Aboriginal Canadian Fiction 101

We just celebrated Canada Day, so why not delve into Canadian fiction and learn about some of our most important¬†aboriginal writers. Here’s a short list to get you started:

Basil Johnston is one of the few speakers of the ancient Ojibway language who also writes in that language. Books: Crazy Dave

Thomas King is an award-winning novelist of Cherokee and Greek descent
Books: The Back of the Turtle; Medicine River, Green Grass; Running Water; The Inconvenient Indian

Richard Wagamese is Ojibway, from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario
Books: Indian Horse; Dream Wheels; One Story, One Song; One Native Life

Tomson Highway is a Cree from Brochet, in northern Manitoba. He wrote the plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Ought to Move to Kapuskasing. his nove Kiss of the Fur Queen was published in 1988.

Joseph Boyden is a Canadian writer with Irish, Scottish and Metis roots. He has a book of short stories titled Born with a Tooth, and two highly celebrated novels Three Day Road and Through Black Spruce.

Jordan Wheeler is a member of the Gordon First Nation. writes for children, for television, and gives workshops for Indigenous youth. His books are Brothers in Arms, Achimoona: Native Stories, Chuck in the City, Just a Walk

Sherman Alexie is an award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker. His work primarily focuses on contemporary Native American identity. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Smoke Signals, Reservation Blues, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, War Dances

Lee Maracle is an award-winning poet, novelist, performance storyteller, scriptwriter, actor and keeper/mythmaker. Maracle has given hundreds of speeches on political, historical, and feminist sociological topics related to native people. Her books are Sojourner’s Truth and Other Stories , Sundogs , Ravensong, Daughters are Forever, First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style, Celia’s Song

Louise Erdich grew up in North Dakota (Chippewa), so she’s not Canadian. She wrote a series of four novels: Love Medicine, Beet Queen, Tracks and The Bingo Palace.