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Thirteen Moons of Recommended Reading

A Review of Indigenous Literature for National Indigenous People's Month

Indigenous values and knowledge carry deep connections to the world around us and the natural flow of the universe. National Indigenous Peoples History Month marks a dedicated period of learning and engagement with Indigenous ways of and being knowing, as we have done since time immemorial. This National Indigenous Peoples History Month, ONWA is proud to share this resource of powerful Indigenous literature, curated in connection to the Thirteen Moons of Creation.

Like in many cultures around the world, Indigenous peoples map annual community practices by moon cycles. Each moon is marked by environmental changes and comes with specific teachings; the names of these moons vary from culture to culture, depending on the changes experienced on their traditional lands. The names provided are traditional to Anishinabewaki, the greater area of Thunder Bay, where ONWA’s head office is located.

This list acts as an invitation to read and learn about Indigenous ways of knowing and being beyond the range of June. Indigenous peoples are creating, learning, sharing, and acting all year long: we invite you to move with us throughout the Thirteen Moon Cycle as we do.



Spirit Moon: Moon of Connection

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (2013) by Robin Wall Kimmerer Under the Spirit Moon, we explore who we are in connection to our relations, the land, the water, and all of creation. In Braiding Sweetgrass, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer weaves together personal storytelling, Western science, and Indigenous knowledge to explore her own relationship with the environment as an Indigenous woman. This thorough and vibrant piece of contemplative literature is well-loved by Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers alike, bridging our understandings of the world around us through shared biological knowledge. Find it here:

Bear Moon: Moon of Introspection

Snow Crust Moon: Moon of New Beginnings

Sugar Bush Moon: Moon of New Life

Flowering Moon: Moon of Cleansing

Strawberry Moon: Moon of Growth

Berry Moon: Moon of Change

Ricing Moon: Moon of Balance

Leaves Turning Moon: Moon of Reflection

Falling Leaves Moon: Moon of Letting Go

Freezing Moon: Moon of Rest

Little Spirit Moon: Moon of Story

Great Spirit Moon - Moon of Creation


Canadian Publishers to Watch:

Theytus Books – Penticton Reserve, BC Indigenous owned, Theytus is operated in partnership with the En’owkin Centre. Since 1980, Theytus has published critical Indigenous literature by authors such as Cherie Dimaline, Lee Maracle, and Rby Slipperjack.

Kegedonce Press – Neyaashiinigmiing, ON

Inhabit Media – Iqaluit, NU

Pemmican Publications – Winnipeg, MB

Fernwood Press – Black Point, NS and Winnipeg, MB

Highwater Press (Portage & Main Press) – Winnipeg, MB

Fifth House Publishing - AB

Second Story Press – Toronto, ON


About the Bookstores:

Massy Books

Cree and Metis director Patricia Massy of As’in’î’wa’chî Ni’yaw Nation founded Massy Books in Vancouver in 2015. They are passionate about out-of-print and bestsellers alike, and celebrate exploration and connection over literature, believing in “the power of books to enrich lives and build community”.

Iron Dog Books

Strong Nations

Raven Reads

Birchbark Books

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