UBC Librarians suggest great reads during Aboriginal History Month


Top picks in the spirit of Aboriginal History Month

Looking for some great summer reading? Check out UBC Library’s Great Reads collection. According to Susan Paterson, who oversees the Koerner Library’s share of the collection, co-op student Shannon Simpson spearheaded the idea after finding that students spend about three hours per week reading for leisure. Since its launch in 2011, the collection has featured a mix of fiction and non-fiction bestsellers to draw in people who might think a university library is too dry.

UBC News asked for some Great Reads recommendations for Aboriginal History Month from Paterson and Kim Lawson from UBC’s Xwi7xwa Library (pronounced “whei-wha”), which houses materials written from Indigenous perspectives, focusing on British Columbia.

RED: A Haida Manga (2009), by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Yahgulanaas, who hails from Haida Gwaii, uses traditional Haida imagery in a Japanese-style graphic novel to tell a classic Haida narrative about a chief’s tragic quest to avenge his sister

Monkey Beach (2000), by Eden Robinson
UBC alumnus Eden Robinson’s harrowing yet darkly funny tale was nominated for both the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. The Haisla and Heiltsuk author, of Kitimaat, BC, has two other books in the Great Reads collection: Sasquatch at Home and Blood Sports.

The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles (2005-2007), by Daniel Heath Justice
Kynship, Wyrwood and Dreyd make up the three books in this trilogy, which can be described as speculative fiction, fantasy, or Indigenous science fiction. The author is an associate professor of English at UBC, and chairs UBC’s First Nations Studies Program.

Me Funny (2006), edited by Drew Hayden Taylor
“Humour is really important to Indigenous fiction,” says Lawson, so she highly recommends this insightful and funny anthology showcasing the breadth of First Nations humour.

Throughout June, UBC Library is celebrating Aboriginal scholarship, creativity and intellectual traditions with its second annual Aboriginal (Un)History Month.

Link to Great Reads webpage: http://greatreads.library.ubc.ca/