Indigenizing Astronomy Reading List

Hilding Neilson
3 min readFeb 7, 2019

My goal for generating this list of resources is to provide a tool for astronomers and educators who wish to integrate Indigenous astronomy and share Indigenist perspectives in their curriculums. I note that this list is designed to reflect Indigenist perspectives from peoples whose traditional lands that are colonized by Canada and the politics discussed in many of these references focus on that experience. I focus on these perspectives for personal reasons — I identify as indigenous in Canada and for academic reasons — I work at a Canadian institution and am developing Indigenist astronomy course material for use in the Canadian community. This is timely in the Canadian context with the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation commission to work on integrating Indigenous knowledges into the education system.

This document is part of an ongoing initiative to develop Indigenist astronomy content that respects and honours Indigenous knowledges and cultures and that supports equity for Indigenous peoples in the academic classroom. This document is a continuing work in progress that will grow and change as new references and materials become integrated into my learning. I would appreciate suggestions from others as well.

This list will be updated periodically.

Decolonizing Astronomy Reading List by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Tuck, E. & Yang, K.W. 2012, “Decolonization is not a metaphor” in Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Vol 1, No 1, pp 1–40

Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit by Marie Battiste,

Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods by Shawn Willson

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions:50th Anniversary Edition by Thomas S. Kuhn

The Tyranny of Science by Paul K. Feyerabend

Teaching Each Other: Nehinuw Concepts and Indigenous Pedagogies by Linda M. Goulet & Keith N. Goulet

Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence by Gregory Cajete

Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge by Marie Battiste & James (Sa’Ke’j) Youngblood Henderson

Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, & Contexts by Margaret Kovach

The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe by Arthur Koestler

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization by Robert A. Williams Jr.

The Truth About Stories by Thomas King

Science, Colonialism and Indigenous Peoples: The Cultural Politics of Law and Knowledge by Laurelyn Whitt

Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture by Steven Shapin

Indigenous Storywork: Education the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit by Jo-Ann Archibald

Place in Research: Theory, Methodology, and Methods by Eve Tuck & Marcia McKenzie

Against Method by Paul Feyerabend

Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories by Jill Doerfler & Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

The Dream of the Earth by Thomas Berry

The White Possessive: Property, Power and Indigenous Sovereignty by Aileen Moreton-Robinson

Critical Indigenous Studies: Engagements in First World Locations by Aileen Moreton-Robinson

Who owns Native culture? by Michael F. Brown

Aboriginal Education: Fulfilling the Promise by Marlene Bran Castellano (Editor), Lynne Davis (Editor) & Louise Lahache (Editor)

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen by Liliuokalani

Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought by Sandy Grande

The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeniety in Canadian Universities by Frances Henry and Enakshi Dua

Bridging Cultures: Indigenous and Scientific Ways of Knowing Nature by Glen Aikenhead and Herman Michell

Enhancing School Science with Indigenous Knowledge: What we know from teachers and research by Glen Aikenhead

Articles on the principle of Two-Eyed Seeing:

Atchakosuk: Ininewuk Stories of the Stars by Wilfred Buck (Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre)

Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters

D(L)akota Star Map Constellation Guide: An Introduction to D(L)akota Star Knowledge by Annette S. Lee; Jim Rock & Charlene O’Rourke

Ojibwe Sky Star Map — Constellation Guide: An Introduction to Ojibwe Star Knowledge by Annette S. Lee; William Wilson; Jeffrey Tibbetts & Carl Gawboy

Sharing the Skies: Navajo Astronomy by Nancy C. Maryboy & David Gegay

Talking Sky: Ojibwe Constellations as a Reflection of Life on the Land by Carl Gawboy

Glooscap Legends by Stanley Spicer

Old Father, Story Teller by Pablita Velarde

Muin aqq Luikned Tesijik Mtuksunuk / Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters by Lillian Marshall, Murdena Marshall, Prune Harris and Cheryl Bartlett

The Great Canoes in the Sky: Starlore and Astronomy of the South Pacific by Stephen Robert Chadwick & Martin Paviour-Smith

Lakota Star Knowledge: Studies in Lakota Stellar Theology by Ronald Goodman & Alan Seeger

Astronavigation: A Method for Determining Exact Position by the Stars by K.A. Zischka Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Ruggles, C.L.N. (Ed.)

Napi: The Trickster by Hugh Dempsey and Pauline Dempsey



Hilding Neilson

Twitter @astrocanuck — from Newfoundland, Mi’kmaq, PhD astronomer in Toronto, trying to understand stars and their stories. Indigenous STEM. views are my own.