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7 Audiobooks for Indigenous Heritage Month

Workman Publishing

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It’s Indigenous Heritage Month! Now is the perfect time to pick up more books by Indigenous, Native, and First Nations authors. If you’re still looking for some audiobooks for your November reading plans, here is a stellar list for you to check out.

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq, Narrated by the Author

In this beautiful blend of fiction and memoir, Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq narrates this one-of-a-kind audiobook. With poetic prose, Tagaq shares her childhood growing up in Nunavut during the 1970s. She describes her wide range of experiences including love and loss, happiness and sorrow. These moments are captured in a haunting way and presented to us as something new. She plays with myth and blends it with the gritty realities of her small arctic town. This is hands down one of the most unique audiobook experiences I’ve ever had.

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice, Narrated by Billy Merasty

A small Anishinaabe community is cut off from the world when something beyond their borders goes horribly wrong. Isolated in their Northern community, the townspeople must decide what action, if any, to take. But as some of their young people begin to return with news from the outside, they realize the problem they face is much larger than they first suspected. Billy Merasty creates the perfect backdrop for the desolate, post-apocalyptic story.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Narrated by Cara Gee, Nicole Lewis, Kaipo Schwab, and Shaun Taylor-Corbett

As an avid Rebecca Roanhorse fan, Black Sun was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. Set in a world based on a pre-Columbian North America, this novel focuses on several different characters who all play roles in the epic conflict about to unfold. The story begins with a ship captain tasked with taking a blind man across the ocean to a city in the north. Political intrigue and revealed secrets keep us sitting on the edge of our seats until the end. The cast of narrators give each point of view character their own unique voice, giving this audiobook such an epic, all-engrossing feel.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Narrated by the Author

Scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer combines her professional background and her knowledge of Indigenous teachings around plants into one beautiful book. Each chapter is a beautiful contemplation on humans’ symbiotic relationship with plants and the wisdom we can learn from them. Her narration creates an incredibly soothing experience, making this audiobook one to be savored.

Little Big Bully by Heid E. Erdrich, Narrated by the Author

I LOVE listening to poets read their own work, and Little Big Bully written and narrated by Heid E. Erdrich is no exception. The entire collection is a deep dive into all-engrossing poetic writing. I followed along with the text edition, allowing me to see where Erdrich plays with form. Using both print and audio is the perfect way to get a complete experience. Other times, I would just sit, close my eyes, and enjoy Erdrich’s incredible work.

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead, Narrated by the Author

Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer ordained NDN glitter princess, Jonny Appleseed finds himself returning to the reserve for his stepfather’s funeral. There he’s confronted with the trauma of his childhood and begins the process of coming to terms with how the child he was became the person he is today. The author reads the book himself, giving this audiobook that unique feel when the author reads their own work.

There There by Tommy Orange, Narrated by Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Ceurvo, and Kyla Garcia

Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, There There is a brilliant novel structured in chapters that each focus on a different character, making the book feel like a series of linked short stories. These characters create a chorus of Indigenous voices from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Eventually, all of the stories converge on a single day, colliding in a chaotic event that changes each person’s life forever. The group of narrators give each story its own unique feel, which enhances the audiobook experience.

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