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Settler Education 101: Summer Reading List

Part II: Great Fiction by Indigenous Authors

In the first part of this Summer Reading series, The Watershed offered a selection of non-fiction titles by Indigenous authors, reflecting varying views on the very complex topics of Truth and Reconciliation. Today, we bring you a few of the latest fiction titles by talented Indigenous writers, guaranteed to broaden and brighten your reading choices this summer.

Deep House by Thomas King

Thomas King is a Canadian-American writer of Cherokee and European heritage. This is the latest in the Thumps DreadfulWater series, following Obsidian, which arrived in 2020. In Thumps' sixth outing, King offers another wry, gentle mystery in his own unmistakable style.

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline is a Métis writer from the Georgian Bay Métis Nation. Dimaline's captivating story The Marrow Thieves put her name on the literary map, and this is another compelling outing. Joan's year-long search for her missing husband Victor comes to a shocking end when she meets the Reverend Eugene Wolff, who looks a lot like her missing man, but has no memory of his past. The story was inspired by a Métis legend and is written in Dimaline's trademark fiery style.

The Theory of Crows by David Robertson

Robertson is a freelance journalist and a member of Norway House Cree Nation who has authored a number of books for children. This story is his first outing for adults, and tells the story of Matthew and Holly, a father and daughter who, after things threaten to fall apart, find their way back to each other on a journey into their own troubled past.

Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Bird-Wilson is a multi-award winning Saskatchewan Métis and Nêhiyaw writer.

In this novel, Ruby's trail of self-destruction has its roots in the foster home she was placed in after her birth. Her true story begins to unfold as she undertakes the search for her Indigenous identity.

All the Quiet Places by Brian Thomas Isaac

Issac was born on the Okanagan Indian Reserve, and All the Quiet Places is his award-winning debut novel.

It tells the story of Eddie Toma growing up on a BC reserve in the 1950's. Eddie is shaped by his family struggles on and off the reserve. It's the story of what can happen when every adult in a person's life has been affected by colonialism, and how an acute separation from culture can occur even at home in a loved familiar landscape.

Have you got a favourite novel by an Indigenous writer? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or email

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I loved both The Marrow Thieves and Empire of Wild - well worth a read. Another favourite author is Eden Robinson (Monkey Beach, Son of a Trickster).

I look forward to adding some of these to my bookshelf! Thanks for these recommendations!

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