Today, we bring your a compilation of all the best indigenous owned bookstores that you can visit. We hope you can go and that you’ll support them in their endeavor to contribute to the indigenous communities, as well as educate multitudes on issues that face indigenous communities.
1. Goodminds: Bradford, Ontario
A First Nations family operated store, five percent of the sales go to Supporting Indigenous Library Today Fund whose purpose is to enhance and expand public libraries for indigenous communities. It is owned by Achilles Gentle who ensures quality and authentic indigenous education at the store.
2. Iron Dog Books: Vancouver
While the Iron Dog brick and mortar store stocks staff picks and a book trade-in programme, there is also an Iron Dog book truck that brings knowledge and awesome reads to the territories in Metro Vancouver. It is run by a passionate and nerdy group of avid readers all who hail from aboriginal communities such as Anishinaabe, Nuu Chah Nulth and Kwadacha.
3. Red Salmon Arts/Casa de Resistencia Books: Austin, Texas
Established by Raúl Salinas,a renowned poet and activist who was even imprisoned for his work in the field of activism and educating youth on racism and poverty, this shop offers resources to the Chicano, Latinx and Native American population in working class areas in Austin, preserving and teaching the communities about the cultures and arts of their ancestors and families. It has been in business since 1983 and still persevering.
4. Birdcage Bookstore and Mercantile: Rapid City, San Diego
This shop is run by Native American women and specializes in Native American books of Northern Plains. It hosts events such as signings, poetry readings, book clubs, film festivals, musical concerts and various other cultural events.
5. Talking Leaves: Cherokee, North Carolina
This novelty gift shop that doubles as a bookstore sells hand carvings, baskets, books on Native American culture and recipes as well as funny print tees that you’ll love!
6. Red Planet Books and Comics: Central Avenue, Albuquerque
Founded by Dr. Lee Francis in 2017, this shop is easy to spot with its facade that is emblazoned with a doodle of volume 1680 and ¢505 in reference to the year of the Pueblo revolt. Situated on 10th Street, it is the only Native comic store and also host to the indigenous comic convention and Wordcraft Circle of Native writers and storytellers. It sells everything from comics, books, games, toys, collectibles, books on indigenous education, colouring books, children’s literature for an indigenous audience and features a one dollar comic bookshelf geared towards middle schoolers who drop by for a reading fix. There is a 20% discount for members and readers can also avail of the Wonder Box subscription which contains curated reading material and indigenous education tools.
7. Afriware Books co: Maywood, Chicago
A bookstore that also doubles as a resource centre located in the Chicago suburb of Maywood, Afriware was established in 1993 and provides a platform to showcase authors, artists and advocates of cultural pride. The shelves are stocked with everything from games to jewelry, board books for kids and even banned Black books. Drop in for a signed copy or two and puzzles as well as educate yourself with the justice and resistance literature section.
8. Libelula Books Co: Barrio Logan, San Diego
Situated in the heart of Barrio Logan, a predominantly BIPOC arts district in San Diego, this store sells both new and used books. It is a small business owned by queer Latinx owners and also features bilingual (English and Spanish) works on display on the premises.
We hope you’ll be able to visit these bookstores, and don’t forget to share with fellow readers or literary enthusiasts! Make sure to follow us on Instagram so we can continue to update you on all that’s to come at Adore. Until next time!