Being able to tell your own story is powerful. Below, we have pulled out a few memoirs we have at Xwi7xwa Library and available online through UBC catalogue that illustrate the power of Indigenous People telling their own stories.

Halfbreed by Maria Campbell depicts the realities that Campbell endured and, above all, overcame. Maria was born in Northern Saskatchewan, her father the grandson of a Scottish businessman and Métis woman–a niece of Gabriel Dumont whose family fought alongside Riel and Dumont in the 1885 Rebellion; her mother the daughter of a Cree woman and French-American man. This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust.

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma.

From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way by Jesse Thistle is the winner of the 2020 Indigenous Voices-Memoir category. It is an heartwarming and heartbreaking exploration of what it means to live in a society surrounded by prejudice and racism and to be cast adrift, and in the end, about how love and support can help one find happiness despite the odds.

Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel by Lee Maracle is a gritty portrait of a turbulent home life and harrowing adventures on the road, from the mud flats of North Vancouver to the farm fields of California and the fringes of the hippie subculture in Toronto. Renowned author Lee Maracle’s groundbreaking biographical novel captures the spirit of Indigenous resistance during the Red Power movement of the 60s and 70s, chronicling a journey towards political consciousness in the movement for self-determination.

In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.

Creating Space: My Life and Work in Indigenous Education by Verna J. Kirkness reveals the challenges and misgivings, the burning questions, the successes and failures that have shaped the life of this extraordinary woman and the history of Indigenous education in Canada.

One Story, One Song by Richard Wagamese invites readers to accompany him on his travels. His focus is on stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four Ojibway storytelling principles: balance, harmony, knowledge and intuition.

Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl by Anahareo; edited by Sophie McCall captures Anahareo’s and her husband Grey Owl’s extensive travels through the bush and their work towards environmental and wildlife protection. This autobiography covers the daily life of an extraordinary Mohawk woman whose independence, intellect, and moral conviction had direct influence on Grey Owl’s conversion from trapper to conservationist.

Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir by Ernestine Hayes is told in layers that blend Indigenous stories and metaphor with social and spiritual journeys, this enchanting memoir traces the author’s life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home.

The Indigenous Music & Dance Research Guide provides strategies and information for researchers searching for Indigenous artists, dance and music performances. It provides resources like books to begin research from, search terms, music and dance videos, current news, ways to find Indigenous artists on websites like Youtube, and a list of local BC artists to add to your music playlists.

The Browse by Genre page has a short list of Indigenous artists sorted into different genres. If you know of an artist that should be on our list, email us and we’ll add it!

Happy listening!

With the summer comes more time for being on the land and participating in fun activities, like hiking, socially distanced picnics, trips to local campgrounds, and new readings! Xwi7xwa has found inspiration from #Skwalawenreads who celebrates local ancestral plant relationships and Squamish culture. We’ve made a few additions but hope this list of books helps you feel a connection to the nature around us!

The Standing People: Wild Medicinal Plants of British Columbia
by Kahlee Keane explores the medicinal plants in different parts of BC and how they are used through the lens of the herbalist author.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a Potawatomi woman who considers plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. She believes these teachers help us understand what it means for humans to be “the younger brothers of creation.” Throughout the book, she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world.

As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking. Indigenous resistance is a radical rejection of contemporary colonialism focused around refusing the dispossession of Indigenous bodies and land.

Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America by Nancy J. Turner is two volumes that follows Indigenous People throughout time, showing how they actively participated in their environments, managed and cultivated valued plant resources, and maintained key habitats that supported their dynamic cultures for thousands of years, as well as how knowledge was passed on from generation to generation and from one community to another.

The Water Walker written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson is the story of a determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (Water).

The Sea of Grass: a Family Tale from the American Heartland by Walter R. Echo-Hawk is a historical fiction novel inspired by real people and events that were shaped by the land, animals, and plants of the Central Plains and by the long sweep of Indigenous history in the grasslands.

Bridging Cultures: Scientific and Indigenous Ways of Knowing Nature by Glen Aikenhead & Herman Michell addresses the need for environmental science and science educators to embrace traditional Indigenous knowledge in a straight-forward and accessible manner.

Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Métis Plant Use by Christi Belcourt and Michif translations by Rita Flamand & Laura Burnouf helps readers understand and find their own awareness of the healing power of plants that is a life force generated from the strength of Mother Earth. It fuses Belcourt’s evocative artwork with Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Western Science.

Muskgege: Carol’s Traditional Medicines by Caroline Sanoffsky and illustrated by Nicole Marie Burton is written for grades K-8 students featuring descriptions and illustrations of 36 wild plants that can be used to make medicines.

Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do is Ask by Mary Siisip Geniusz is a book of Anishinaabe teachings, recipes, and botanical information told in the form of stories that brings the plants to life with narratives that explain their uses, meaning, and history.

Looking for more suggestions? Email us at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca with some more information on what you’re looking for and we’ll give you suggestions!

On June 3rd, 2019, The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’s Final Report revealed that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. In honour of the women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people who continue to go missing and are murdered in Canada and the US, we have put together this list of online resources & books available either freely online or through your UBC CWL login.

Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

The Final Report is comprised of the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers shared over two years of cross-country public hearings and evidence gathering. It delivers 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians.

Violence against Indigenous Women: Literature, Activism, Resistance by Allison Hargreaves

Indigenous communities have been organizing against violence since newcomers first arrived, but the cases of missing and murdered womenhave only recently garnered broad public attention. Violence AgainstIndigenous Women joins the conversation by analyzing the socially interventionist work of Indigenous women poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and fiction-writers. Organized as a series of case studies that pair literary interventions with recent sites of activism and policy-critique, the book puts literature in dialogue with anti-violence debate to illuminate new pathways toward action.

Remembering Vancouver’s Disappeared Women: Settler Colonialism and the Difficulty of Inheritance by Amber Dean

In a work driven by the urgency of this ongoing crisis, which extends across the country, Amber Dean offers a timely, critical analysis of the public representations, memorials, and activist strategies that brought the story of Vancouver’s disappeared women to the attention of a wider public. Remembering Vancouver’s Disappeared Women traces “what lives on” from the violent loss of so many women from the same neighbourhood.

Stolen directed by Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs

For the size of their population, Aboriginal women in Canada account for an incredibly overrepresented percentage of missing persons and murder statistics. Sheena, a lost teenager, is placed in a girl’s home. Seemingly forgotten and yearning for a life of freedom, she runs away, only to be picked up by a dangerous stranger. The directorial debut by actor Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs is a sober commentary of missing Indigenous women.

this river directed by Erika MacPherson and Katherena Vermette

This short documentary offers an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. Volunteer activist Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette have both survived this heartbreak and share their histories with each other and the audience. While their stories are different, they both exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something.

For the 2017 pow wow, 17-year-old jingle dancer Tia Wood of Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Alberta was selected as Head Young Lady Dancer. She used that position, and the spotlight it provided in a spectacular way to bring attention to the nearly 1,000 missing and murdered indigenous women from both the United States and Canada.

Looking for more resources? Check out our MMIWG Research Guide updated regularly by our library staff.

This research guide is intended for students, faculty, and researchers to use and locate resources to help their understanding of the complexities surrounding Indigenous spatial and land based activism. It focuses specifically on strategies for researching contemporary Indigenous struggles over spatial justice. Because grassroots struggles for justice are not always well represented within academic literature, this guide provides additional research strategies, including tips for navigating news and social media.

Some highlights from the new guide includes:

And more lists of books, theses, scholarly articles and other helpful resources on this topic!

Please feel free to email us any feedback on the new research guide or any questions about this topic to xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca

Our Distance Research Guide is intended for UBC students, faculty, staff, and researchers who have been impacted by the recent changes in services due to global health concerns. It has updates, information on getting your devices connected to UBC services, and tips and tricks for researching Indigenous topics remotely.

View our other research guides here.

Our staff are working from home and are available through email at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca to:

  • answer research questions
  • find online materials for papers & research topics
  • find alternative materials to items only available in print
  • cancel late fees from March 16 until the situation changes

Did you know that UBC Library has thousands of full online copies of their most popular books? At Xwi7xwa, we have some of the most popular/circulating materials available online for students & faculty to access, as well as streaming videos through McIntyre Media.

If you need help finding resources or alternative resources to a print materials you can’t access right now, please email us at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca and a librarian will email you back with some options!

How to Find Online Materials through the catalog:

Option 1:

Through this link to the UBC Library catalogue, you can search specifically for materials that are available online. The image below is where the link will take you.

Under the “Filter by Date/Location/Format/Language,” select “Location: Online” to view items that will be available in their full format online. You can type in a specific title, keywords, authors, or subjects and see what comes up.

Option 2:

A way to view if a specific material that the Library owns in print is also available online by clicking on the title in the item record.

In the above example, you can see the title is printed twice. Click on the second title listed; this one is a clickable link.

Clicking on the title will lead you to a page much like the one above. There are three types of records: a record of the book at Xwi7xwa, at other UBC library locations, and the copy available online. Click on the option that says “Status, Library Location: ONLINE”

Either option will lead you to a page like the example in the below image:

Once here, select the orange “Online Access” button on the right side of the screen. This will take you to the online ebook.

Helpful Hints for Keyword Searches through Summon

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.
    • Example: “First Nations”
  • Use a question mark to truncate a term to search for words with the same stem.
    • Example: Aborig? retrieves Aboriginal, Aboriginals, Aborigine, etc.
  • Use “AND” in searches will allow you to limit your results even farther.
    • example: “first nations” AND “residential schools” will only show you results with both those phrases in them. This works for more than just two as well
  • Use “OR” to find phrases that could be interchangeable to make the search wider
    • example: “first nations” OR “indigenous” OR “aboriginal”
  • Combine “AND” and “OR”
    • example: “first nations” OR “indigenous” OR “aboriginal” AND “residential schools”

How to Find Streaming Videos:

Option 1:

UBC Library uses a platform called McIntyre Media to stream videos we’ve subscribed to.

  1. Search the phrase “Mcintyre media” in simple search and filter the results to Online OR click this link.
  2. Select any of the titles on the list to see their record.
  3. Under Actions on the right hand side click Online to gain access to 165 titles

Check out this post from Xwi7xwa last year for some video recommendations.

Option 2:

Head onto the simple search of the catalogue and the page below will pop up

Under “Filter by Date/Location/Format/Language,”select “Location: ONLINE'” and put in your search term(s).

Once you are taken to your search results, you will want to add an additional filter from the left side column.

Add the filter “Format: Videorecording” to be able to view online videos. Some of these will be from McIntyre Media, but some will not. It depends on what search terms were used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 3: 

UBC Library has a research guide all about online film and media that you can access.

Looking for non-academic films to take your mind off your coursework? Check out this database UBC has access to until April 20th!

Featured Online Books & Resources:

As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (also available online) gives the reader many of the ways that Indigenous resistance has stopped natural resource extraction. From tar sands to pipelines, Indigenous resistance has pushed against colonization and the dispossession of land. This book not only examines the relationship between Indigenous peoples and natural resources, but ways to push back against settler-colonialism as a whole.

Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith explores the ways in which imperils is embedded in the disciplines of knowledge, and argues that the decolonization of research methods will help reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.

First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style by Lee Maracle is a collection of short stories provides revealing glimpses into the life experiences of an Aboriginal woman, a university professor, an activist and a single mother in the lower mainland of B.C.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer uses matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Anton Treuer gives a frank, funny, and sometimes personal tour of “what’s up with Indians, anyway?”

C̓äsna7äm, The City Before The City directed and produced by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (also available online) looks at the story of the land UBC and Vancouver sits on before it became Vancouver and UBC. This documentary specifically looks at the 200 day vigil the Musqueam people to halt a condo development that unearthed ancestral remains.

Need more help finding resources? Email us at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca!

    NEW   Xwi7xwa Library – Distance Research Guide

April 3, 2020 – Update

Xwi7xwa Library will be closed to the public until April 30. We are working remotely!

Email at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca or karleen.delaurier-lyle@ubc.ca for inquiries.

Information specifically about UBC Library is available in the banner on the UBC Library website, as well as here, where UBC library is updating their information.

 

March 18, 2020 – Update

As of March 20 at 5PM Xwi7xwa Library will be closed to the public until April 6 at 9AM, after which point the situation will be reviewed. Please check back here for updates about Xwi7xwa Library’s hours. For updates on hours please see.

Our staff are working remotely and still available to support research needs.

Email at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca or karleen.delaurier-lyle@ubc.ca for inquiries.

Information specifically about UBC Library is available in the banner on the UBC Library website, as well as here, where UBC library is updating their information.


Due to current closures and conditions because of Covid 19 and UBC’s decision to move classes to online, UBC library is making changes to hours, lending processes, and fine policies.

UBC.ca continues to be the most up-to-date and authoritative source of information about the University’s response to COVID-19.

Information specifically about UBC Library is available in the banner on the UBC Library website, as well as here, where UBC library is updating their information daily.

As of March 17, Xwi7xwa will be open as normal 9am-5pm. Please check back here for updates about Xwi7xwa Library’s opening hours and updates.

Many of our library staff are working from home and are available through email at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca

We are able to answer reference questions, find online materials for papers & research topics, and find alternative materials to items only available in print.

The library will cancel late fees from March 16 until the situation changes. Please do not come to campus to return or renew library materials.

Did you know we have a great graphic novel section at the library? Located on top of our vertical files, right next to our french language collection! Being able to see words and images on the page at the same time allows graphic novels to communicate emotions to readers that words alone might not. Here are some of our librarians’ picks from the collection and hopefully we’ll see you when you come pick one up!

The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor ; art by Michael Wyatt; graphic adaptation by Alison Kooistra

When 16-year-old Tiffany discovers her father is renting out her room, she’s deeply upset. Sure, their guest is polite and keeps to himself, but he’s also a little creepy. No one expects that the mysterious Pierre L’Errant is actually a vampire, returning to his home after centuries spent away.

Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown

Follow the charismatic, and perhaps mad, nineteenth-century Metis leader whose struggle to win rights for his people led to violent rebellion on the nations western frontier.

Three Feathers by Richard Van Camp & K. Mateus

Three young men have vandalized their community and are sent by its Elders to live nine months on the land as part of their sentencing. Through their time, the young men learn to take responsibility for their actions and find the humility needed to return home.

Turn On A Light: a Bedtime Story for Grown Ups by Shane L. Koyczan; illustrated by Sly Aida

This novel illustrates the connection between grandsons, fathers, and grandfathers and the roles they play to protect one another.

The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book by Gord Hill

A historically accurate portrayal of Indigenous resistance to the European colonization in the Americas, beginning with Christopher Columbus and ending with the Six Nations land reclamation in Ontario in 2006.

Silence Is A Song I Know All the Words To by Shane Koyczan and Gareth Gaudin; with colours by Jim Smith

A collection of poems in graphic novel format that examines love of yourself along with other themes. Koyczan has an spoken word poetry album of the same name to read along with the graphic novel, but unfortunately, we don’t own it at the library.

Will I See? by Iskwé and Erin Leslie; script by David Alexander Robertson; art by GMB Chomichuk

Based on the story by Iskwé and Erin Leslie, this graphic novel is a story of tragedy and beauty that illuminates the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women in a format more reachable than academic texts.

Colonial Comics edited by Jason Rodriguez, A. David Lewis, and J. L. Bell

A collection of 20 short stories focusing rarely told historical stories during the colonial period of New England.

March 8th is International Women’s Day across the globe! It is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of all women, past, present, & future. It is also used as a day to signify a call to action for accelerating women’s equality in society.

The theme for this year is Each for Equal, explained as:

An equal world is an enabled world.

Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.

Let’s all be #EachforEqual.

(International Women’s Day Theme, 2020)

You might see some social media activity with the hashtags #IWD2020 and #EachforEqual, which are the official hashtags by the International Women’s Day organization.

Here at Xwi7xwa, we’ve picked out some of our favourite books surrounding women, feminism, and womanhood.

A Recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood by Kim Anderson explores how Indigenous womanhood had been constructed and reconstructed in Canada, and examines how important the ability to self-determine yourself is in a colonial society.

Contact Zones: Aboriginal and Settler Women in Canada’s Colonial Past edited by Katie Pickles and Myra Rutherdale places women as both colonizer and colonized (sometimes even simultaneously), to demonstrate that women were uniquely positioned at the axis of the colonial encounter. Contact Zones puts Canadian women’s history within colonial and imperial systems.

Keetsahnak: Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters edited by Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell & Christi Belcourt the tension between personal, political, and public action is brought home starkly as the contributors look at the roots of violence and how it diminishes life for all.

This Wound is a World: poems by Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future.

“Until Our Hearts Are On the Ground”: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth edited by D. Memee Lavell-Harvard and Jeannette Corbiere Lavell is a collection of multiple voices demonstrating the issues surrounding Indigenous motherhood in contemporary society and the effects it has on mothering practices, government policies, and the way mothers are represented in the media.

Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline follows Joan through a propulsive, stunning and sensuous novel inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou – a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities.

When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty by Mark Rifkin examines the relationships between colonialism through U.S government policy & history and Indigenous peoples sexuality/sexual order of society.

Making Space for Indigenous Feminism edited by Joyce Green covers a wide range of some of the most important issues facing Indigenous peoples today: violence against women, recovery of Indigenous self-determination, racism, misogyny and decolonization in a global context.

Living on the Land: Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place edited by Nathalie Kermoal and Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez looks at how patriarchy, gender, and colonialism shape the experiences of Indigenous women as both knowledge holders and knowledge producers. Different writers explore the nature and scope of Indigenous women’s knowledge, how knowledge is rootedness in relationships both human and spiritual, and how knowledge is not inseparable from land and landscape.

Life Stages and Native Women: Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine by Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Métis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century.

Hope Matters by Lee Maracle, Columpa Bobb, & Tania Carter is a collection of poetry written together as mothers & daughters that focuses on Indigenous history from colonial beginnings to reconciliation.

 

Looking for something else to read on International Women’s Day? Stop in to catch with our librarians or email us at xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca!

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