Visit us for research help, to see our  collections, or to find a place to study. At Xwi7xwa Library everyone is welcome!

September 30 is an annual day to recognize & raise awareness about the residential school system in Canada, join together in the spirit of reconciliation, and honour the experiences of Indigenous People.

Orange Shirt Day is inspired by Phyllis Webstad’s story. On her first day of residential school, Phyllis’s grandmother gave her a brand new orange shirt . When Phyllis got to residential school, her shirt was taken from her and never returned. The colour orange has always reminded Phyllis of her traumatic experience at residential school.

If you need support during this time (or at any time of year), please consider these resources:

Drop-in counseling at the Longhouse. No appointment needed:

Tuesdays, 1 – 4 pm, with Renée

Wednesdays, 1 – 4 pm, with Michael

Thursdays, 1 – 4 pm, with Leslie

Kuu-us 24hr crisis line:

Adult/Elder Crisis Line: 250-723-4050

Child/Youth Crisis Line: 250-723-2040

Find more information about Residential Schools in our Indian Residential Schools in Canada Research Guide.

Visit the Indian Residential School and Dialogue Centre at UBC. They are open Monday to Friday from 10am-3pm.

Portrait of Chinese men and women, Vancouver. Between 1900- 1909. Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection, UBC Library.

BC Library’s Chung Collection has been added to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Canada Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value.

Showcasing the most significant documents of our heritage, UNESCO’s Memory of the World program is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and wilful and deliberate destruction. It calls for the preservation of valuable archival holdings, library collections and private individual compendia all over the world for posterity, the reconstitution of dispersed or displaced documentary heritage, and the increased accessibility to and dissemination of these items. The Canada Memory of the World Register highlights exceptional works and documents that reflect the wealth and diversity of Canada’s documentary heritage.

In being added to the Canadian register, the Chung Collection joins a short list of Canadian works and documentary collections including the Canadian Pacific Railway Company Fonds, The Vancouver Island Treaties and Witnesses of Founding Cultures: Early Books in Aboriginal Languages (1556-1900).

About the collection

The Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection was donated to UBC Library by the Chung Family in 1999. The family added a second significant donation to the collection in 2014 and has continued to donate items over the years. Inspired to start collecting by an illustrated poster of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s steamship R.M.S. Empress of Asia in his father’s tailor shop in Victoria, Dr. Wallace B. Chung amassed more than 25,000 items over sixty years. The collection consists of textual records, maps, artefacts, books and other materials and focuses on three main themes: early British Columbia history and exploration, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), and early immigration and settlement, with a particular focus on the Chinese experience.

“UBC Library is proud to be the home of the Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection and I am thrilled to see it receive this well-deserved national recognition,” says Susan E. Parker, University Librarian, “This collection is stewarded by the library and actively engaged with by our faculty, students, and staff and by the broader community. We are honoured that Dr. Chung has entrusted UBC Library to ensure this history is preserved and available for research and learning.”

“One of our core mandates at Rare Books and Special Collections is to collect and preserve materials that directly relate to the history of British Columbia and its place in the world,” says Krisztina Laszlo, Archivist.  “The Chung Collection is critical in understanding this history; it documents a story that is relevant not only to the people of Canada, but is of global importance.  For example, in preserving materials related to the Chinese diaspora and their struggles and triumphs in the New World, they teach us all lessons of resilience and triumph in the face of adversity.”    

The Chung Collection is housed in Rare Book and Special Collections in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC Library and is available to scholars and members of the public in British Columbia and beyond. Weekly drop-in tours are held every Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Read the announcement from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Learn more about the Chung Collection.

Lorne Madgett has been with UBC since 1993, and is currently the e-Resources & Access Library Specialist in Collection Service at the Woodward Library.

Before he started at UBC, Lorne was working at an engineering firm in Ontario. Looking for a change of environment, he decided to hop on a train and venture across the country to Vancouver. “I came across by train in February, which is really interesting, because it was like Siberia across the prairies,” he said. “I’m looking around [Vancouver] and thinking, ‘oh, this is where I got to be’.”

Once Lorne settled in his new home, he decided to enroll in UBC’s Creative Writing program and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. While studying at UBC, he started working as a Student Assistant for Janice Kreider, who was the Bibliographer of Science and Engineering at the time, and from there Lorne grew within the University, eventually landing his current role in e-Resources.

Lorne explained how his current role has many commonalities with his engineering past in Ontario, including skills in investigation, exploration, problem solving and technology.

Lorne’s advice to new UBC hires is to explore their position. “Don’t think of the job description as your constraints, think of that as sort of your starting point,” he said. “Always keep your options open, because the whole thing is evolving. It’s never the same, even the tools that we’re using now, two years from now we could be using something completely different. And it’s rapidly changing, what we use in the library and what the patrons want of the library, so I would say, be aware of that, and just keep up and push forward.”

During his off-time, Lorne and his girlfriend enjoy visiting their property on Salt Spring Island. They enjoy eating out at local restaurants, especially sushi, and traveling.

To learn more about the Woodward Library, click here.

Indigenous Archival Resources Awareness Day

When: Friday, September 20, 1:00-3:30

Where: Rare Books and Special Collections, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre


Join a team of librarians, archivists, faculty and outreach colleagues for a session that looks at resources available for the research and teaching of Indigenous studies and history at UBC. We will look at resources and services from the Xwi7xwa Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, and digital archives available through the library (both open access and purchased). There will be a chance to get hands on with both physical documents and digitised material such as Indigenous newspapers (please bring laptops with you for the latter). The discussion will include case studies of using the resources in teaching, ideas for using them in future research and instruction, and ethical considerations of using this material.


If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to

This new guide help in locating resources about two-spirit & Indigenous queer studies. Here you will find links to books, e-books, journals, articles, theses, videos, websites & more about this topic. We’ll have many of these materials at the Pride Event at UBC on August 6th from 5pm-9pm. Two-spirit & Indigenous queer studies is an interdisciplinary field grounded in the languages, histories, geographies, and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples.

Happy Pride UBC!

This year X̱wi7x̱wa Library celebrates pride at your local UBC events, with our Spotlight Series, and featuring our new Two-Spirit research guide!

Visit us on September 6th, 2019 at the Fairview Commons (outside the Earth Sciences Building) and explore queer titles in our collection.

Queer & 2S Books at Xwi7xwa Library

Two-Spirit and Indigenous Queer Studies Research Guide

1. Joshua Whitehead

 full-metal indigiqueerFront Cover Book Cover Jonny Appleseed

Author of Jonny Appleseed (novel) and full-metal indigiqueer (poetry collection). Whitehead is a Two-Spirit Oji-Cree from Treaty 1 territory in Peguis First Nation, MB. For Jessica John’s interview with Whitehead in Room magazine see.


Find Joshua Whitehead titles at UBC Library!


2. Billy-Ray Belcourt

 This Wound is a World

Author of This Wound is a World and NDN Coping Mechanisms. Belcourt is Cree from the Driftpile Creed Nation. Click for Belcourt on YouTube and their public scholarship.


Find Billy-Ray Belcourt titles at UBC Library!


3. Daniel Heath Justice

Image result for Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-fi Anthology Image result for The way of thorn and thunder : the Kynship chronicles / Daniel Heath Justice

Cherokee author Daniel Heath Justice writes Indigenous and queer fantasy, weird fiction, creative nonfiction, and  researches Indigenous literary and cultural studies, animal cultural history, gender and sexuality, and speculative fiction. He is also a faculty member at UBC Vancouver.

For CBC North by Northwest interview with Justice see here (begins at 2:07:30).

For Justice’s interview with Black Coffee Poet on Queer Indigenous Literature see here.

Find Justice’s work at UBC Library!


4. Sts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li


NRTF | First Nations Students Scholarships |

Image retrieved from

Sts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li (Twin-Spirited Woman or Saylesh Wesley) is both Stó:lõ  and Tsimshian. In her article “Twin-Spirited WomanSts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li” Wesley shares her stories and process of coming into community with the assistance of her grandmother. Wesley, “wishes to revitalize the cultural roles of transgendered/two-spirit people within the Coast Salish territory and ways in which they historically contributed to their societies prior to colonization.” 

In 2017 as a result of transphobia/homophobia in Chilliwack’s community, Peggy Janicki wove a shawl for Sts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li and held a ceremony to bring “order and grace” out of “chaos and hurt”; see page 20 of Teacher Magazine.


5. Shawnee

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Shawnee is a soul, R&B, pop, and alternative Mohawk Two-Spirit artist. Her music aims to “support, heal, and empower.” Her work has been featured on Disney TV, at NYC Pride, and to support Canada’s suicide crisis.

Although her album has yet to be released, you can still stream it online.

Interested in music? Xwi7xwa has many titles on Indigenous music and artists, CD’s, and more! Here are some helpful tips for navigating our collection:

  • WM = resources organized under call number WM cover topics about music
  • phrase searching “audio cassette” while limiting to Xwi7xwa Library gives you music and language audio
  • search by artist


6. Cris Derksen

Orchestral Powwow

Cris Derksen is a classically trained cellist from NorthTall Cree Reserve on her dad’s side and Mennonite on her mother’s side. Derksen’s music is a fusion of classical, traditional, and contemporary.

Although Xwi7xwa Library has yet to buy copies of Derksen’s albums, you can listen to Orchestral Powwow, The Collapse, and The Cusp online.

You can also read more about Derksen here or by searching “Cris Derksen” in Summon or the Catalogue.

If you like Derksen you might also like Jeremy Dutcher!



7. Continuous by Wiagañmiu (Jenny Irene Miller)


Wiagañmiu is Inupiaq from Nome, with roots in Kiqigin (Wales, Alaska). Miller identifies as both gay and Two-Spirit and her photography supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Indigenous LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit communities.

“Continuous is my small answer to the large question: how do we as Indigenous people decolonize our sexualities, genders, and the way we treat individuals who identify outside of the standard binary of male or female? I have replied to that question with this ongoing portrait series featuring members of the Indigenous lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) community.”

Miller on instagram: @jennyirenemiller

Read more about Miller in her article The Many Ways We Love from Canadian Art.


8. Gender

Image result for masculindians conversations about indigenous manhood

Masculindians: Conversations about Indigenous Manhood

Between October 2010 and May 2013, Sam McKegney conducted interviews with leading Indigenous artists, critics, activists, and elders on the subject of Indigenous manhood. In offices, kitchens, and coffee shops, and once in a car driving down the 401, McKegney and his participants tackled crucial questions about masculine self-worth and how to foster balanced and empowered gender relations.

Find me at UBC Library!


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Indigenous Men and Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration

Innes and Anderson bring together prominent thinkers to explore the meaning of masculinities and being a man within such traditions, further examining the colonial disruption and imposition of patriarchy on Indigenous men. Building on Indigenous knowledge systems, Indigenous feminism, and queer theory, the sixteen essays by scholars and activists from Canada, the U.S., and New Zealand open pathways for the nascent field of Indigenous masculinities. The authors explore subjects of representation through art and literature, as well as Indigenous masculinities in sport, prisons, and gangs.

For CBC Interview with Rob Innes (co-editor) see here.

Find me at UBC Library!


Image result for "kent monkman" Image may contain: 1 person, dancing

Kent Monkman and Miss Chief

Cree artist Kent Monkman and gender-fluid Miss Chief Eagle Testickle explore topics on colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience.

For CBC Radio interview see here.

Find resources on Monkman at Xwi7xwa Library!


This new guide is to help in locating resources about Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Canada. Here you will find links to books, e-books, journals, articles, theses, videos, websites and more about this topic.


As our previous posts described, One Hundred Poets (Hyakunin isshu, hereafter HNIS) is the most famous Waka (Japanese poem) anthology edited by Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241). Did you know that HNIS was an important educational resource for Japanese women in the late Edo period (1700s-1867)? Our digitized collection has 24 books known to be used for women’s education from the 18th and 19th centuries. These publications not only contain the poems from HNIS but also explain the skills Japanese women were expected to acquire. This post shows some sample items and explores how women in Edo-period Japan were educated using HNIS.

Background: Women’s Education in Edo-period Japan

In pre-modern Japan, education was primarily for the upper-class men who serve the government as samurais.[i] The situation had gradually changed in the late 17th century to mid 18th century, and many “books for women” (josho/nyosho 女書) started to be published to educate and prepare “women for their roles within the patriarchal family system”[ii]. Their learning contents contained home management, self-discipline, courtesy or propriety, and the child rearing. It was strongly influenced by Confucianism from China, which stresses male dominance, integrity and righteousness[iii] [iv].

For instance, one of our digitized items, Onna daigaku takara-bako,女大學寶箱 ([1790]) teaches the moral need for total subordination of women to the needs of the husband and family. It lists 19 expectations for women, such as:

“A woman must ever be on the alert, and keep a strict watch over her conduct. In the morning she must rise early, and at night go late to rest. Instead of sleeping in the middle of the day, she must be intent on the duties of her household, and must not weary of weaving, sewing, and spinning. Of tea and wine she must not drink over-much, nor must she feed her eyes and ears with theatrical performances, ditties, and ballads. To temples (whether Shinto or Buddhist) and other like places, where there is a great concourse of people, she should go but sparingly till she has reached the age of forty.” (Translation by Harper’s Bazaar [v])

(一、女は常に心遣いして、其の身を堅倶謹み護るべし。朝は早く起き、夜は遅く寝ね、昼はいねずして、いえの内の事に心を用い、織り・縫い・績み・緝ぎ、怠るべからず。亦茶・酒など多く呑むべからず。歌舞妓・小歌・浄るりなどの淫れたる事を、見聴くべからず。宮・寺など都ての人のおおくあつまる処へ、四十歳より内は余りに行くべからず。pp.68-71, the pages below)[vi]

Onna daigaku takara-bako, [1790].

In addition to the Confucian values, three other categories were included in female education books:

  1. Details about everyday life (e.g., clothing, food, marriage, and childbirth),
  2. Arts (e.g., flower arrangement, tea ceremony, music, calligraphy), and
  3. Literature.

Literature education focused on reading and understanding waka in 21 imperial anthologies (Nijūichidaishū, chokusen wakashū,二十一代集,勅撰和歌集).[vii] It was different from what male children learned, such as classical Chinese texts. [viii]


How was the One Hundred Poets (Hyakunin Isshu) implemented in women’s education?

HNIS consists of 100 poems originally contained in 10 imperial anthologies, which is why they were used for female’s literature education. The following pages in [Jokyō banpō zensho azuma kagami] contain each poet’s profile (the upper row), the description of the poem with a picture (the middle row), and the poem with a poet’s portrait (the lower row).

[Jokyō banpō zensho azuma kagami], [1829].

HNIS books contain not only the HNIS poems but also useful tips for women’s lifestyles, such as etiquette, other classical literature, and practical information.[ix] Many books split a page into a couple of sections and depict life hacks in the upper row and the HNIS poems in the lower row. It sometimes uses even one page for picturing general knowledge that is unrelated to HNIS.

For example, in Waka-tsuru hyakunin isshu (稚鶴百人弌首, 1861), the left page explains the origin of mirrors with a picture of women using it. The upper row of the right page depicts the Three Gods of Poetry (Waka sanjin, 和歌三神) namely Sumiyoshi, Tamatsushima, and Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (from left). The lower row shows the first two poems of HNIS by the Emperor Tenji (天智天皇) and the Emperor Jito (持統天皇) (from left).

In addition to HNIS poems, the following pages also introduces other important figures of Japanese literature. The upper row depicts the Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry (Sanjyu Rokkasen; 三十六歌仙), a group of 36 well-known Japanese poets from 600-1100s. The lower row shows four HNIS poems (From left: Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (柿本人麻呂), Yamabe no Akahito (山部赤人), Sarumaru no Taifu (猿丸大夫), Chunagon no Yakamochi (中納言家持)):

Let’s take a look at other women’s manners depicted in the upper sections. The image below provides a model for calligraphy by depicting a young girl practicing[x]:

Ogura hyakunin isshu, [Late Tokugawa Period].

The section below explains Ogasawara-ryū orikata (小笠原流折形),the formal way of folding a paper for gift wrapping and decorating.

Banpō hyakunin isshu, [Late Tokugawa period?].

You can also find sewing patterns of kimono:

Below is the list of different names used for seasons and months. It includes 8 ways for calling each season (spring, summer, fall, winter) and 13 names for each month (From left upside corner: spring, fall, summer, winter, January, April, February, May, March, June):

Ogura hyakunin isshu, [Late Tokugawa period].

As you can see, HNIS books tell us how Japanese women were educated and became literate, and what they learned in the 18th and 19th centuries. Please find more digitized books from our One Hundred Poets Collection.


See also

Past Digitizer’s Blog posts:

Subject in Open Collections

Professor Joshua Mostow, UBC Department of Asian Studies (Owner of the personal collection)

[i] Bakumatsu-ki no kyoiku. Retrieved from

[ii] Ivanova, G. (2016). Re0gendering a classic: “The Pillow Book” for early modern female readers. Japanese Langauge and Literature, 50(1), 105-154. Retrieved from

[iii] Kincard, C. (2016, Jun). Gender expectations of Edo period Japan. Retrieved from

[iv] Sugihara, Y. & Katsurada, E. (2000). Gender-role personality traits in Japanese culture. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24, 309-318. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2000.tb00213.x

[v] “The greater learning for women.”. (1893, Nov 11). Harper’s Bazaar (1867-1912), 26, 930.

[vi] Onna daigaku (2017, Nov.). Retrieved from

[vii] Ivanova, G. (2016). Re0gendering a classic: “The Pillow Book” for early modern female readers. Japanese Langauge and Literature, 50(1), 105-154. Retrieved from

[viii] Hmeljak Sangawa, K. (2017). Confucian learning and literacy in Japan’s schools of the Edo period. Asian Studies, 5(2), 153-166. doi: 10.4312/as.2017.5.2.153-166

[ix] Mostow, J. S. (1996). Pictures of the heart: The Hyakunin Isshu in word and image. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

[x] Mostow, J. S. (1996). Pictures of the heart: The Hyakunin Isshu in word and image. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.


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