Need a break from academia? We’ve put together a selection of love-themed Indigenous reads for you and your family this Valentine’s Day and Reading Week. Find these resources at UBC’s Xwi7wxa Library or check your local public library.
Want even more loveable reads? Check out last year’s Valentine’s Day reading list.
The Bear’s Medicine, written and illustrated by Clayton Gauthier, is a story of a mother’s love for her children as she teaches them how to survive. The Bear’s Medicine shows the interconnectedness of all things in the world they live in and how each season brings changes and blessings for the bears. Words in English and Dakelh.
Relational Constellation, an anthology edited by Elizabeth LaPensée, provides a unique opportunity for audiences to hear from a myriad of American Indian and First Nations voices on the meaning of love. Here readers will find works of graphic literature, including both poetry and fiction, that explore how celestial bodies build and share creative intimacies.
Deception on All Accounts by Sara Sue Hoklotubbe is a novel for folks who like their mysteries spiced with some romance. This story follows the character Sadie Walela as she navigates identify, murder, love and her career and faces deception on all accounts. Check out the other books in the Sadie Walela series for more. Find this book at UBC in the library and online.
Genocidal Love: A Life After Residential School, by Bevann Fox, is a novel that weaves truth and fiction to examine “A residential school survivor’s complicated path toward healing and love. Genocidal Love delves into the long-term effects of childhood trauma on those who attended residential school and demonstrates the power of story to help in recovery and healing.” This book is currently on order at UBC and X̱wi7x̱wa Library, but is available at Vancouver Public Library.
Birdsong, by Julie Flett. When a young girl moves from the country to a small town, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of nature and art. As the seasons change, can the girl navigate the failing health of her new friend? Acclaimed author and artist Julie Flett’s textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the fulfillment of intergenerational relationships and shared passions. Words in Cree and English.
You Are Enough: Love Poems for the End of the World, Sumac Smokii: A curated selection from hundreds of poems written over two years of a near-daily haiku practice. Sections of selected poems such as ‘recovery,’ ‘courting,’ and ‘ceremony,’ tell a story of what 2016-2018 was like in the life of a two-spirit, transmasculine, Ktunaxa PhD Candidate in [his] late 20s, living in Peterborough Ontario.
Zaagi’idiwin: Silent, Unquestionable Act of Love by Leanna Marshall, creates an intersection where viewers meet to understand and explore the essence of relationships, the meaning of connection/disconnection, and the pain of loss. Through the making and documentation of jingle dresses, Marshall explores the deeply personal stories that have shaped her perception of the complexities of her family history in the context of Canadian history. The social inequities, resistance, and sorrow communicated in this body of work serve as a springboard to examine the act of compassion and forgiveness, which ultimately helps to move forward to a new and more affirmative place of being.