Many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities are actively growing their language revitalization efforts and collaborating to improve how Indigenous languages are used. The colonial history and genocide in Canada has damaged access to and use of the diversity of languages spoken and written here, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that there is access to language efforts. With growing urban populations, and lower access to immersion language programs off reserve, this toolkit brings together resources that are available online, suggestions of how library services can support efforts, and highlights language materials held in select libraries. There is a responsibility on the part of libraries to connect with communities for guidance, and to hold and highlight both resources held locally and those that can be accessed digitally. The toolkit will demonstrate how libraries can address calls to action on language access and celebrate the revitalization successes of Indigenous Peoples, thus increasing awareness of the many active and vibrant languages used today.
Alison Smedley (she/her/elle) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Carleton University, and is currently working on a Masters in Library and Information Studies with the University of Alberta. Alison is a settler on the Land known as Ottawa, Canada and works and lives within the traditional, unceded, and actively cared for territories of the Anishnābe Algonquin People. Alison works as a Public Service Assistant at the Ottawa Public Library’s Central Branch. She provides bicycle library services in the Centretown neighbourhood with the BiblioBike|BiblioVélo project. Alison is committed to community collaboration to reduce barriers to information access, advance anti-racism efforts, and further intersectional environmentalism in LIS spaces. She looks to active city transportation, tool sharing, food rescue, and outdoor education initiatives to spread positive engagement with collectively improving our world.