Literacy Activities & Articles

Indigenous Children’s Books

Check out this list of books for a variety of ages to share First Nations, Métis, and Inuit culture and knowledge with your children.

Animals of the North by Emma Pederson

This is a beautiful picture book featuring animals that live in the North. The images in this book are high contrast which is perfect for infants who are still developing eyesight. A high-quality board book that is strong enough to withstand the little bites of teething infants while their parents share new vocabulary! 

Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk
Sweetest Kulu is a children’s book that shares the story of northern Canadian animals bringing gifts to welcome a newborn Inuit baby. The images are as stunning as the story; this book will be equally loved by both parents and children. A lovely addition to any home library.

Counting Wild Bears of the Native Northwest Coast by Gryn White

This board book features Indigenous Haida Art. This book explores the early numeracy concepts of counting and colours in a creative way. Another unique feature of this book is how it prompts families to begin having conversations about animals that are important in their own and other cultures. 

Nanabosho: How the Turtle got its Shell by Joe McLellan

This is a traditional creation story which is complemented by beautiful illustrations. In this book readers explore how turtles ended up with shells on their back. If you like this book, check out the other Nanabosho creation stories by Joe McLellan.

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson 

This important book introduces children to the history of residential schools in Canada in a safe and relatable way. When We Were Alone is a wonderful way to begin having critical conversations with your children about Canada’s history and relationships with our Indigenous people. This book does a wonderful job of taking a monumental concept and bringing it to an appropriate level for our children. 

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith

This book explores the history and tradition of Indigenous jingle dancing. This book does a great job of contrasting the rich history of this tradition with how it still greatly impacts and influences the culture today. In particular, this book provides children with how these celebrations may look in an urban setting like the one we live in here in Edmonton.

For more recommendations of books to share in appreciation and celebration of our rich Indigenous culture and history please take a look at some of our other favourites!

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