Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day banner

This June 21, 2021 is the national 25th anniversary of celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples! Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day by taking advantage of the variety of resources available at your Library.

Over the last several years, TBPL has been working on creating and expanding each of our four Indigenous Knowledge Centers (IKCs). This collection is made up entirely of authentic resources, written or created by Indigenous people, and has something for everyone to learn from and enjoy. 

We have a children’s IKC collection that can help to celebrate Indigenous culture and Indigenous heroes in ways suitable for younger readers. A perfect example of this is Go Show The World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes by Wab Kinew. This non-fiction title introduces the reader to 13 different heroes and we learn their stories and the impacts that they have made on history. The children’s collection also brings us the fiction title, What’s my Superpower? by Aviaq Johnston, which helps children to see every person’s best quality, or their superpower, in other words.

cover of What's My Superpower?

In the young adult fiction section of our IKCs you can find He Who Dreams by Melanie Florence. It is the story of John, an athlete, who secretly desires to be a powwow dancer. John’s story leads you along his path of discovery as a teenager, while he finds balance with extra-curricular activities and time to honour the traditions of his culture and heritage.   

In the adult collection of the IKC you will find both fiction and non-fiction books. The non-fiction collections are shelved into different categories, such as First Peoples History, Language Learning, and Biographies. There is a rich assortment of titles to choose from. A biography that recognizes and celebrates the cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples, titled, We Are Born With The Song Inside Us: Lives and Stories of First Nations People In British Columbia by Katherine Palmer Gordon, shares the stories of 16 young Indigenous people and how they live and express their lives.  Another title is the autobiography of the late Northwestern Ontario author, Richard Wagamese, titled One Story, One Song, in which his focus is also on stories. Shared through the lens of his travels, Wagamese shows the reader how stories can have a great impact on our lives and the importance in sharing them with others. 

cover of Birdie

The adult fiction collection has a wide variety of stories to share as well, such as in Birdie by Tracey Lindberg, where we find the story of Birdie and her quest to find herself. Along her journey, we learn how Birdie is able to find the strength and determination required to face the past and change the direction of her life story. 

Reading Indigenous stories and celebrating their accomplishments, heritage, and culture, is a great way to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day from home. TBPL offers a vast collection of IKC titles to choose from, including our three CloudLibrary shelves, Residential Schools & Intergenerational Trauma, Mazina’iganan (books), and Oshkiniigii (young/adolescent). TBPL is also part of the local National Indigenous People’s Day planning committee, so keep an eye out for any virtual events.

All of these titles and more can be found at the Thunder Bay Public Library. Call us at 345-8275, visit www.tbpl.ca or the CloudLibrary app, to place holds.  And, as always, if you need a library card, connect with us by email at comments@tbpl.ca or call us from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and we’ll get you set up.

Vanessa Wdowiak – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.

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