Read these 12 Books by Indigenous Authors

They will change your perspective.

Tasmin Hansmann
Greener Together


Native American Indian Heritage Month is still a few months away, but books by indigenous authors are important all year round. They open our minds, shift our perspective and give a platform to people that are oppressed and often not listened to.

Besides, indigenous people do not only exist in North America, they in fact exist all around the globe. And we can learn so much from them, through their wisdom, their realities, and their art. Especially when it comes to the climate crisis, their voices need to be heard, as they are not only at the forefront of the fight but offer solutions and resilience for a changing world.

The Archipelago Of Hope

Gleb Raygorodetsky worked with indigenous communities around the globe for over two decades. He documented their experiences and challenges, but also their creative solutions to meet modern problems and climate change. He also holds a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology. This book is a crucial resource in the fight for climate action and an inspiring insight into possible solutions for all of us.

Braiding Sweetgrass

No one can describe the intimate connection with nature as impactful and poetic as Robin Wall Kimmerer. She is not only an indigenous woman and mother (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), but she also connects her background in science (PhD in Botany) with her poet and whimsical view of the world. The result are books such as Braiding Sweetgrass that showcase our deep connection with plants and the Earth. Highly educational and beautifully written, this book will become a favorite for many.

A Mind Spread Out On The Ground

A collection of essays, which offers indispensable insight into the ongoing legacy of colonialism in North America, from food insecurity, generational trauma, and the way Native writers are treated within the Canadian literary industry. Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott does not hold back and shows you the world through her eyes, unapologetic. You will never be the same after reading this book.

Notable Native People

A beautiful overview of fifty native people who have changed the past, the present and the future. Illustrated by Ciara Sana and carefully collected and written by Adrienne Keene, who is also involved in the “All My Relations” Podcast. Her own statement summarizes it best: “This book is meant to be a celebration and a love letter of Indigenous joy.”

Dark Emu

Australia’s First Peoples, the Aboriginals, are often forgotten or branded with damaging stereotypes. Bruce Pascoe uncovers the true history of the Aboriginals and their advanced farming techniques that existed long before white people colonized the Australian continent. An eye-opening read that will make you see colonization, agriculture, and your history teachings in a new light.

Asegi Stories

Queer people have existed since the dawn of time, including in indigenous communities around the globe. In Cherokee Asegi is often used as a synonym for “queer”. Author Qwo-Li Driskill examines gender and sexuality in Cherokee cultural memory, how they shape the present, and how they can influence the future.

The Chief Witness

While Sayragul Sauytbay was born in China’s north-western province, she is of Kazakh heritage, an ethnic minority that is currently facing a genocide. Her memoir is raw, shocking and honest and should only be read when mentally stable, as the list of trigger warnings is long. It will make you see the world very differently and it will make you grief for people you never met. Truly eye-opening.


This fiction novel by Becky Manawatu who has a Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Waitaha, and Pākehā background, gives a voice to the rich world of Aotearoa’s / New Zealand’s native cultures. The book follows not only a family fractured by violence, grief and domestic violence but also shows the importance of whanau.

Save the Planet

Almir Sarayamoga Suruí is the Amazonian tribal chieftain of the indigenous Suruí people (Brazil). Faced with the destruction of his home and seeing the damage humanity has done to the planet, he became a guardian of his people and a global activist, facing oppression, humiliation, and million-dollar bounties on his head along the way. But he knows that the fight is worth it and shares his story in the book. A voice we should definitely listen to.

The Falling Sky

Davi Kopenawa is not only a shaman but also a spokesman for his people, the Yanomami of the Amazon. They had to face genocide and other drastic impacts from colonizers and big businesses who are destroying their home, which is why the Yanomami are speaking up in hopes of saving their way of life as well as the rainforest. Known from the movie The Last Forest (available on Netflix), this book shares the shamanic worldview and combines it with the plead to respect indigenous people and land.

The Silent Steppe

It is very hard to come by translated books from indigenous authors in Central Asia, especially not about today's reality. This is why this book is more for history fans, as the author, Mukhamet Shayakhmetov was born in 1922 and lived not only through a famine but also Stalingrad. He tells his story and shares his nomadic customs and traditions, offering us a completely new view onto the world while remind us to fight for those who history tends to forget.

Sabrina & Corina

In this short story collection, Kali Fajardo-Anstine breathes life into Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Deeply personal and moving stories from perspectives you do not usually get to hear. Despite them being fictional, they will leave you with a taste of truth.



Tasmin Hansmann
Greener Together

Storyteller | Author | Queer | Gardener | Environmentalist | Creator | B.A. Cultural Anthropology | Based on Azores Islands