Today is Indigenous Peoples' Day! Observed on the second Monday of October in a number of states and cities, this day honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of Native peoples of the Americas. As a counter-celebration to Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples' Day also addresses the legacy of colonialism that continues to impact Indigenous communities.

One such struggle is the lack of Native representation in mainstream media, be it books, TV, or film. According to a study published in the Journal of Social Issues, the percentage of Native American characters in popular films and TV shows ranges from zero to 0.4 percent. When Native characters are portrayed, it's often in a negative, antiquated, or stereotypical light. Inadequate and harmful depictions discount the real experiences of Indigenous peoples in modern society.

So, what can you do to fight against this erasure? As an English language arts teacher, you can advocate for Native literature. Bring Native voices into your classroom—not just today, but all year long—with books written by contemporary Indigenous authors that feature Indigenous characters.

Below, you'll find some of our top fiction and nonfiction picks for readers in grades 6–12. From science fiction and drama to fantasy and historical accounts, there are books for every interest!

What other books by Indigenous authors do you think belong in the classroom? Let us know in the comments below!