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Indigenous Studies

A guide containing some helpful resources relating to Indigenous studies.



Try these Search terms:

  • indians of north america
  • indigenous
  • native americans
  • aboriginal Canada
  • First Nations
  • Narrowing by particular cultures (ie Cree)

Other Databases/Online resources to search:

  • iPortal: Indigenous Studies Research Tool
    The Indigenous Studies Portal (iPortal) connects faculty, students, researchers and members of the community with electronic resources: books, articles, theses, documents, photographs, archival resources, maps, etc.
  • Bibliography of Native North Americans
    Describes articles covering all aspects of Native North American culture, history, and life including archaeology, multicultural relations, gaming, governance, legend, and literacy.
  • First Nations Drum
    Canada’s largest Aboriginal newspaper, designed to inform and entertain readers while strengthening understanding between the Native and non-Native residents, the First Nations Drum deals exclusively with news and information relevant to Native communities and lifestyles. 
  • University of British Columbia's Two-Spirit & Indigenous Queer Studies
    Two-spirit and Indigenous Queer Studies is an interdisciplinary field grounded in the languages, histories, geographies, and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples.Two-spirit (also sometimes two spirit or two spirited) in a pan-Indigenous term coined in 1990 in Winnipeg specifically to distinguish the experiences of Indigenous people from non-Indigenous people. Two-spirit studies may (or may not) intersect with critical approaches, such as decolonization and intersectional feminist studies. 

Topic Specific Resources

Indigenous Studies is a broad and constantly changing field that connects to many other fields of study such as healthcare and urban planning. Depending on your research topic and assignment, you may be using a mix of academic resources, oral teachings, podcasts, blog posts, or news articles as Indigenous voices can be found both within Western academic formats (ie journal articles) but also in other formats (oral teachings, twitter etc). Click the + or - button to see the resources.

When doing research on Indigenous matters, it is best practice to try and make sure to look for Indigenous voices on the topic rather than only depending on external researchers' work. The formats of these resources may be vary from podcast to peer-reviewed journal article and follow the best practice of "nothing about us without us". This practice of Indigenous Studies research places Indigenous voices at the foreground of Indigenous studies and prioritizes works that are community-engaged and include voices of Indigenous people rather than only including non-Indigenous experts. Below we have included a few examples of Indigenous voices on important and/or current Indigenous matters.

Materials on Indigenous Literatures 
We have a wide variety of material on Indigenous authors and literature so it is best to search our library catalogue using OneSearch. The link is an example of a search that brings up some of our materials but if you have a particular author, work of literature, or topic within literature that you are focusing on you may want to use more narrow keywords.
Media Indigena
Hosted by Rick Harp, Media Indigena is a weekly Indigenous current affairs podcast. Guest speakers regularly include Indigenous faculty from universities across Canada. The website also features Aboriginal news, views and creative expression.
Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation. Host Rosanna Deerchild takes you straight into Indigenous Canada, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing listeners to the storytellers, culture makers and community shakers from across the country.
UBC Indigenous Foundations 
An information resource on key topics relating to the histories, politics, and cultures of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. This website was developed to support students in their studies, and to provide instructors, researchers and the broader public with a place to begin exploring topics that relate to Aboriginal peoples, cultures, and histories.
Métis in Space 
The podcast where your hosts, Molly and Chelsea, drink a bottle of (red) wine and, from a tipsy, decolonial perspective, review a sci-fi movie or television episode featuring Indigenous peoples, tropes and themes.
New Fire 
From remote reserves to bustling big cities, join Urban Native Girl Lisa Charleyboy as she brings you to the surprising heart of the conversations important to Indigenous youth today.
Freedom Road 
A five-part documentary series that tells the inspiring story of Shoal Lake 40 Anishinaabe First Nation and their battle to build a road, after their community was forcibly relocated and cut off from the mainland over 100 years ago, so that water could be diverted to the city of Winnipeg.

Dr. Pamela D. Palmater's Website 
Perspectives on Indigenous matters from a Mi'kmaw lawyer

NFB Films on Indigenous Voices and Reconciliation 
Various films that highlight Indigenous voices and experiences.



Depending on your assignment and topic, it may be useful to look at social media accounts as there are many active groups and individuals on social media platforms.

Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada
This is a website dedicated to the Truth and Reconciliation proceedings. It includes reports, videos, and the final findings from the commission.

Official Apology for the Residential School System in Canada
The full text speech delivered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Legacy of Hope
This is a charitable organization to raise awareness, educate, and understand the legacy of residential schools.

Where Are The Children?
Explore the history of children who were sent to residential schools.

Indigenous Foundations: Residential School System
A brief overview of the residential school system in Canada.

We Were Children, Tim Wolochatiuk, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

On being here to stay : treaties and Aboriginal rights in Canada by Michael Asch
On Being Here to Stay, Asch retells the story of Canada with a focus on the relationship between First Nations and settlers. Asch proposes a way forward based on respecting the “spirit and intent” of treaties negotiated at the time of Confederation, through which, he argues, First Nations and settlers can establish an ethical way for both communities to be here to stay.

A People's Dream by Dan Russell In this provocative and passionate book, Dan Russell outlines the history of Aboriginal self-government in Canada. He compares it to that of the United States, where, for over 150 years, tribes have practised self-government -- domestic dependent nationhood. Russell provides specific examples of how those institutions of government operate, and eloquently explains, from an Aboriginal perspective, what his people hope to achieve through self-governing authority. After describing rights theory, Russell locates Aboriginal self-government as a cultural right and illustrates how the entitlements of Aboriginal women, an Aboriginal ethic, and collective rights, which are protected by self-governance, may conflict with the Canadian Charter of Rights.

Center for First Nations Governance
This is a non-profit organization which supports First Nations in their pursuit of self-governance.

Youtube channel with lectures on Indigenous rights.
John Borrows is a professor at the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law. The numbered lectures are from Law 340. Law 340 is a class on Indigenous Lands, Rights and Governments held in the Fall of 2015.

Idle No More - A Living History
Learn about the history of the Idle No More movement, and what societal factors led to it's creation and influence. Try looking at it in the context of how different social groups have interacted.

The Treaties: Two Different Perspectives
A brief overview of the perspectives of Aboriginals and the British in the making of treaties.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada: Acts, Agreements and Land Claims
Information about treaties, land claims, legislation and self government in Canada

Healthy Aboriginal
A youtube channel that has videos that are stories relating to healthy living specifically from an Indigenous perspective.

Official account for APTN National News - Uncovering the stories that others won't.

APTN is the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world, with programming by, for and about Indigenous Peoples, to share with all Canadians as well as viewers around the world. Through documentaries, news magazines, dramas, entertainment specials, children's series, cooking shows and education programs, APTN offers all Canadians a window into the remarkably diverse worlds of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and throughout the world.

When researching Indigenous matters, historical resources are an important element but it is important to critically engage with the historical biases that influence the information that they contain. Consider who is writing the source, the biases they may have, and the historical environment they are writing in.

Indigenous heritage
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) acquires, preserves, and provides access to published and archival heritage material that represents First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation experiences and contributions to Canada. This includes text, photographs, maps, and audio-visual material. Explore the collection through our online databases, digitized documents and thematic guides.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) continues to renew the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationship between Canada and First Nations, Inuit and Métis; modernize Government of Canada structures to enable Indigenous peoples to build capacity and support their vision of self-determination; and lead the Government of Canada's work in the North.

Indigenous peoples within Canada : a concise history
Carefully and conscientiously updated, this new fourth edition is a brief but comprehensive overview of the long and vibrant history of Indigenous Peoples within what is now Canada. This engaging text offers a multifaceted account from time immemorial to present movements towards self-determination.