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penNative American, American Indian, Indigenous, NDN. Many labels have been applied to tribal nations as far flung as Alaska and New Mexico. Once marginalized , many of these groups are now getting a second look with entire university programs devoted to the study of their literature.  As I work on my own project steeped in Tlingit legends, I am reminded of those who came before.  Here is an essential reading list of Native writers:

1. The Way to Rainy Mountain and In the Bear’s House by N. Scott Momaday

2. Love Medicine and Original Fire by Louise Erdrich   [*Buy signed copies direct from Erdrich at Birchbark Books]

3. Skins by Adrian C. Louis

4. Storyteller by Leslie Marmon Silko

5. Men on the Moon and Woven Stone by Simon J. Ortiz

6. Ocean Power:Poems from the Desert and Where Clouds are Formed by Ofelia Zepeda

7. Riding the Earthboy 40 by James Welch

8. Mean Spirit and The Book of Medicines by Linda Hogan

9. One Stick Song and Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie (*anything you pick up by him is bound to be good)

10.  She Had Some Horses and Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo

11. Watermelon Nights by Greg Sarris

12. A Radiant Curve by Luci Tapahonsoindian_writing

13. Roofwalker by Susan Power

14. Bad Indians by Deborah A. Miranda

15. Life Woven with Song by Nora Marks Dauenhauer

16. Blonde Indian by Ernestine Hayes

17. The Sacred White Turkey by Frances Washburn

18.  Dog Road Woman by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

*Find the complete list on Amazon here.*

And for those of you who are interested, the IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts) now offers an MFA In Creative Writing.  Note that Sherman Alexie and Susan Power are on staff!