Professional Development Resources

The Indigenous Knowledge Standing Committee (IKSC) organises learning opportunities to help develop and facilitate Indigenous cultural awareness for those working in academic libraries. These opportunities promote understanding and competency regarding Indigenous Peoples in Canada. They include online presentations, workshops, book clubs, and more. While many of these opportunities are intended for all library faculty and staff at COPPUL institutions, others are created for and often feature members of the Oskâpêwis Mentorship Group. When possible, resources from all events will be shared below, and those featuring Oskâpêwis members will be noted with an asterisk (*).

In addition to the event recordings below, IKSC members have curated a list to help non-Indigenous library employees work on their library’s reconciliation, decolonization, and Indigenization initiatives, and support Indigenous people who visit or work in the library: Resources for non-Indigenous library employees supporting Indigenous community members

Under the auspices of COPPUL, the IKSC and the Collections Community co-manage the Indigenous Collections Management Listserv.  The intention of this pan-Canadian list is to provide a venue to bring individuals together to address and discuss topics relating to Indigenous collections acquisitions, deselection, policy making, and best practices.  This discussion group is not intended to focus on issues relating to decolonizing description.  For questions or to submit a request to join the listserv, please click here.


Joe Big George Collection (February 2024)
The Joe Big George Collection, an initiative with the Manitoba Library Association’s Prison Libraries Committee (PLC), brings books written about Indigenous topics or by Indigenous authors to those who are incarcerated in Manitoba prisons. This work is being done in honour of the late Joe Big George who was an Elder in federal and provincial correction centres. In this event Kirsten Wurmann from the Manitoba Library Association and Joe Big George's partner Joanna White share about prison libraries, Joe Big George's life, and the inspiration for this collection. Recording available here.


Decolonizing Libraries is for Everyone (June 2023)
Panelists Ashley Edwards (Simone Fraser University), Wendy Sinclair (Regina Public Library), and Colette Poitras (Public Library Services Branch, Government of Alberta) discuss how non-Indigenous academic and public library employees can support Indigenous colleagues and patrons. Recording no longer available.

Walking Together: An Investigation of Indigenous Students' Relationship to the Academic Library (June 2023)
Presentation by Cora Coady, Tina Liu, May Chan, and Desmond Wong on findings from research undertaken at York University Libraries. Recording available here.

Non-traditional publishing and Indigenous Knowledge* (May 2023)
Presentation by Kayla Lar-Son (Xwi7wxa Library, UBC). Recording available here.

Xwi7xwa's Collection Policy* (April 2023)
Presentation by Karleen Delaurier-Lyle (Xwi7xwa Library, UBC). Recording available here.

Local Contexts: Supporting Indigenous Rights and Interests in Data and Collections (March 2023)
Presentation by Felicia Garcia and Corrie Roe (Outreach Managers). Recording available here.

Modifying the Brian Deer Classification System* (February 2023)
Presentation by Ashley Edwards (Simon Fraser University) and Rachel Chong (Kwantlen Polytechnic University). Recording available here.


I Waiwai Ka ʻĀina: Literacy, Land, and Lāhui (to gather) (October 2022)
Presentation by Hawai'ian librarians Keahiahi Long (Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa) and Kawena Komeiji (James and Abigail Kuaihelani Campbell Library at the University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu). Recording available here.

Perspectives on Indigenous Historical Publications Digitization (February 2022)
IHPWG panel discussion with Paula Daigle (First Nations University), Taylor Gibson (Libraries and Archives Canada), Kayla Lar-Son (Xwi7xwa Library, UBC), Sarah Severson (University of Alberta), & moderator Kathryn Ruddock (University of Calgary). Recording available here.

Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Knowledge Online (March 2022)
Presentation by Dr. Jennifer Wemigwans (OISE, University of Toronto). Recording available here.

Image Credit: Debbie Feisst & University of Alberta, Spirit Bear granite carving by Stewart Steinhauer.
Image Credit: Debbie Feisst & University of Alberta, Spirit Bear granite carving by Stewart Steinhauer.