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Indigenous Studies & Resources

A subject guide of Indigenous studies & resources.

Advanced Searching in Summon

BCIT is 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 author's attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.

Searching for Indigenous Resources

The BCIT library has a vast collection of Indigenous resources, which are organized using classification as well as categorization. You can make use of these systems, as well as search queries to look for resources of your interest.

The names of Indigenous nations and resources may change over time. The First Nations, Métis and Inuit have also used their own words, and as such, search can be conducted using both conventional terminology as well as Indigenous terminology. While using Indigenous terminology, it is important to be mindful and respectful of the terminology, its significance, and relevance to the Indigenous communities. 

When searching through the BCIT collection of resources, use both old and new terminology, as well as general and specific words.

Some examples of general terms are: First Nations, Indigenous,  First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and First Peoples. 

You can also use specific terms such as the following: Akwesasne, Mi’kmaq, Oujé-Bougoumou, and Nehiyawewin.

Some terms might have variations. Some examples are: Anishinaabe and Anishinabek, Ojibwe and Ojibway.

Other resources could also have spelling variations, such as: Diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ and Ditidaht.

You can find resources by using the subject keyword search. Consider using Indigenous terminology along with subject keywords, combined with commonly-used operators to create search queries. You can also use keywords in natural language. 

Some examples are as follows: 

  • "first nation*" OR (indigenous AND Canada*) OR inuit* OR metis"
  • "Stó:lō" OR "Stó:lô" OR "Stó:lõ" OR "Stahlo"
  •  "Dakelh" OR "Carrier language"
  • Inuit* AND (folklore OR history)
  • missing indigenous women

This approach will require multiple searches, as subject headings can be vast, and Indigenous terminology can change with time. Writing search queries takes practise, and you will get used to writing effective search queries with time. You can consider discussing search options with a knowledgeable person to determine the appropriateness and accuracy of search results. 

First Peoples' Map of B.C.

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