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Indigenous Voices

Audiobooks written by tribally enrolled Native Americans and authentically performed by Indigenous narrators offer listeners a wide variety of genres, subject matter, and geographic range. This curated list provides recommendations for both adult listeners and young listeners and introduces narrators and authors to seek out when looking for more from Choctaw, Navajo, Cherokee, Ojibwe, Chippewa, Blackfeet, Seminole, Abenaki, Chickasaw, Nez Perce, Tuscarora, Métis, Cree, Muskogee Creek, Lakota, and other voices from the diversity of Indigenous nations within contemporary North America.
ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL STORIES FOR KIDS

ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL STORIES FOR KIDS

by Cynthia Leitich Smith [Ed.] | Read by Kenny Ramos, DeLanna Studi

Harper Audio
Children

Kenny Ramos and DeLanna Studi narrate with warmth as they bring a memorable intertribal powwow to life for listeners. Sixteen Indigenous authors weave together diverse stories in celebration of coming together as a community while also highlighting the young protagonists' many different personalities and experiences. Ramos narrates the boys' stories in a lively and youthful... Read More

APPLE (SKIN TO THE CORE)

APPLE (SKIN TO THE CORE)

Earphones Award Winner

by Eric Gansworth | Read by Eric Gansworth

Dreamscape
Young Adult

Poetic, intense, and defiant, Native American author and artist Eric Gansworth delivers his own coming-of-age story. The youngest child of seven, he grew up on a reservation outside Buffalo, New York, amid abject poverty and systemic racism. Like many children of the 1960s and '70s, he adopted pop culture icons like the Beatles, Batman, and Star Wars as his own and watched his... Read More

THE BEADWORKERS

THE BEADWORKERS Stories

Earphones Award Winner

by Beth Piatote | Read by Beth Piatote, Christian Nagler, Fantasia Painter, Drew Woodson, Phillip Cash, Keevin Hesuse and a full cast

Blackstone Audio
Fiction

This compelling audiobook introduces Piatote's debut collection of stories in prose and verse. It's sprinkled with the Nez Perce language and concludes with a reimagining of Antigone as Antikone. Piatote has a fine conversational style. Hers is a storyteller's voice, and her delivery has striking transparency. When her narrator is an 11-year-old, she sounds 11. In "Beading... Read More

BLUE BEAR WOMAN

BLUE BEAR WOMAN

by Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau, Susan Ouriou [Trans.], Christelle Morelli [Trans.] | Read by Tai Amy Grauman

Inanna Publications
Fiction

The voice of Native narrator Tai Amy Grauman is as clear and cool as the waters of Canada's St. James Bay, where this novel of a Cree woman's vision quest takes place. Victoria is a Cree poet and shaman who travels through the coniferous forests of northern Quebec to find the bones of her great-uncle and set his spirit free. Many tales and legends of these Indigenous people... Read More

CLASSIFIED

CLASSIFIED The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

by Traci Sorell | Read by DeLanna Studi, Traci Sorell [Note]

Dreamscape
Children

DeLanna Studi's Oklahoma Cherokee heritage brings authenticity to her narration of this biography of engineer Mary Golda Ross. Born in Oklahoma in 1908, Ross drew from her Cherokee values and her talent in math to become the first female engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Company, where she worked on top-secret projects. Music provides an inspiring backdrop to Mary's education and... Read More

CODE TALKER

CODE TALKER The First and Only Memoir by One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

by Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila | Read by David Colacci

Tantor Media
Biography & Memoir

One of the original 29 Navajo code talkers discusses his experiences in WWII and his early life in the "checkerboard" area of tribal lands in the Southwest. The book is written in the first person, a choice that provides a preponderance of simple sentences. David Colacci captures the flavor of the Navajo speakers with an even tone, free of strong emotion. That’s not to say his... Read More

CONFLICT RESOLUTION FOR HOLY BEINGS

CONFLICT RESOLUTION FOR HOLY BEINGS Poems

Earphones Award Winner

by Joy Harjo | Read by Joy Harjo

Blackstone Audio
Poetry & Drama

Most poets mine their own experiences and their histories, and Joy Harjo is no exception. In this audiobook she brings to life many of the stories, songs, and traditions of her Muscogee and Cherokee ancestors. Her poetry can fairly be called polemical in its intention, but it is also deeply human, working in ranges of experience that many listeners may have been fortunate... Read More

DOG FLOWERS

DOG FLOWERS A Memoir

by Danielle Geller | Read by Charley Flyte

Random House Audio
Biography & Memoir

At a slow pace that reflects the author's introspective tone, Charley Flyte narrates this melancholy memoir. The author is a Navajo woman who had few connections to her Native family until the death of her alcoholic mother took her on a journey--both literal and metaphoric--to her roots. In a languid voice, Flyte recounts Geller's rejection of her abusive parents and her... Read More

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT INDIANS BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK: YOUNG READERS EDITION

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT INDIANS BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK: YOUNG READERS EDITION

by Anton Treuer | Read by Anton Treuer

Dreamscape
Children

Ojibwe professor and author Anton Treuer narrates this new edition, revised and updated for a young adult audience. Structured as a collection of questions and answers, this audiobook sheds light on the long history of genocide that colonizers have perpetuated against Native peoples and explains their effects on the lives of Indians in the U.S. and Canada today. Treuer does not... Read More

FIGHT OR SUBMIT

FIGHT OR SUBMIT Standing Tall in Two Worlds

by Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson | Read by Kaipo Schwab

Tantor Media
Biography & Memoir

Narrator Kaipo Schwab becomes the author, Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson, as he describes his life and accomplishments as the leader of the Westbank First Nation and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. As a businessman and chief, Derrickson has increased his tribes' wealth and position more than 3,500% since the 1970s through leasing and logging rights and through... Read More

FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Earphones Award Winner

by Angeline Boulley | Read by Isabella Star LaBlanc

Macmillan Audio
Young Adult

Isabella Star LaBlanc brings an authentic-sounding narration to this powerful audiobook. Set amid state and tribal lands in Michigan, the story of Daunis, who is caught between these two cultures, is told with heartfelt compassion. LaBlanc masterfully amplifies Daunis’s apprehension when she becomes involved in helping the FBI investigate a new, deadly street drug. Thriller,... Read More

FROM THE ASHES

FROM THE ASHES My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way

by Jesse Thistle | Read by Jesse Thistle

Simon & Schuster Audio
Biography & Memoir

An exceptionally moving memoir voiced with great steadiness by its author, this audiobook is brimming with details of a life that truly does seem to rise from the ashes. A Métis-Cree man who, for various harrowing reasons, was abandoned by his parents as a child, Thistle tells the entirely engrossing story of his life from a young age to the present day. From his fraught and... Read More

FRY BREAD

FRY BREAD A Native American Family Story

Earphones Award Winner

by Kevin Noble Maillard | Read by Kevin Noble Maillard

Dreamscape
Children

Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, narrates his own audiobook about the beauty and complexity of the Native American staple, fry bread. His personality bursts through as he speaks with passion about its historical significance and about his personal connection to it. Moments of playfulness will hook young listeners into learning about the... Read More

FUTURE HOME OF THE LIVING GOD

FUTURE HOME OF THE LIVING GOD

by Louise Erdrich | Read by Louise Erdrich

Harper Audio
Fiction

Louise Erdrich narrates her novel in a quiet voice that belies its power to convey her devastating and heart-wrenching story. Cedar, an adopted Ojibwe woman, slowly reveals the horrors of the novel's dystopian setting as she writes a diary addressed to her future baby. Evolution is going haywire, and society disintegrates as pregnant women are captured to birth their babies in... Read More

THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE

THE HEARTBEAT OF WOUNDED KNEE Native America from 1890 to the Present

by David Treuer | Read by Tanis Parenteau

Penguin Audio
History

Tanis Parenteau delivers an efficient narration of Treuer's audiobook. Listeners, especially those familiar with the massacre at Wounded Knee, should make time for this history. Treuer's work is deeply researched, positioning the listener within the histories and first-person accounts of indigenous people of North America and making their experiences and views central to the... Read More

IDEAS TO POSTPONE THE END OF THE WORLD

IDEAS TO POSTPONE THE END OF THE WORLD

by Ailton Krenek | Read by Lorne Cardinal, Jenny Lee Craig

Post Hypnotic Press
Contemporary Culture

With his commanding voice and calm demeanor, actor Lorne Cardinal adds gravity and urgency to this plea for global change. Cardinal is not a flashy narrator; he rarely modulates or changes tempo. But his resonant delivery and his Cree heritage enable him to convincingly convey the author's spirit of Indigenous activism. According to Krenek, our survival depends on whether we... Read More

IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE

IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE

by Eric Gansworth | Read by Eric Gansworth

Listening Library
Young Adult

Eric Gansworth's narration of his first young adult novel shines with authenticity. His bright hero, Lewis Blake, finds a lot of differences between his Tuscarora "rez" and his predominantly white public school. Gansworth exposes harsh realities but tempers these with Lewis's eloquently ironic tones and friendship with George, an Air Force kid newly arrived from Guam.... Read More

JO JO MAKOONS: THE USED-TO-BE BEST FRIEND

JO JO MAKOONS: THE USED-TO-BE BEST FRIEND

by Dawn Quigley | Read by Jennifer Bobiwash

Harper Audio
Children

First Nations theater artist Jennifer Bobiwash captures the enthusiastic voice of Jo Jo Makoons in her lively narration of this hilarious audiobook for young listeners. Seven-year-old Jo Jo is proudly Ojibwe. She's growing up with her mother and grandmother on a fictional reservation and happily shares words in Ojibwe and Michif with listeners. She also knows how to get into... Read More

THE LEGEND OF SKELETON MAN

THE LEGEND OF SKELETON MAN

by Joseph Bruchac | Read by DeLanna Studi

Harper Audio
Children

DeLanna Studi narrates two scary stories in this middle-grade collection: “Skeleton Man” and its sequel, “The Return of Skeleton Man.” Molly, a modern-day Mohawk girl, is sent to live with her creepy great-uncle after her parents’ mysterious disappearance. But she knows something is not right. The spooky traditional Mohawk tales her father used to tell her about the Skeleton... Read More

LITTLE BIG BULLY

LITTLE BIG BULLY

by Heid E. Erdrich | Read by Heid E. Erdrich

Penguin Audio
Poetry & Drama

Heid E. Erdrich is of German and Ojibwe heritage. Both parts of her background get voices--along with the connections and conflicts between them--in this audio collection of her poetry. She also writes about being a woman, about being in love, and about a range of other issues, delivering her own work in a calm tone, even when some rage might be justified. She varies her... Read More

MEDICINE WALK

MEDICINE WALK

by Richard Wagamese | Read by Tom Stechschulte

Recorded Books
Fiction

Tom Stechschulte's skill in voicing the cadence of Native American characters makes him the perfect narrator for this breathtaking novel about a teen and his alcoholic father, both of Canada's First Nations. Sixteen-year-old Franklin Starlight has been raised by an old man who has taught him to respect the abundance of nature. When Frank is summoned for a visit with his real... Read More

THE NARROWS OF FEAR

THE NARROWS OF FEAR (Wapawikoscikanik)

by Carol Rose GoldenEagle | Read by Carol Rose GoldenEagle

Inanna Publications
Contemporary Culture

This initially heartbreaking but ultimately joyful audiobook is about the interconnected lives of a group of family and friends in a small Cree community in Northern Canada. The story moves through the points of view of several Indigenous women (and a few men), most of whom are dealing with intense trauma. Carol Rose GoldenEagle's narration is powerful and steady. Her voice is... Read More

NATIVE

NATIVE Identity, Belonging and Rediscovering God

Earphones Award Winner

by Kaitlin B. Curtice | Read by Kaitlin B. Curtice

eChristian
Philosophy & Religion

In an understated, melodious narration, Kaitlin Curtice unfolds her story of reclaiming the Potowatomi culture of her father, which was put aside after her parents divorced and Curtice was being raised by her mother and stepfather in a white, evangelical Christian household. Narrating unhurriedly, in a steady cadence, Curtice spools out her riveting journey through the telling... Read More

ONE BEAD AT A TIME

ONE BEAD AT A TIME

by Beverly Little Thunder, Sharron Proulx-Turner | Read by Jules Koostachin

Inanna Publications
Biography & Memoir

Beverly Little Thunder's transfixing memoir is a melodic collaboration involving three Native women. Wanting to tell her life story as a two-spirit Lakota Elder, the author recounts her memories to two-spirit Métis writer Sharron Proulx-Turner. The resulting published text has become an oral memoir once again through the sensitively attuned narration of filmmaker/writer/actress... Read More

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS

by Stephen Graham Jones | Read by Shaun Taylor-Corbett

Simon & Schuster Audio
Horror

This story of young Blackfeet Indian men who believe they are being tormented by the spirit of a pregnant elk they killed is destined to be a classic in the miniscule genre of Native American horror fiction. The frightening tone of the audiobook is enhanced by the narration of Shaun Taylor-Corbett, who, like the author, is Native American. His flat, unemotional recitation of... Read More

PEACEMAKER

PEACEMAKER

by Joseph Bruchac | Read by Shaun Taylor-Corbett

Blackstone Audio
Children

Shaun Taylor-Corbett narrates this historical novel featuring a 12-year-old Iroquois boy. Okwaho overcomes his anger at his best friend's kidnapping when he hears stories of the Peacemaker, told by a visitor to his village. By listening to these tales, he learns about the formation of the peaceful Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy. Taylor-Corbett, who is himself of Native... Read More

THE REMOVED

THE REMOVED

by Brandon Hobson | Read by Gary Farmer, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, DeLanna Studi, Katie Rich, Christopher Salazar

Harper Audio
Fiction

Five outstanding narrators capture the beauty and despair of this haunting novel about a Cherokee family that is reckoning with the murder of their teenage son and brother. In the week before the anniversary of his death, Maria, portrayed by DeLanna Studi, tries to hold her family together. Her two adult children, Sonja (Katie Rich) and Edgar(Shaun Taylor-Corbett) wrestle with... Read More

REZ DOGS

REZ DOGS

by Joseph Bruchac | Read by Joseph Bruchac

Listening Library
Children

Native American author Joseph Bruchac narrates his novel in verse, capturing all its storytelling qualities on audio. Malian is visiting her grandparents on a Wabanaki reservation when the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down travel. She misses her parents but understands that she, her grandparents, and Malsum, the rez dog, must look after each other. Bruchac speaks slowly and... Read More

THE ROUND HOUSE

THE ROUND HOUSE

by Louise Erdrich | Read by Gary Farmer

Harper Audio
Fiction

Gary Farmer introduces the listener to the Coutts family, members of the Ojibwe tribe who reside on a reservation in North Dakota in the 1980s. Perfectly cast due to his own Native American background, Farmer compassionately tells the story of 13-year-old Joe, whose mother is attacked, raped, and hospitalized—and is never quite the same again. Joe is equally devastated;... Read More

THE SENTENCE

THE SENTENCE

Earphones Award Winner

by Louise Erdrich | Read by Louise Erdrich

Harper Audio
Fiction

Louise Erdrich never disappoints in this engrossing, beautifully written novel. Her narration is breathy, poignant, often funny, and always engrossing. Tookie works at Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis owned by Erdrich--who sometimes enters the novel as herself. Tookie is being haunted by the ghost of her most annoying customer, Flora, who won't leave the... Read More

TALKING LEAVES

TALKING LEAVES

by Joseph Bruchac | Read by Joseph Bruchac

Listening Library
Children

As Joseph Bruchac announces the cast of characters, his authentic pronunciations evoke the mood of an elder storyteller and the rhythms of Native American oral traditions. Bruchac weaves Cherokee legends and historical facts from the nineteenth century into a tale based on the life of Sequoyah, who brought the alphabet to the Cherokee. This makes for a dense story, but Bruchac... Read More

THERE THERE

THERE THERE

by Tommy Orange | Read by Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Cuervo, Kyla Garcia

Random House Audio
Fiction

An ensemble cast is an effective vehicle for a novel about contemporary Native Americans living in Oakland, California. The subplots and changing points of view show their relationships to each other, the violence that is part of their daily lives in the city, and their eventual meeting at the first Oakland Powwow. Chapter headings that announce a shift in point of view become... Read More

WALKING THE CHOCTAW ROAD

WALKING THE CHOCTAW ROAD

by Tim Tingle | Read by Tim Tingle

Cinco Puntos Press
Storytelling

Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle tells stories that range from legends of the early Choctaw to the horrors of the Trail of Tears and more recent tales involving his own family. His is a storyteller’s presentation, with exaggerated voice changes and intense verbal emphasis. While the presentation is much like that used in telling stories to children, these stories are for adults... Read More

WALKING THE OLD ROAD

WALKING THE OLD ROAD A People's History of Chippewa City and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe

by Staci Lola Drouillard | Read by Staci Lola Drouillard

Blackstone Audio
History

Staci Drouillard gives a solid performance of her account of the village of her ancestors, Chippewa City, Minnesota. This work, which grew out of her doctoral dissertation, uses oral history to tell the story of this place and its people from when it was called Nishkwakwansing to the present day. We see how the people interacted with each other and the European settlers, and... Read More

WE ARE GRATEFUL: OTSALIHELIGA

WE ARE GRATEFUL: OTSALIHELIGA

Earphones Award Winner

by Traci Sorell | Read by Lauren Hummingbird, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey, Ryan Mackey, Traci Sorell, Tonia Weavel

Live Oak Media
Children

The sounds of crickets, a crackling campfire, and music greet listeners as five narrators share the meaning of the term “otsaliheliga,” a Cherokee word meaning “We are grateful.” Each narrator lends a unique voice to the story, complementing the diverse contemporary Cherokee families who are depicted celebrating every season. Cherokee pronunciations are beautifully delivered to... Read More

WE ARE STILL HERE!

WE ARE STILL HERE! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

by Traci Sorell | Read by Garrett Abel, Jacob Cummings, Mary Kay Henderson, Lauren Hummingbird, Don McClellan, Ella Mounce, Kaitlyn Pinkerton, Isobel Shults, Oliver Shults, Carlos Sorell, Tonia Hogner-Weavel, Traci Sorell

Live Oak Media
Children

A full cast of Cherokee, Navajo, Choctaw, and Chickasaw narrators deliver a moving audiobook companion to an informative picture book. Listeners hear an introductory history of Native Nations in North America, and then a bustling classroom preparing for their Indigenous Peoples' Day assembly. Twelve students recite brief presentations in youthful voices as sound effects and... Read More

WHERE THE DEAD SIT TALKING

WHERE THE DEAD SIT TALKING

by Brandon Hobson | Read by Eric Michael Summerer

HighBridge Audio
Fiction

Eric Summerer narrates Cherokee author Brandon Hobson's new novel. His deliberate pacing and almost dispassionate tone underscore 15-year-old Sequoyah's alienation and observations of his new foster family. While a coming-of-age story, this realistic account of some months in the 1980s from the later vantage point of full adulthood is not a young adult listen, although older... Read More

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