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First Nation Communities READ 2020/21

A guide celebrating First Nation Communities Read nominations. Titles are chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, representing the very best of Indigenous literature.

What is First Nations Communities READ?


First Nation Communities READ (FNCR) is an annual reading program (currently in its 15th year) launched by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. Books chosen for this program must be authored and/or illustrated by a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit creator. They must also contain First Nation, Métis, or Inuit content and are published with support or endorsement from Indigenous advisors and consultants. Finally, the titles encourage family literacy and intergenerational storytelling/information sharing.

The FNCR program aims to increase awareness of the relevance and importance of Indigenous writing, illustration, and publishing, while honouring First Nation, Métis, and Inuit voices and experiences. This program wouldn't be possible without annual funding from the Government of Canada, coordination support from Southern Ontario Library Services, a volunteer panel of First Nation librarians, and support from the Ontario Library, and Quill & Quire. But most importantly, the FNCR relies heavily on the continued participation of libraries, communities, readers, publishers, and authors. 

As we celebrate Indigenous Excellence at BU, we look forward to highlighting these important contributions to Indigenous literature.  As our collection grows, we aim to include as many as we can.  Because of this, our lists of available titles under 'Available at the Library' will change over time to include more titles.  

2020-2021 PMC Indigenous Literature Award

September 24, 2020

First Nation Communities READ announced (PDF) the winners of the 2020-2021 PMC Indigenous Literature Award:

  • Children’s Category: The Bear’s Medicine by Clayton Gauthier, Published by Theytus Books
  • Young Adult/Adult Category: Chasing Painted Horses by Drew Hayden Taylor, Published by Cormorant Books

2020/2021 Longlist

Young Adult/Adult Category:

  • A Haida Manga: Carpe Fin by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
  • Bone Black by Carol Rose Goldeneagle
  • Chasing Painted Horses by Drew Hayden Taylor
  • Crow Gulch by Douglas walbourne-Gough
  • Crow Winter by Karen McBride
  • Disintegrate/Dissociate by Arielle Twist
  • The North-West is Our Mother: The Story of Louis Riel's People, the Metis Nation by Jean Teillet
  • The Way Home by David Neel
  • This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzi-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell/Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles..
  • Powwow Summer by Nahanni Shingoose
  • The Debwe Series: Perception: A Photo Series by KC Adams
  • The Man Who Lived with a Giant: Stories from Johnny Neyelle, Dene Elder
  • Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
  • From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of Dene Residential School Survivor by Antoine Bear Rock Mountain
  • From the Ashes: My Story of Being Metis, Homeless, and Finding My Way by Jesse Thistle
  • In My Own Moccassins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott
  • Injichaag: My Soul in Story: Anishinaabe Poetics in Art and Words by Kim Anderson, Rene Meshake
  • Mighty Muskrat Mystery Series: The Case of Windy Lake by Michael Hutchinson
  • Moccasin Square Gardens: Short Stories by Richard Van Camp
  • One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet by Richard Wagamese


Children's Category:  

  • Bear for Breakfast  by Robert Munsch/Jay Odjick
  • Birdsong by Julie Flett
  • I'm Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas/Pauline Young
  • In My Anaana's Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok/Lenny Lishchenko
  • Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii by Sara Davidson, Terry-Lynn Williams-Davidson/Judy Hilgemann, Alyssa Koski
  • May We Have Enough to Share by Richard Van Camp/Various Indigenous Artists
  • Neekah's Knitting Needles by Sylvia Olsen, Odelia Smith/Sheena Lott
  • Nibi's Water Song by Sunshine Tenasco/Chief Lady Bird
  • The Fox Wife by Beatrice Deer/DJ Herron
  • The Owl and the Two Rabbits by Nadia Sammurtok/Marcus Cutler
  • The Pencil by Susan Avingaq, Maren Vsetula/Charlene Chua
  • The Walrus and the Caribou by Maika Harper/Marcus Cutler
  • Voices from the Skeena: An Illustrated Oral History by Robery Budd/Roy Henry Vickers
  • When We Had Sled Dogs: A Story from the Trapline by Ida Tremblay/Miriam Korner
  • Wolverine and Little Thunder: An Eel Fishing Story by Alan Syliboy