About the Course

Calendar Description: 

An introduction to Indigenous principles, practices, and Indigenous methodologies for library and information studies in Canada and for application in a variety of settings. Elective course.

Course Objectives:

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • To provide students with an understanding of colonialism in a Canadian library and information context and how this has affected relationships with Indigenous Peoples and professionals.
  • To acquaint students with Indigenous perspectives on library and information studies in both historical and contemporary contexts.
  • To engage students in Indigenous methodologies and how they may complement western oriented research, scholarship, and its applicants in various practices and settings.
  • To expose students to explorations of how Indigenous knowledges differ from western knowledge and implications for library and information institutions and the people who work in them.
  • To provide students with an understanding of intersectionalities between Indigenous Peoples and other diverse populations, and how this affects library and information services and practices. 

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to articulate basic concepts and terminology relating to Indigenous Peoples in the context of library, archives, and information settings. 
  • Through exposure to advocacy, reconciliatory action, and leadership perspectives supporting a place for Indigenous populations in library and information settings and discourses, students will be able to appreciate both theoretical and practical service-oriented issues and concerns, including evaluation of policies, collections, programs, and services.
  • Although primarily focusing on library, and some archival  practices and theories, students will become familiar with Indigenous pedagogies and methodologies, and with emerging trends in the field of Indigenous Studies. 
  • Through written papers and assignments, students will demonstrate awareness of both opportunities and threats to the development of Indigenous librarianship as a discipline, students will articulate an increased knowledge about Indigenous librarianship in multiple contexts relating to library, archives, and information settings.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Evince complex and ethical awareness of issues, research, trends, and dilemmas in library and information studies.
  • Locate, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information sources, with respect for cultural diversity.
  • Utilize and examine a broad range of LIS and cognate research and understand processes and methods required to conduct scholarship.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the need for continuing professional engagement and service while developing and maintaining professional relationships.


This course provides: an introduction to Indigenous Peoples and their history in Canada; Indigenous knowledges and oral histories; contemporary library and information services for Indigenous Peoples in a range of settings; TRC initiatives; local to international advocacy; lived experiences of Indigenous professionals; decolonizing metadata and description; community engagement and grassroots activism; Indigenous content in literature/multimedia, intersectionality and Indigenous practices; community based research; and Indigenous research methodologies.  


The pedagogical methods include: lectures, readings, online discussions, small group discussions, group work, classroom facilitation, guest speakers, assignments, resource sharing, and sharing circles. 

Course Relationships: 

Pre- or corequisite: LIS 501.

Required Texts:

  • Younging, G. (2018). Elements of Indigenous Style: A guide for writing by and about Indigenous Peoples. Brush Education.
  • All other course readings will be accessible in eClass. 

Optional/Additional Recommended Reading

For those students who would like optional additional information on Indigenous Peoples in Canada, their histories, unique cultures, governance systems, and an overview of colonial oppression and resistance we recommend:

  1. Vowel, C. Indigenous writes: a guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit issues in Canada. Winnipeg: Highwater Press. https://www.library.ualberta.ca/catalog/7895742.
  2. Fraser, C., and Komarnisky, S. “150 Acts of Reconciliation”. Active History
  3. Indigenous Canada – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). University of Alberta.