Acknowledgement: The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is pleased to contribute to the promotion of this unique opportunity.  We acknowledge the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society’s website as the source for most of this content.

The Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society is an enterprising non-profit organization that develops and delivers transformative education inspired by Haida Gwaii. In partnership with leading universities, we offer students immersive, experiential learning opportunities in rural, resource-dependent communities in transition. Here the Haida Nation, island communities, and provincial and federal governments are working through complex joint management models towards reconciliation and sustainability.

Drawing on Haida Gwaii’s legacy of innovation and leadership, HGHES offers a range of programming including undergraduate semesters, executive education and professional development courses, research opportunities, public lectures and workshops, and more.

The Haida Gwaii Semesters include the following areas of focus:

  1. Natural Resource Science
  2. Natural Resource Studies
  3. Reconciliation Studies
  4. Marine Planning

Please visit for more information, including the application process, tuition, fees and FAQs

The Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society embraces a place-based approach; we see the social and ecological systems of Haida Gwaii as vibrant natural classrooms for our students to engage with, grounding course content in living, local case studies. We believe in working together and facilitating a rich collaboration between academics and local knowledge holders, supporting a meaningful learning exchange and the development of a broad perspective.

  • As issues around the globe become increasingly complex, If students are from UBC, there is an agreement in place to facilitate registration.
  • For non-UBC students there is an opportunity to earn UBC credits and transfer them back to the student’s home institution.


“Housing the knowledge of tangata whenua (indigenous people)” focuses on how information professionals can build respectful collections.  Cultural organisations house most of the written historical information of tangata whenua (Indigenous people), however, not many organizations have partnerships with Indigenous peoples. Anahera Morehu (University of Auckland) will present insights from her journeys in facilitating the forming of partnerships or relationships. Through partnerships, information managers are able to discern and create guidelines that support organisations in better understanding what “indigenous traditional knowledge” is in an information profession context.

Anahera brings a discussion about developing guidelines for Indigenous traditional knowledge held in your organisations – libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions. As the National Coordinator for the Mātauranga Māori within New Zealand Libraries, Anahera will present a programme that provides an insight into the world view from the indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand).


Anahera Morehu is the Library Manager for Arts, Māori and Pacific at the University of Auckland. She presented at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Congress in 2011, at a time when indigenous traditional knowledge was making its initial stance within the constructs of information management. She travels and presents at many indigenous fora where she is able, and honoured, to be the National Coordinator for the Mātauranga Māori within NZ Libraries. Anahera is past Tumuaki of Te Rōpū Whakahau, convenor for the Library and Informtion Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) conference 2014, current LIANZA Hikuwai Regional Councillor, and a member of LIANZA Council.

Relevant Books and Articles from UBC Library

Bauer, W., Parker, W., Evans, T. K., & MyiLibrary. (1993; 2003; 2012). Maori (1st ed.). New York; London: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203403723 [Link]

Morehu, A. P. (2012). Organization of Indigenous Knowledge Plenary Session. Indigenous Knowledges: Local Priorities, Global Contexts. University of Bristish Columbia, Vancouver. [Link]

Morehu, A.P., Hobson, J. (2005). Hokinga ki te kainga. Proceedings of the 5th International Indigenous Librarians Forum: Brisbane, Australia, June 4-7, 2007.  Ed. Alana Garwood-Houng for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library, Information and Resource Network (ATSILIRN). [Link]

Mutu, M. (2014). Māori issues. The Contemporary Pacific, 26(1), 208-214. [Link]

UBC Library Research Guides

Library, Archival & Information Science

Aboriginal Studies


The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is pleased to award funding to nine new projects as part of the Indigitization: Aboriginal Audio Digitization & Preservation Program (AADP) this summer.

Since 2013, the Indigitization: Aboriginal Audio Digitization and Preservation Program (AADP) has provided grants to B.C. Aboriginal organizations in supporting the conservation, preservation, and access of Indigenous community information resources. The six month program provides equipment, training and funding support to convert audio cassette tapes to digital formats. 

This multi-faceted program provides resources for the digital conversion of at risk audio cassette materials, to support cultural preservation and revitalization efforts. Over the next six months, the following communities will be undertaking their respective projects under the guidance of program staff:

Participant Project Title
Tsilhqot’in National Government Preservation of Tsilhqot’in Intangible Heritage: Digitizing and Enhancing Taped Audio Interviews and Gatherings from the 1960s to 2002
Musqueam Indian Band Musqueam Governance Digitization Project
Haida Gwaii Museum Haida Gwaii Museum – Digitization of Audio Tapes
Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u Society (XKHS) / Haida Language Society Xaad Kil Digitization Project
Treaty 8 Tribal Association Understanding Traditional Land Use of the Peace Region through Elders Oral History Stories
Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre Indigitization Phase II – Towards a Digital Infrastructure
Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation Digitization – Tape Preservation Project
Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group (HTG) Audio Digitization & Preservation Project 2015
Wuikinuxv Nation Wuikinuxv Tape Digitization Project

The AADP looks forward to welcoming representatives from each of these communities to UBC for an intensive, week-long training program later this month. Congratulations to all the recipients!

For more information on the Indigitization program, please visit the website or contact Sarah Dupont, Aboriginal Engagement Librarian.


About Indigitization

Indigitization is a collaborative project between the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC), the First Nations Technology Council (FNTC), and three First Nations communities: Heiltsuk, Ktunaxa, and ‘Namgis. Other contributors include UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA), School for Library, Archival, and Information Studies (SLAIS), and the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL).

Three B.C. First Nations have received funding from UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the Museum of Anthropology to preserve their oral histories, traditions and culture. The latest recipients of the Aboriginal Audio Digitization and Preservation Program (AADPP) include the Tsilhqot’in National Government (Williams Lake), the Hupacasath First Nation (Port Alberni) and the Yuuł ʔtłʔath First Nation (Ucluelet). The AADPP – now in its second year – provides matching funds for B.C. Aboriginal organizations to convert audio cassette tapes to digital formats for preservation and access. Each recipient is awarded up to $10,000 and the project seeks proposals bi-annually from within the province. Project partners also include UBC’s Museum of Anthropology and the First Nations Technology Council.

For the Hupacasath First Nation, the funds will result in connecting their own resources with those held by the American Philosophical Society’s Centre for Native American and Indigenous Research. This Philadelphia institution is digitizing its holdings of Hupacasath materials and has reached out to the community to co-curate this digital collection. These materials, recorded by ethnographers and linguists who visited the Alberni Valley, are from as early as the late 1880’s.

The Tsilhqot’in National Government hopes to preserve their traditional knowledge gained from their elders – a critically important task, especially as most of these teachings are passed orally from generation to generation. Their digitization work consists of approximately 400 cassettes. The AADPP funding will enable the Tsilquot’in language committee to continue its work on language projects.

The Yuuł ʔtłʔath First Nation’s digitization project also focuses on digitizing language materials. They plan to use AADPP funding to purchase a new computer that will enable them to not only to digitize, describe and preserved their audio materials, but to produce new language learning materials using the appropriate orthography.

staff member with equipment

Gerry Lawson (MOA) works with a community member at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology.

The AADPP will welcome representatives from each community to the University of British Columbia for an intensive, week long audio digitization training program this coming October. The training, held at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, provides opportunities for recipients to get hands-on-training and advice for implementing in-house digitization programs.

For more information about the AADPP and previous recipients, please visit the Indigitization website.


Program Contact:
Sarah Dupont
Aboriginal Engagement Librarian
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre | 604.827.0342

Gordon Yusko
Assistant Director
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre | 604.822.2298 

The University of British Columbia Point Grey campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓speaking Musqueam people. We thank Musqueam for its hospitality and support of our work.

UBC Library, in partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band, the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology and the Museum of Anthropology,  will be celebrating Aboriginal scholarship, creativity, and intellectual traditions with its third annual Aboriginal (Un)History Month.


Paddle created by Keith Point, of the Skowkale First Nation in Chilliwack, who also descends from the Musqueam First Nation.

Featuring exhibits at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) and book displays at several Library branches, the (Un)History month activities introduce ways UBC Indigenous scholars are creating relationships, educating and inviting dialogue about Indigenous issues. 

Since 2009, the month of June has been designated as ‘National Aboriginal History Month’ by the federal government of Canada. National Aboriginal Day is June 21 every year. UBC Library and the participating curators have been observing Aboriginal (Un)History Month since 2011. The exhibits and programs are meant to celebrate Aboriginal creativity, scholarship, and intellectual traditions; cultivate conversations about relationship, representation and recognition; and inspire participants to be better informed aboutthe Aboriginal lands and peoples of whom we are guests.

This year’s theme is “Honouring our Journeys,” which celebrates journeys that have been emotional, spiritual, and educational; personal, community, and institutional; and historic, contemporary, or moment-in-time. 

The exhibits at IKBLC foyer include:

  • The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology – Our Time and Place at UBC: Reflecting on the TRC in 2013
  • Ch’nook – Indigenous Business Education
  • Decolonizing Knowledge – Knowing the Land Beneath Our Feet at UBC
  • Musqueam Indian Band – mən̓ə to mana: xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) to Māori (Rotorua, New Zealand)
  • The Museum of Anthropology – Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth
  • Bruce Muir of West Moberly First Nations - Protecting Treaty Rights: the Klinse-Za Caribou Herd’s Journey Towards Recovery

For those interested in online resources, 


Partners this year include: Musqueam Indian Band, Bruce Muir of West Moberly First Nations, the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology at UBC, Ch’nook Indigenous Business Education, the Irving K Barber Learning Centre, the First Nations House of Learning, UBC Library Communications, UBC’s Education Library, the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and Xwi7xwa Library.


For more information, visit the IKBLC website or contact Sarah Dupont, Aboriginal Engagement Librarian.



Congratulations to the latest successful applicants of the Aboriginal Audio Digitization and Preservation Program (AADPP) – a pilot initiative led by UBC Library’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in partnership with the Museum of Anthropology.

Five projects have been awarded funding under the program, which provides matching funds for B.C. Aboriginal organizations to digitize audio cassette tapes for preservation and access.

The projects are:

The first two successful AADPP projects, from the Tsawwassen First Nation and the Upper St’át’imc Language, Culture, and Education Society, were announced by the Learning Centre in 2013.

For more information, visit the Indigitization website or contact:

  • Sarah Dupont, Program Coordinator and Aboriginal Engagement Librarian, 604.822.0480
  • Gordon Yusko, Assistant Director, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 604.822.2298


In 1997, the British Colufnig library imagembia Library Association, the First Nations Interest Group, and the University of British Columbia First Nations House of Learning created an endowed scholarship in honour of Gene Joseph (MLS, 1982). The Gene Joseph Scholarship is awarded to an Aboriginal graduate student at the University of British Columbia’s School of Library Archives and Information Studies (SLAIS). The award is made on the recommendation of the SLAIS, the First Nations House of Learning, and Faculty of Graduate Studies.

About Gene Joseph:

Former Head Librarian of the Xwi7xwa Library (First Nations House of Learning Library) at the University of British Columbia, Gene Joseph is of Wet’suwet’en – Nadleh Whut’en descent. She is from the small village of Hagwilget in northern British Columbia. She has nearly three decades of experience in developing libraries for First Nations tribal councils, bands and organizations. One of Gene’s career highlights was the development of a legal research library for the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations in the Delgamuukw et al v. the Queen et al aboriginal title court case. It was one of the largest court cases held in Canada, as well as one of the first to extensively use computer systems in and out of the courtroom. More importantly to the First Nations people, there was extensive use of oral history in support of the case. Gene continues her commitment to aboriginal title through her work for the Haida aboriginal title case, work with the EAGLE (Environmental Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education) organization from 2002 to 2006. She presently advises and oversees research and litigation support for the Haida Aboriginal Title Case at White Raven Law.


Text From the British Columbia Library Association Website.

British Columbia Library Association’s First Nations Interest Group link here.

Further information from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada here.

The February 11th “Speaking My Truth” dialogue session, held at the First Nations Longhouse, presented a unique opportunity for discussion with Shelagh Rogers, Mike Degagné, and Glen Lowry, three creators of the book, Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential Schools. The conversation that took place between the audience and these three speakers was thought-provoking and illuminating.

The three guests provided insight into their motivations and experiences in creating their book and also gave their views on the progress and future of the truth and reconciliation movement in Canada. The speakers acknowledged that tremendous progress has been made in drawing public attention to the stories of residential school survivors. However, they emphasized that, while it is important to tell these stories and expose the truth of residential schools, progress still needs to be made to reconcile these injustices. Gestures such as the official apology by Prime Minister Harper are appreciated, but must be backed up with productive dialogue and positive action, in order to construct a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Only after this relationship is established can true reconciliation and justice be achieved.


~ Nick Rowlands, February 18, 2014.


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