Indigenous Peoples

We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa, and the Syilx peoples, and is home to the Métis and many diverse Indigenous persons. We honour their connection to the land and rivers and respect the importance of the environment to our strength as a community.

Key terms to understand

  • Reconciliation – See the entry here in the Canadian Encyclopedia.
  • Canada’s Indigenous Peoples include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.
  • Residential School System – The recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Residential School brings new awareness to our shared histories of the impact of the Residential School System to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and other First Nations across Canada.
  • National Day for Truth and ReconciliationBackground for this recommendation from Truth and Reconciliation: Commission of Canada, including Calls to Action.
    • Find resources for support and information here.

NPL Booklists on Indigenous topics

Other Reading Lists

Local Nations & Métis

Services

Genealogy

Many government institutions offer Indigenous resources to access their collections, including:

History & Learning

  • Online Courses (MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses offered free)
    • Indigenous Canada (University of Alberta through Coursera open learning). Can register anytime. Course Description: From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.
    • Reconciliation through Indigenous Education (University of British Columbia) Will help you envision how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of the work we do in classrooms, organizations, communities, and our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful. Reconciliation emphasizes changing institutional structures, practices, and policies, as well as personal and professional ideologies to create environments that are committed to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous peoples.
  • Indigenous (CBC Kids) – Facts, history, games and more.
  • Indigenous heritage (Library and Archives Canada) – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) acquires, preserves, and provides access to published and archival heritage material that represents First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation experiences and contributions to Canada. This includes text, photographs, maps, and audio-visual material. Explore the collection through our online databases, digitized documents and thematic guides.
  • Indigenous History (Government of Canada) – virtual exhibitions, timelines and Canadian history.
  • Indigenous Knowledge & Wisdom Centre (IKWC) – embodies the credible & authentic voice and inherent knowledge of its people while respecting the diverse cultures of First Nations in Alberta.
  • Indigenous Material (BC Archives & Royal British Columbia Museum) – Research guide to these collections and current projects highlighting Indigenous voices.
  • Indigenous Peoples in Canada (Canadian Encyclopedia) – provides background, includes an education guide, podcast information and links to further reading.
  • Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada (Canadian Geographic) – provides images and article excerpts of the hardcover publications.
  • Inuit – history, traditional values and regional descriptions.
  • Inuit Cultural Online Resource – History and traditional life and culture of the Inuit.
  • Metis History and Culture – publications, exhibits and links.
  • Museum of Anthropology: University of British Columbia – Online exhibitions include: Squamish and Haida people, weavers in the First Nations community of Musqueam and the making of a Chilkat robe.
  • Walking Together: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Perspectives in Curriculum (Learn Alberta) – Teacher resource includes links to worldviews, oral traditions, Elders, culture and language, kinship, etc.

Issues in Canada:  Indian Act, TRC, MMIWG, UNDRIP

Mapping and Traditional Territory Land

  • First Nations in BC: Interactive Map – from the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations.
  • First People’s Map of BC – British Columbia is home to 204 First Nations communities and an amazing diversity of Indigenous languages; approximately 50% of the First Peoples’ languages of Canada are spoken in B.C.
  • Native Land – research on whose traditional territory your home or work is located.
  • Whose Land? – Uses GIS technology to assist users in identifying Indigenous Nations, territories, and Indigenous communities across Canada. Learn about the territory your home or business is situated on, find information for a land acknowledgement, and learn about the treaties and agreements signed across Canada. Includes educational videos.

Media – Film

  • Indigenous Cinema (NFB) – Since 1968, the NFB has produced close to 300 films by First Nation, Inuit and Métis directors from across Canada. These have offered original and timely perspectives on our country, our history and possible futures from a range of Indigenous perspectives. The NFB has made many of these films freely available online. Also included are biographies of each director and the ability to search for work by nation/people of the director or those depicted in the film.

Media – Podcasts

  • Index of Indigenous Podcasts to get started.
  • All My Relations – Photographer Matika Wilbur, who is Swinomish and Tulalip, and academic Adrienne Keene, from the Cherokee Nation, discuss what it means to be Indigenous today from the POV of two American Indigenous feminists. Features a roster of relatable experts to join them on topics like native mascots, Indigenous food and feeding the spirit, sexuality, and whether DNA test results should be linked to identity.
  • Coffee with My Ma – A simple set-up — a daughter asks her mother questions over coffee. But in the hands of actress Kaniehtiio Horn (LetterkennyThe Man in the High Castle) and her mom, Kahentinetha Horn, the results are fascinating.
  • The Henceforward – explores the relationship between Indigenous and Black people in Canada, on topics that range from Black Lives Matter to reconciliation, gentrification and more.
  • Indigenous Innovators – profiles Indigenous leaders, activists, artists and entrepreneurs “to better understand the challenges and opportunities Indigenous People face in Canada today.”
  • Métis in Space – reviews sci-fi movies and TV series from a decolonial perspective, featuring “Indigenous peoples, tropes and themes”. Co-produced by Molly Swain and Chelsea Vowel.
  • Missing and Murdered (CBC)- Multi-award-winning podcast featuring investigative journalist Connie Walker. Recounts stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
  • New Fire with Lisa Charleyboy (CBC)- Indigenous youth are at the forefront of Lisa Charleyboy’s podcast, where she gets frank on topics about music, identity and sex. Each episode, she moderates the conversation with a different group of millennials.
  • Secret Life of Canada (CBC) – “highlights the people, places and stories that probably didn’t make it into your high school textbook”. Now offers teaching guides as well as classroom-ready adaptations of popular episodes for Canadian students.
  • Telling our Twisted Histories – Host Kaniehti:io Horn brings us together to decolonize our minds– one word, one concept, one story at a time.
  • This Land (Crooked Media) –  Investigates tribal land, broken promises and murder cases, hosted by Cherokee nation journalist Rebecca Nagle.
  • Unreserved (CBC) – Journalist Rosanna Deerchild journeys to Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, to get into the deeper stories, from cultural tours of Black and Indigenous communities on the East Coast, to attending the Indigenous Comic Con in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Warrior Kids – Please join us every week as we talk about everything Indigenous and share each other’s stories about what warrior kids are doing to protect our peoples and the planet.

Travel Resources

Understanding and Becoming an Ally

Words & Language – Guides for Writing, Libraries, etc.