Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Birchbark Books & Native Arts

photo from Facebook

Name: Birchbark Books & Native Arts
Tribe: All, but primarily Ojibwe and Lakota/Dakota/Nakota
Location: 2115 West 21st Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55405
Type: Bookstore
Visiting Info: Open daily 10am-6pm, Thursdays until 8pm
Contact: Website, telephone 612-374-4023

Birchbark Books & Native Arts in Minneapolis is an independent bookseller than specializes in Native literature, languages, authors, and publishers. They also provide Native arts, herbs, gifts, jewelry, and community events.

Their website begins with this mission statement: "Birchbark Books is operated by a spirited collection of people who believe in the power of good writing, the beauty of handmade art, the strength of Native culture, and the importance of small and intimate bookstores. Our books are lovingly chosen. Our store is tended with care."

With cozy chairs and interesting artwork, a handmade wooden canoe hanging from the ceiling, and perhaps a collection of dogs onsite, the store looks like a reader's dream come true. There is also a loft with a "hobbit hole reading nook" just for children.

Birchbark is owned by author Louise Erdrich, who is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. She writes novels, short stories, poetry, young adult and children's books. According to Wikipedia, in addition to many other awards, she received the National Book Award for Fiction for her novel The Round House, and her novel The Plague of Doves was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She posts her thoughts on the books she's reading and recommends titles on the store's blog.

Ms. Erdrich and her sister also run Wiigwaas Press, which sells it's Ojibwe-language books through the Birchbark store and online shop. Online sales and shipping are available to Canada and the US.


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