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Indigenous Studies & Resources

A subject guide of Indigenous studies & resources.


The Keepers of the Land mural at the BCIT Burnaby Campus

Welcome to the Indigenous Resources & Studies Guide!

This guide is intended to be a starting point for students, teachers, researchers, and anyone else interested in Indigenous knowledge and history. In keeping with BCIT's commitment of "infusing Indigenous knowledge and practices throughout the organization and within our partnerships to mobilize broader societal change", this guide serves to provide access to resources on Indigenous history, cultures, and communities in Canada. 

A note on the BCIT Library Catalogue Subject Headings

BCIT Library staff members are actively working to improve access to our collections and revising our subject headings to be more respectful and inclusive. Please be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in search results or library materials, which reflect the authors attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.

Indigenous Explained


Indigenous Peoples

An umbrella term that encompasses the First Nations, Inuit or Métis Peoples of Canada.


The Aboriginal Peoples of Northern Canada that reside in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and northern parts of Labrador and Québec. There are also a small population of Inuit within Ontario. The word Inuit in the Inuit language directly translates to “the people”. The word “Eskimo” was previously used to refer to Inuit but is considered derogatory.


Peoples Broadly described as people with European and Indigenous ancestry, the Métis Peoples are recognized under the Indian Act as a distinct Nation in Canada.

Two-Spirit (2-Spirit)

Two-Spirit was a term introduced by Elder Myra Laramee in 1990 at the third annual Native American and Canadian Aboriginal LGBT people gathering in Winnipeg. It is “an English umbrella term to reflect and restore Indigenous traditions forcefully suppressed by colonization, honouring the fluid and diverse nature of gender and attraction and its connection to community and spirituality. Not all queer Indigenous people use this term, but Two-Spirit is an identity specific to being Indigenous and can only be claimed by Indigenous people.


Refers to and is being replaced by Indigenous Peoples, as it may be considered offensive. The term may be used by those who self-identify as Native but should be avoided by non-Indigenous people.

Important Resources

A Guide to the Pronunciation of Indigenous B.C. Government's Pronunciation Guide from the September 2018 Guide to Aboriginal Organizations and Services helps us understand how traditional names of organizations and communities are pronounced. 
First Nations, Metis and Inuit – Indigenous Ontologies (FNMIIO) A national Indigenous alliance that brings together professionals, Indigenous knowledge keepers, and organizations to address matters related to Indigenous knowledge, language, culture, and heritage. 
Who are Canada's aboriginal peoples? by , Paul L. A. H Chartrand A book that introduces the reader to the First people of Canada, their culture, ways of living, and heritage. 
A Guide to the Pronunciation of Indigenous Communities and Organizations in BC A guide that functions as an aid to pronunciations of Indigenous communities and organizations. 
Indigenous Languages Technology Standard

A guide that contains technical requirements for government IM/IT systems to read, write, store, process, and display Indigenous languages.

Including Indigenous languages in government records, systems and services A collection of resources that details what the B.C. government is doing to include First Nations, Métis and Inuit languages in official government records and systems.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) educates Canadians on the injustices committed on First Nations people by forcibly sending their children to residential schools.
Elements of Indigenous style: a guide for writing by and about Indigenous Peoples Gregory Younging writes about the principles to consider when working with Indigenous content.
History of Indigenous Art in Canada Get familiar with Indigenous art, and its beginnings.