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“Thank you for the wonderful Zoom session! It was very informative and extremely helpful in terms of elevating my research skills. ” -MBA student, September 2020

Orange Shirt Day on September 30th is an important occasion to honour the more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children who attended Indian residential schools in Canada between the late 1800s and 1996, and to recognize the legacy of this system.

Below, we’ve highlighted materials from Koerner Library’s collections written by Indigenous authors that reflect on the impacts of the Indian Residential School system in Canada. You can request these items through UBC Library’s Materials Pick Up Service by clicking on the orange “Get It” button on the right toolbar, or check out e-books and other related resources through the included links.

You can also learn more about Orange Shirt Day events at UBC, as well as activities and learning resources at UBC’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre web resource on Orange Shirt Day.


The Education of Augie Merasty - A Residential School Memoir - New Edition

The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir by Joseph Auguste Merasty and David Carpenter (e-book version)

The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir by Joseph Auguste Merasty and David Carpenter (physical copy)

Merasty, a survivor of the Indian Residential School system in Canada, recounts the ways these schools did more than attempt to mold children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their native heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse. Even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty’s generous and authentic voice shines through.


They Called Me Number One: Survival and Secrets at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars

Xat’sull Chief Bev Sellars spent her childhood in a church-run residential school. Beginning at the age of five, Sellars was isolated for two years at Coqualeetza Indian Tuberculosis Hospital in Sardis, British Columbia, nearly six hours’ drive from home. The trauma of these experiences has reverberated throughout her life. In this first full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC, Sellars tells of three generations of women who attended the school, interweaving the personal histories of her grandmother and her mother with her own.



“Speaking My Truth” : Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential Schools selected by Shelagh Rogers, Mike DeGagné, Jonathan Dewar, and Glen Lowry

This collection of stories looks at the history of Residential School and possibilities for reconciliation from the perspective First Nation, Inuit, and Metis peoples. It features first-person accounts from survivors, intergenerational survivors, and seeks to provide students and educators with a resource for generating understanding and much-needed debate around difficult questions of Reconciliation among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.



Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod (e-book version)

Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod (physical copy)

Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family’s history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school.This intimate autobiography reflects on the inter-generational impacts of the residential school system.




Indian Horse (a novel) by Richard Wagamese (e-book version)

Indian Horse (a novel) by Richard Wagamese (physical copy)

In this novel by Richard Wagamese (Ojibwe), Saul Indian Horse is in trouble, and there seems to be only one way out. As he journeys his way back through his life as a northern Ojibway, from the horrors of residential school to his triumphs on the hockey rink, he must question everything he knows.

You can also stream the 2018 film adaptation of Wagamese’s book through our Criterion On Demand Streaming Service, or watch a video of Wagamese speaking about the book at an event at UBC in 2013.


If you’re interested in learning more about the history and impacts of the Indian Residential School System in Canada, Koerner Library has several physical and electronic books on the topic. You can also consult the Indian Residential School System in Canada research guide created by Xwi7xwa Library for tips on how to find resources in UBC Library’s catalogue and databases, as well as other relevant collections or resources.

Orange Shirt Day is September 30. Below you will find resources that may be requested from UBC Education Library. X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s “Indian Residential School System in Canada” research guide also includes materials that address the reality of the Indian Residential Schools. Many contain additional resources for teaching or encouraging discussion at home.


The orange shirt story / author, Phyllis
Webstad; illustrations, Brock Nicol.


I am not a number / written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy
Kacer; illustrated by Gillian Newland.


Stolen words / written by Melanie
Florence; illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard.


When we were alone / David Alexander
Robertson; Julie Flett.


shietko / Nicola I. Campbell; pictures by Kim La Fave.


Shin-chi’s canoe
, written by Nicola I. Campbell, illustrated by Kim LaFave


legs: a true story / Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton; artwork by Liz Amini-Holmes.


You hold me up / Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel.

FULL TEXT ONLINE:  http://tinyurl.com/yys2eaqn



Speaking our
truth: a journey of reconciliation / Monique Gray Smith.
FULL TEXT ONLINE:  http://tinyurl.com/yy3a7d7v


UBC students, faculty and staff now have remote access to more than 80 UBC Library computer workstations for academic instructional use. Users can connect, using CWL and password to desktop computers in four UBC Library labs.

Access to these workstations, which include PCs and Macs, is especially critical to those who require specialized software and high-performing machines to pursue their research.

“It is hugely impactful for students to be able to access high power machines that they likely wouldn’t be able to access or afford otherwise — especially at this time,” says Eka Grguric, Digital Scholarship Librarian, “Access to the right tools at the right time is critical to student success.” 

Among the computers available are the seventeen powerful machines located in the Digital Scholarship Lab in the UBC Library Research Commons which boast a comprehensive list of specialty software. “Even providing access to something like Oxygen XML editor is a show of support to under-resourced projects on campus that are used to provisioning their own tools,” she adds.

Evan Thornberry, Map and GIS Librarian is pleased that students now have access to the six computers located in the GIS Lab in the Research Commons. “Many of the software available on these computers cannot be easily provisioned on personal computers. With the virtual machines, we are able to provide access to specialized proprietary software like Esri’s ArcGIS 24 hours a day.”

Users can also gain access to more than 40 Mac public computer workstations and nearly 200 PC public computer workstations across several library branches.

“Being a student is difficult enough with the challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has introduced to the new academic year.  Providing remote access to library computer labs allows us to honour the library’s strategic direction to provide technology-rich spaces that enable experimentation and encourage creative approaches for our faculty and students,” says Allan Bell, Associate University Librarian, Digital Programs and Services.

Access remote computers at UBC Library.

Learn more about the software available in the UBC Library Research Commons’ Data/GIS Lab.

Learn more about the software available in the UBC Library Research Commons’ Digital Scholarship Lab*

Learn more about the software available in the Woodward Library lab.

*Due to licensing restrictions, Adobe Creative Cloud software is not available remotely.

This project is part of UBC Library’s strategic direction to inspire with innovative spaces and services.

Learn more about our Strategic Framework.

All Issues Resolved. PLease report any further problems via our Help Form:

Electronic Resources Help

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In an effort to better support UBC community, Koerner Library now provides remote access to our Computer Lab (RM 217) and Data/GIS Lab (RM 218 A).

All workstations in both labs have GIS and statistical analysis softwares installed. For a complete list of the softwares available at UBC Computer Labs, check: https://services.library.ubc.ca/computers-technology/public-computers/.

Image credit: https://guides.library.ubc.ca/gis/labs

Science Literacy Week Sept 21-27, 2020

Xwi7xwa Library is participating in this year’s Science Literacy Week 2020! Branches across UBC Library will be hosting online workshops, curating reading lists, and sharing fun films on this year’s topic: Biodiversity!

See the collective research guide here! And join the conversation


Join the conversation!
@ubclibrary #scilit20 #bc

Xwi7xwa Library has gathered some resources highlighting the work of Ronald “Bud” Sparrow. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and community during this time. Sparrow’s influence on Canada’s understanding of Aboriginal fishing will continue in others’ work. Please contact the branch with research related questions if you do not find what you are looking for below.

Musqueam Community: Learn more about Bud Sparrow and his legacy

Online Resources

Hard-copy Resources

Research Guides

Between the late 1800s and 1996, more than 150, 000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children attended Indian Residential Schools. Orange Shirt Day, September 30th, was inspired by the story of Survivor Phyllis Webstad and honours the experiences of all children impacted by the Residential Schools.

On September 30th join X̱wi7x̱wa Library in the conversation about Orange Shirt Day by reading a book from our curated children’s book list about residential schools. Below are 5 additional children’s books related to Orange Shirt Day and Residential Schools.

See X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s “Indian Residential School System in Canada” research guide for more resources and research advice. Please email xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca for additional research help or questions about borrowing material from the Library.

The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at UBC will host several Orange Shirt Day events and workshops this year, starting on September 22 with a talk from Phyllis Webstad, author of “The Orange Shirt Story.” To learn more about events and the inspiration for Orange Shirt Day, visit the IRSHDC’s website.


The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad.

“The Orange Shirt Story” is based on Phyllis Webstad’s personal experience attending residential school. For her first day at residential school, Phyllis wore a bright orange shirt given to her by her grandmother. When she arrived at the school, teachers immediately took her orange shirt and Phyllis never saw the orange shirt again. Since then, the colour orange has always reminded Phyllis of her traumatic experience at residential school and her orange shirt has become a symbol for honouring the legacies of children who attended Indian Residential Schools.

This title includes a teacher’s lesson plan and additional teaching resources. The Orange Shirt Story is also available in French and Shuswap.

“Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams” with words by Cindy Blackstock and illustrations by Amanda Strong

Spirit Bear is off on another adventure! Follow him as he learns about traditional knowledge and Residential Schools from his Uncle Huckleberry and his friend, Lak’insxw, before heading to Algonquin territory, where children teach him about Shannen’s Dream. Spirit Bear and his new friends won’t stop until Shannen’s Dream of “safe and comfy schools” comes true for every First Nations student.”

“Goodbye Buffalo Bay” by Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden

“The sequel to the award-winning book As Long as the Rivers Flow and the award-finalist When the Spirits Dance , Goodbye Buffalo Bay is set during the author’s teenaged years. In his last year in residential school, Lawrence learns the power of friendship and finds the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He returns home to find the traditional First Nations life he loved is over. He feels like a stranger to his family until his grandfather’s gentle guidance helps him find his way. Goodbye Buffalo Bay explores the themes of self-discovery, the importance of friendship, the difference between anger and assertiveness and the realization of youthful dreams.”

“The Journey Forward: A Novella on Reconciliation” by Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith / readers’ guide by Alison Gear 

“From award-winning authors Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith come two honest and memorable middle-grade novellas on residential schools and reconciliation. The novellas will be bound together in a ‘flip-book’ format, which offers the intended audiences two important perspectives in one package. This stunning and unique book will feature two covers: Lucy & Lola will include a cover and spot illustrations by renowned artist Julie Flett. When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! will feature cover photographs by Tessa MacIntosh.” For ages 9-13.


“I Lost my Talk” words by Rita Joe and art by Pauline Young

“One of Rita Joe’s most influential poems, “I Lost My Talk” tells the revered Mi’kmaw Elder’s childhood story of losing her language while a resident of the residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. An often quoted piece in this era of truth and reconciliation, Joe’s powerful words explore and celebrate the survival of Mi’kmaw culture and language despite its attempted eradication. A companion book to the simultaneously published I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas, I Lost My Talk is a necessary reminder of a dark chapter in Canada’s history, a powerful reading experience, and an effective teaching tool for young readers of all cultures and backgrounds. Includes a biography of Rita Joe and striking colour illustrations by Mi’kmaw artist Pauline Young.”

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