June is both Pride and National Indigenous History Month and too often the unique history and culture of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer individuals are overlooked. Some recent standout volumes are listed below to help showcase the extremely talented voices and diverse experiences shared within their pages. For more recommendations check out the list curated by Library staff here or ask us in the branches for more ideas.
Historical fiction – Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel
A powerful adult fiction debut that focuses on the life of a Two-Spirited daughter of an Algonquin woman and her White settler father as she comes to terms with her identity as both an outsider and an ‘other’ in early 17th century New France.
Short stories – Buffalo Is the New Buffalo by Chelsea Vowel
A debut collection of eight short stories focusing on “Métis futurism”. These science fiction stories explore Indigenous existence and resistance through the specific lens of being queer and Métis. Tune in on June 21 for a virtual reading by the author.
Poetry – Fireweed by Tunchai Redvers
A collection of poems that explore the rawness, trauma, and realities of adolescence compounded with the experience of being a young, Indigenous, and two-spirit intergenerational residential school survivor.
Memoir – A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
A deeply personal and emotional memoir that touches on grief, joy, love, and sex at the intersection of indigeneity and queerness. Intense, honest, and excessively quotable, these essays demonstrate over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.
Young Adult/Graphic Novel – Surviving the City series writte by Tasha Spillett; illustrated by Natasha Donovan
A graphic novel series featuring Miikwan, an Anishinaabe teen and Dez, an Inninew teen as they navigate life in an urban city, their developing friendship and Dez’s Two-Spirit identity. Traditional ways of thinking are challenged as Dez’s friends and family learn how to best support them.
Young Adult Fiction – The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson
A wonderful debut YA novel featuring Lou, a demi/asexual Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies. Ferguson masterfully balances the light with the dark as Lou struggles with generational trauma, family secrets and her sexuality over a summer working with her friends at the family creamery.
Content Warning: violence against Indigenous women, rape, racism
Picture Fiction – 47,000 Beads by Koja Adeyoha and Angel Adeyoha; illustrated by Holly McGillis
Peyton, a young Lakota loves to dance, especially at Powwow, and learns to embrace her Two-Spirit identity with the help of a nonbinary friend and other members of their community.