagram and Twitter.

Holy Wild by Gwen Benaway

Award winning author Benaway writes about her experiences as an Indigenous trans woman. This collection of poetry includes lines in anishinaabemowin – the Ojibwe language. Follow the author on social media @runawaysupernova on Instagram and @GwenBenaway on Twitter. Follow Quill Christie-Peters, the Thunder Bay-based artist for the book cover  – @raunchykwe on Instagram. 

NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Belcourt is a Rhodes Scholar, and it definitely shows in this collection of poetry. Indigenous identity, loss, politics, and queerness – this anthology has it all. Follow the author on social media @nakinisowin on Instagram and @BillyRayB on Twitter.

#IndianLovePoems by Tenille Campbell 

This collection of poetry is a fun and sexy exploration of Indigenous relationships and the land. Follow the author on social media @sweetmoonphoto on Instagram and Twitter.

All these titles can be found on cloudLibrary. Decolonize your reading list – one title at a time. 

Samantha Martin-Bird – http://www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.

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