How can libraries help preserve and provide access to indigenous knowledge? — By Sarah Fedko

1.CFLA Truth and Reconciliation Committee Report & Recommendations. (2017, April 21). Retrieved June 15, 2017, from

This is the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) Report on the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.   The CFLA makes a wide variety of recommendations including decolonizing knowledge organization and library spaces, seeking more opportunities for indigenous librarians, and documenting best practices for indigenous librarianship. The organization also seeks to encourage Canadian libraries and archives to implement relevant sections of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee report.


2.Doyle, A. M., Lawson, K., & Dupont, S. (2015). Indigenization of Knowledge Organization at the Xwi7xwa Library. Journal of Library and Information Studies, 13(2), 107-134.

This article examines practices for indigenous knowledge organization through a discussion of the Xwi7xwa Library , the Indigenous studies library at the University of British Columbia.   The authors address various practices at the library including effective knowledge organization for indigenous materials, which they highlight as important for effective instruction and research.  The article concludes with a discussion of possible future collaborations and how it may use new technologies to continue to support indigenous knowledge.


3.Lee, D. (2011). Indigenous knowledge organization: A study of concepts, terminology, structure and (mostly) indigenous voices. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 6(1).

The author reports on her survey of librarians at professional conferences on their institution’s use of modified classification systems for indigenous content.   The general consensus was that there is no ‘one size fits all solutions’ and that local systems should be developed and used to fit community needs.


4.Moulaison Sandy, H., & Bossaller, J. (2017). Providing Cognitively Just Subject Access to Indigenous Knowledge through Knowledge Organization Systems. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 55(3), 129-152.

I thought this article was particularly interesting because it discusses creating a knowledge organization scheme for indigenous knowledge that respects indigenous worldviews as a matter of justice.   Forcing western worldviews on them (through western classification schemes) is unfair and marginalizing.   The authors discuss new technologies as an important tool to move away from old universal classification schemes to specialized ones as one way to support indigenous knowledge organization.


5.Xwi7xwa Library. Indigenous Librarianship. (2017, April 24). Retrieved June 15, 2017, from

This is a research guide created by the Xwi7xwa Library, the indigenous studies library at UBC, and focus on resources relevant to indigenous librarianship.   It includes lists of recommended books, media, and theses as well as associations, which support indigenous librarianship.   This research guide also includes lists of key sources on important topics in indigenous librarianship such as Indigenous knowledge organization, cultural and intellectual property, and reconciliation.   This is an excellent source for any librarian seeking to improve his/her knowledge about indigenous librarianship.



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