Montessori Indigenous Education Books

Ancestor Approved by Leitich Smith

“Each person, human or no, is bound to every other in a reciprocal relationship. Just as all beings have a duty to me, I have a duty to them. If an animal gives its life to feed me, I am in turn bound to support its life. If I receive a stream’s gift of pure water, then I am responsible for returning a gift in kind. An integral part of a human’s education is to know those duties and how to perform them.”

– Robin Wall Kimmerer

Happy Summer to all of you in the North! Also, Happy Winter to everyone in the South! As we get organized for our next official school year, I thought it would be a great time to share some Montessori-friendly books.

The books featured in this post reflect and honor the culture, history, and the contemporary existence of American Indians. Moreover, this collection showcases the works of Indigenous authors. Therefore, we hope it’s a useful resource for families, as it contains selections for all ages.

We’re always looking for ways to tie multiple subjects together in an interdisciplinary approach and this collection of books accomplishes that beautifully. In addition to being part of our Indigenous Education booklist, each book is applicable to more than one subject. Below, you will find with each book, we include the other subject areas in which we plan to include these selections.

Furthermore, we like to include child-led shelf work and experiences to pair with our books. The subject areas we have listed below are a useful guide for anyone looking to add these books to existing works or to build additional units around their subject matter. As a result, it’s easy to imagine just how much they can offer as resources for exploration of various topics.

Montessori Indigenous Education Books

Montessori-friendly Indigenous Education picture books for children

Montessori Indigenous Education Picture Books

We All Play by Julie Flett

(Nature/Zoology/Cosmic Education) This is a beautiful book for young children with its soft, playful illustrations and simple text. Themes include children, animals, and the interconnectedness of all things. This book also includes Cree phrases and an English-Cree translation. As a result, it’s also a lovely selection for language exposure.

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

(Earth Science/Ecology/History) This book, with its breathtaking illustrations, not only touches upon the importance of safeguarding water as one of our precious natural resources. It also provides a historical perspective of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and its protest by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The symbolism of the black snake is a great conversation starter for young storytellers and those interested in environmental stewardship. We found this helpful during our Montessori Second Great Lesson Materials and Follow-Up.

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

(Sensorial/Practical Life/History/Geography) This book is a powerful addition to our library. It honors a family’s cultural tradition and experiences of baking fry bread as members of the Mekusukey band of the Seminole Nation. I really appreciate that through the author’s descriptions of what fry bread represents, you are getting a sensorial experience with each page, as well as both a historical and present-day representation of its significance. I also really enjoyed reading this interview with Mr. Maillard. He discussed all the ways he included his tribe and others throughout the story, from his tribe’s patchwork patterns to the end papers listing U.S. tribal nations. There’s just so much in this book. We plan to follow the fry bread recipe in the book, along with our baking printables (mentioned in our Montessori Elementary Resources Curriculum post), as part of our continent studies.

Coyote and the Sky by Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia

(Cosmic Education/Creation Stories/Geography/History) This book tells the Tamaya Pueblo creation story and it’s a big hit with our kids. As a result, we are incorporating it into our studies of the universe via our Montessori First Great Lesson Materials and Follow-Up for Primary & Elementary. We are delighted to have an autographed copy of this book.

Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child

(Music/Dance/Storytelling) This is such a neat and imaginative story about a little girl, cherished time with family, nature, and a summer night’s dream about a powwow. Furthermore, it shares a present-day story filled with music, dance, vibrant illustrations, and includes Ojibwe translation.

You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith

(Socio-Emotional Learning/History) This title is a great addition to our socio-emotional learning collection. It encourages the nurturing of relationships and empathy. Beautiful illustrations accompany the large text. In addition, a note from the author provides some background information about Indian Residential Schools and the experiences of the children who were forced to attend. This book was born from those experiences.

Montessori Indigenous Education Book: Ancestor Approved by Leitich Smith

Indigenous Anthology for Elementary

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

This book is a collection of stories and is suitable for Elementary students. Also, its topics cover several subject areas. Some of the authors featured in this anthology have already been referenced above. As a result, we’re excited to have additional works of theirs to include in our studies.

This book does not contain any pictures or illustrations. In fact, it’s our daughter’s first text-only book. Currently, she’s reading at a second grade reading level. Therefore, this will be an independent reader and a family read-aloud.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the U.S. and Braiding Sweetgrass

Montessori Indigenous Education for High School – Adult

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

I am really looking forward to learning more from this book. It provides an understanding of U.S. history told from the perspective of Native Americans. Also, there’s an edition specifically for young adults. It works well for the middle school years.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

This book is the perfect blend of Indigenous insight, cosmic education, botany, ecology, conservation, and nature studies. Interested in reconnecting with nature? Well, then this is the book for you. Naturally, I am reading this selection independently. Also, some parts we will share as a family read-aloud.

In Summary

You can find our complete collection of Montessori Indigenous Education Books at Happy Homeschool Adventures on In fact, they were a big part of our Montessori Fourth Great Lesson Materials and Follow-Up.

We hope you’ll keep these books in mind as you plan your year or for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. What do you think of our collection? Also, what are your favorite Montessori Indigenous Education resources? Looking for additional resources?

Additional Montessori Indigenous Education Resources

More Montessori Books By Subject

Thanks for stopping by!

– Kristin


Montessori Indigenous Education Books for all ages & featuring American Indian authors. For the whole family & Indigenous Peoples' Day.  #montessori #homeschool #indigenouseducation #americanindian #indigenouspeoplesday #nativeamerican

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. Amazon links are not affiliate links. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.