In the Spring of 2021, COPPUL partnered with Emerald Publishing and the University of Saskatchewan to realize one of COPPUL’s strategies to “explore models for extending licensed material to Indigenous communities”. The pilot project extends free access to the University’s Emerald 120 e-journals package to Indigenous communities in Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Manitoba. This pilot has been extended until the end of December 2024.
The First Voices First project shares relevant information and research content beyond the walls of academia. In doing so, this project helps correct historical wrongs when it comes to research and Indigenous peoples. In the past, Indigenous peoples were overly researched and yet did not have access to the research done about them. Western researchers benefited immensely from this research across their career development.
During the pilot, Emerald will provide author support for Indigenous scholars and community research partners. The long-term goal of this project is to encourage discussion and knowledge development in Indigenous scholarly authorship.
Ongoing evaluation, including usage of the database, during the pilot will determine whether the project will be expanded to include other interested COPPUL institutions and other potential publishers and vendor partnerships. A sustainable business model and framework for access and community engagement to ensure long-term access to Indigenous communities across Western Canada will also be explored.