Collections

The collections currently comprise approximately 12,000 items including about 6,000 books, 450 videos, 5,000 vertical file materials, curriculum resources, journals and newspapers, maps, posters, theses and dissertations, the G.A. (Bud) Mintz special collection, and some archival materials. The collections focus on First Nations in British Columbia, including contextual materials on Canadian First Nations, in addition to issues of national and international interest to First Nations and Indigenous peoples. X̱wi7x̱wa collects materials written from First Nations perspectives, such as materials produced by First Nations, First Nations organizations, tribal councils, schools, publishers, researchers, writers and scholars.


Featured collections

Collection Spotlight: A Children’s Booklist for Orange Shirt Day

Between the late 1800s and 1996, more than 150, 000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children attended Indian Residential Schools. Orange Shirt Day, September 30th, was inspired by the story of Survivor Phyllis Webstad and honours the experiences of all children impacted by the Residential Schools.

On September 30th join X̱wi7x̱wa Library in the conversation about Orange Shirt Day by reading a book from our curated children’s book list about residential schools. Below are 5 additional children’s books related to Orange Shirt Day and Residential Schools.

See X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s “Indian Residential School System in Canada” research guide for more resources and research advice. Please email xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca for additional research help or questions about borrowing material from the Library.

The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at UBC will host several Orange Shirt Day events and workshops this year, starting on September 22 with a talk from Phyllis Webstad, author of “The Orange Shirt Story.” To learn more about events and the inspiration for Orange Shirt Day, visit the IRSHDC’s website.

 

The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad.

“The Orange Shirt Story” is based on Phyllis Webstad’s personal experience attending residential school. For her first day at residential school, Phyllis wore a bright orange shirt given to her by her grandmother. When she arrived at the school, teachers immediately took her orange shirt and Phyllis never saw the orange shirt again. Since then, the colour orange has always reminded Phyllis of her traumatic experience at residential school and her orange shirt has become a symbol for honouring the legacies of children who attended Indian Residential Schools.

This title includes a teacher’s lesson plan and additional teaching resources. The Orange Shirt Story is also available in French and Shuswap.

“Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams” with words by Cindy Blackstock and illustrations by Amanda Strong

Spirit Bear is off on another adventure! Follow him as he learns about traditional knowledge and Residential Schools from his Uncle Huckleberry and his friend, Lak’insxw, before heading to Algonquin territory, where children teach him about Shannen’s Dream. Spirit Bear and his new friends won’t stop until Shannen’s Dream of “safe and comfy schools” comes true for every First Nations student.”

“Goodbye Buffalo Bay” by Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden

“The sequel to the award-winning book As Long as the Rivers Flow and the award-finalist When the Spirits Dance , Goodbye Buffalo Bay is set during the author’s teenaged years. In his last year in residential school, Lawrence learns the power of friendship and finds the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He returns home to find the traditional First Nations life he loved is over. He feels like a stranger to his family until his grandfather’s gentle guidance helps him find his way. Goodbye Buffalo Bay explores the themes of self-discovery, the importance of friendship, the difference between anger and assertiveness and the realization of youthful dreams.”

“The Journey Forward: A Novella on Reconciliation” by Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith / readers’ guide by Alison Gear 

“From award-winning authors Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith come two honest and memorable middle-grade novellas on residential schools and reconciliation. The novellas will be bound together in a ‘flip-book’ format, which offers the intended audiences two important perspectives in one package. This stunning and unique book will feature two covers: Lucy & Lola will include a cover and spot illustrations by renowned artist Julie Flett. When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! will feature cover photographs by Tessa MacIntosh.” For ages 9-13.

 

“I Lost my Talk” words by Rita Joe and art by Pauline Young

“One of Rita Joe’s most influential poems, “I Lost My Talk” tells the revered Mi’kmaw Elder’s childhood story of losing her language while a resident of the residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. An often quoted piece in this era of truth and reconciliation, Joe’s powerful words explore and celebrate the survival of Mi’kmaw culture and language despite its attempted eradication. A companion book to the simultaneously published I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas, I Lost My Talk is a necessary reminder of a dark chapter in Canada’s history, a powerful reading experience, and an effective teaching tool for young readers of all cultures and backgrounds. Includes a biography of Rita Joe and striking colour illustrations by Mi’kmaw artist Pauline Young.”

Say Goodbye to Daily Overdue Fines!

Starting September 15 2020, UBC Library is eliminating daily overdue fines on books, journals and audio-visual (AV) materials for all library users. Here are some other important points about the Library’s update on overdue fines:

  • Overdue fines for Course Reserve loans, Interlibrary loans and electronics will still apply when physical borrowing resumes.
  • Fines for overdue recalled items will remain in effect. Fines on a recalled item will accumulate once the item becomes overdue.
  • For overdue items that are not listed as Course Reserves and are not recalled, no overdue fines will accumulate for 28 days. Once an item is 28 days overdue, it will be deemed lost and a lost charge notice will be sent. If the item is returned, the lost charge will be dropped.

See UBC Library’s full announcement for complete information about changes to overdue fines. Please contact UBC Library Borrower Services or X̱wi7x̱wa Library Borrower Services with any questions or concerns about borrowing material or overdue fines.

Interested in learning more about library fine reduction and abolition? Check out these news articles:

Doing research about library overdue fines policies? Check out some of these selected resources to get started, but book a reference appointment for additional research help:

  • Ajayi, N. A., & Okunlola, A. A. (2005). Students’ perception of fine increases for overdue library books in an academic library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 37(4), 187-193. doi:10.1177/0961000605057850
  • Crist, B., & DePriest, M. (2018). Removing barriers to access: Eliminating fines and fees for a win-win for your library and teens: Discover approaches to eliminating fines and fees for youth in your library. Young Adult Library Services, 17(1), 14.
  • Davies, R., & Sen, B. (2014). Overdue books at Leeds University Library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 46(3), 226-242. doi:10.1177/0961000613486826
  • Helms, C. (2019). Eliminating overdue fines for undergraduates: A six-year review. Journal of Access Services, 16(4), 173-189. doi:10.1080/15367967.2019.1668793

Xwi7xwa Spotlight: Poetry Ebooks

As Autumn begins at the same time as classes and longer nights, books of poems can help settle your mind as the day winds down. Below we’ve picked out a few books of poems that are available through Xwi7xwa & UBC Library’s online collection. If you’re looking for a physical copy of a book of poems or any other physical book, check out how to pick up physical materials at UBC campus and follow their easy steps


Disintegrate/Dissociate
: Poems by Arielle Twist unravels the complexities of human relationships after death and metamorphosis. In these spare yet powerful poems, she explores, with both rage and tenderness, the parameters of grief, trauma, displacement, and identity.

Hope Matters by Lee Maracle, Columpa Bobb, & Tania Carter is a collection of poetry written together as mothers & daughters that focuses on Indigenous history from colonial beginnings to reconciliation.

Hiraeth: poems by Carol Rose Daniels is about women supporting and lending strength and clarity to other women so they know that moving forward is always possible– and always necessary. Poems speak to the 1960’s “scoop up” of children and how this affected the lives of (one or thousands) of First Nations and Métis girls– girls who later grew to be women with questions, women with wounds, women who felt like they had no place to call home.

Runaway Dreams by Richard Wagamese describes his life on the road when he repeatedly ran away at an early age, and the beatings he received when the authorities tried “to beat the Indian right out of me”. Through it all, he offers poems of love and music, the language sensuous and tender.

The Pemmican Eaters by Marilyn Dumont aims to recreate a palpable sense of the Riel Resistance period and evoke the geographical, linguistic/cultural, and political situation of Batoche during this time through the eyes of those who experienced the battles, as well as through the eyes of Gabriel and Madeleine Dumont and Louis Riel.

 

Connections Between Land, Place, People and Culture: 15 Streaming Videos

Relationship to the land and traditional territory is often intertwined with government, activism, storytelling, spirituality, art, ceremony, traditional knowledge and other Indigenous cultural expressions. Here are 15 streaming videos that explore the connections between land, place and Indigeneity. Watch these streaming videos any time on McIntyre Media through UBC Library’s catalogue.

Visit X̱wi7x̱wa Library’s Indigenous Land Based Activism research guide for more information, too!

Source: Museum of Vancouver (https://museumofvancouver.ca/csnam-the-city-before-the-city)

cə̓snaʔəm, the city before the city: Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, cə̓snaʔəm, the city before the city commemorates five years since the resolution of a dramatic and compelling moment in the history of this place now known as Metro Vancouver. In late 2011, the Musqueam First Nation learned that a 108-unit condo development was being planned at one of their ancestral village sites without prior consultation with the nation. Not long after discovering the news of the planned condo development, Musqueam learned that ancestral remains were unearthed during an archeological “investigation” prior to development.

Source: IMBd (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1679175/)

Cry Rock: The wild beauty of the Bella Coola Valley blends with vivid watercolor animation illuminating the role of the Nuxalk oral tradition and the intersection of story, place and culture. In English and Nuxalk.

Source: Colonization Road website (https://www.colonizationroad.com)

Colonization Road: Since Europeans arrived on these shores, roads have been built to bring settlers across the country, connect them with resources to create industry and ultimately to establish a nation. Many of these interconnecting networks are called Colonization Roads. For Indigenous peoples, these roads embody a powerful and ironic reality; colonization is still so powerful, we name our roads after it. Join Anishinaabe comedian, Ryan McMahon as he travels across Ontario learning about Colonization Roads, the ways in which they have dispossessed Indigenous people of land and access to traditional territories while creating space for settlers in the colonial experiment that has become Canada.

Dehcho Ndehe Gha Nadaotsethe “Fighting for Our Land”: Dehcho Ndehe Gha Nadaotsethe “Fighting for Our Land” tells the history of the land, people and culture of Denendeh from pre-contact up to the present. In the video, our history is spoken by many different voices from all of the communities in the Dehcho, This community based video was initiated by the Dehcho First Nations and produced and directed by Rebecca Garrett. The goal of the project was to inform and educate, and to promote unity within Dehcho First Nations communities.

Estuary: Estuary is a compositional work by Tyler Hagan (Métis) shot on super 16mm that takes the viewer into a pensive cinematic state where they are allowed to view a familiar environment – a river landscape – in a completely new way. Shot at the mouth of the Fraser River, in Steveston, B.C., Canada.

Source: Fractured Land website (http://www.fracturedland.com/press.html)

Fractured Land: With some of the world’s largest fracking operations on his territory, a young Indigenous leader and lawyer confronts the fractures within his community and himself as he struggles to reconcile traditional teachings with the law to protect the land.

How A People Live: Documentary of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation, which the Canadian government forcibly relocated from its traditional territories on the coast of British Columbia in 1964.

In the Similkameen: In the Similkameen is a short experimental film which interrogates ideas of landscape and place by placing the viewer in the position to engage with the experience of being. Set on the Lower Similkameen Indian Reserve lands in the Southern Okanagan, the central conflict of the work subtly exists between the ‘natural’ landscape and ‘man-made’ incursions–namely a turn of the 20th Century missionary chapel, St. Ann’s. While the church and its relationship to its surroundings represent the larger history of conflict between the smelqmix people of the syilx (Okanagan) nation and Canadian settlers, In the Similkameen focuses on the visceral impact that it has as a part of the landscape. As Upper Similkameen Elder Ramona Allison related to me what her father had told her as a child, “We used to pray under the trees. Then the white man came, cut ’em all down, and now we pray in the trees.” This perspective reminds us that the dichotomy of ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’ is a construct of western thought, and encourages us to think, and experience our world as whole–as an ecosystem. In the Similkameen is the expression of attempting to embody such a perspective. It is an invitation to look, to listen, and to reflect.

‘Namegan’s om dłu’wans awinagwisex = We are one with the land: Namgis Nation has traditionally lived in the ‘Namgis Valley on the shores of Gwa”ni River, Vancouver Island. In 1997 ‘Namgis Nation have signed a statement of intent to negotiate a modern-day treaty with the federal and provincial governments. This process will provide them with a platform to gain access and control over their land and resources to become a self governing Nation. This film highlights their journey to their land in the summer of 2009.

The Oldest Tree In The World: Interweaving Leanne Simpson’s poetics, song, and stories of the land, while honouring the oldest maple tree in this region of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg Territory, “The Oldest Tree in the World” is a love song to the oldest sugar maple in the region, living just outside of Nogojiwanong (Peterborough) in Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park. This grandmother tree, one of our oldest living relations, has lived through over 500 years of history.

On The Line: The Northern Gateway Pipeline Project is a proposal by Calgary’s Enbridge Corporation to construct a 1,170 km oil pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. The pipeline would cross 773 watercourses and bring supertankers to B.C.’s pristine north coast for the first time ever in order to deliver tar sands bitumen to Asian markets. In the summer of 2010, filmaker Frank Wolf and his friend Todd McGowan biked, hiked, rafted and kayaked the GPS track of the pipeline in order to uncover the truth about the proposal. Through the voices of people they meet along the way, their rough and tumble journey reveals the severe risk and consequences associated with this 5.5 billion dollar mega-project

St’at’imchalh: Spirit of the People: The caretakers of the land! Rich with cultural and scenic pictures this beautiful film explores the strength and history of First Nations and how they have managed the land, for thousands of years, as their “garden”. Thru personal interviews and precious archival footage we are delighted to meet the keepers of the garden.

The Fast: The Fast follows Doreen Manuel into the Rocky Mountains for a 4-day no food or water fasting ceremony in search of storyteller power. Doreen has worked for over 20-years to develop the story about her father George Manuel, an Indigenous leader whose leadership and vision could inspire this generation to take Indigenous people into the Fourth World. The stakes are high, the story needs to be told, but Doreen is stuck and unable to tell the story. Listening to the voices of her ancestors, Doreen is guided to the same sacred site where her father participated in ceremony, so that she may start at the beginning. Out of this journey, she discovers the answer is simple but the path is difficult and she lays the spiritual groundwork for her next journey as a filmmaker. – from runninwolf.ca

This Place Is Part Of Our Spirit: Elders and Knowledge keepers share their views on current Archaeology practices. Curve Lake First Nation in Central Ontario are the stewards of the Peterborough Petroglyphs which has been a special spiritual place since time immemorial.

Tu Suhudinh: It’s 2008. Water is the most precious commodity on Earth. A powerful corporation controls most of the resources and is trying to control more. Directed by Helen Haig-Brown.

Different Forms of Artwork: Streaming Media

Artwork takes many different forms across cultures and across time. Xwi7xwa Library has a whole section of works of art books in our collection, but with the current pandemic, some of those books are not as easily available. Below, we’ve rounded up 12 different videos, streaming anytime on McIntyre Media through UBC Library, that illustrate the different forms of art in Indigenous cultures.

Making of a Haida Totem Pole is Kelvin Redvers’s portrayal of Don Yeomans is a contemporary Haida carver who was commissioned by the Vancouver Airport Art Foundation to make two 40 foot totem poles for the building linking domestic and international terminals at YVR. Follow the making of these unique poles-from log to installation-and listen to insight into the carver’s creative process, his relationship with family and culture, and his philosophy about art and tradition.

Carrying on the Tradition follows April Churchill and Gladys Vandal, highly gifted and talented Haida artists, both of whom have worked to preserve the Haida weaving tradition. The eldest daughter of legendary teacher Delores Churchill, April discusses why safeguarding tradition is important to her. Gladys Vandal also has roots deep in the basketry that grows out of the cedar tree. 

Argillite Carver is a documentary on artist Christian White who carves elaborate Haida stories, imbued with a sense of tradition, into an indigenous slate known as argillite in Masset, British Columbia . The mystery of his art, however, does not unfold until a quiet conversation about his latest panel pipe brings out his passion.

Cedar Hat Weaving tells the story of cedar, how the bark is stripped from the cedar tree and prepared for cedar weaving (hats) and discusses the art of cedar weaving and the affect this workshop had on the participants.

Art of Drum Making : First Nations making a Drum shows a step-by-step process on how to build a drum and shares stories and teachings taught by Jorge Lewis from the Snuneymuxw First Nation in B.C. 

From Hand to Hand documents how Charles Edenshaw played an enormous role in preserving his people’s ancient art forms at a time when their very survival was in question. In this powerful documentary, his descendants Robert Davidson, Carmen Goertzen and Christian White, celebrated artists in their own right, discuss his legacy as Haida Elders have passed it down to them.

Killer Whale and Crocodile In this film, watch a First Nations carver from Canada travels into the jungles of Papua New Guinea and a New Guinea carver travels to urban Canada. Together, they share each other’s cultures and learn about the myths and legends that inform their individual artistic styles. The Coast Salish carvings include killer whales, ravens and eagles; the Sepik pieces include crocodiles, cassowaries and hornbills. But both speak of culture, tradition and art.

Life and Work of the Woodland Artists is a film on the work of the “Indian Group of Seven”, made up of First Nation artists Daphne Odjig, Norval Morrisseau, Jackson Beardy, Carl Ray, Joseph Sanchez, Eddy Cobiness and Alex Janvier. The film traces the pivotal transition in Canadian and Aboriginal consciousness of native art, created by the canvases of these artists, through candid interviews with the group’s surviving members, family members and art critics. 

Modern room with wall and wooden floor.

New Masters features three leading carvers from the new generation, some of the last apprentices who worked with the late Haida Master Bill Reid. Tim Boyko and Garner Moody work out of the same carvers’ shed in Skidegate, British Columbia, a structure originally built by one of their elders. Working alone, Clayton Gladstone carves on wood and precious metals, and shares his views about contemporary and traditional art.

On the Trail of Property Woman tells the story of Freda Diesing, who in the 1960s was among the vanguard of Haida artists whose talents sparked a revival of her culture’s artwork. At the age of 42 she took up carving and established herself as not only an exceptional carver, but also an enthusiastic teacher and mentor.

Portrait of a Mask Maker allows the viewer to join Reg Davidson in his studio to watch him carve and share his views about Haida art. Reg does not consider himself an artist, though he has produced an impressive body of work and enjoyed a demand for his many masks. A singer and dancer of Haida traditional compositions, his unique personality allows for a broad, often comical, theatrical presentation of dance.

Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn is a documentary about Guud San Glans (“Eagle of the Dawn” in Haida), or Robert Davidson, stands apart internationally with his innovative and staggering output of high art. In his quest to make beautiful objects, Robert has inspired a new approach to Haida art, becoming a master of several media and pursuing a lofty cultural objective.

Spruce Root Weaver: Isabel Rorick takes the viewer to Masset B.C., where Isabel uses spruce roots to make some of the most intricate and beautiful hats and baskets in the Pacific Northwest. Related to both Florence Edenshaw Davidson and Selina Peratrovich, Isabel comes from a long line of artists. Her great-grandmother was the legendary weaver, Isabella Edenshaw. Taking a personal journey to North Beach on Haida Gwaii, Isabel harvests her own roots.

Haida jewelers follows Carmen Goertzen and Frank Paulson who are two contemporary carvers who specialize in silver and gold. Both are motivated to pursue jewelry making by a desire for independence. They discuss their own processes and inspirations, how Haida jewelry fits into the larger tradition Haida art, and in a highly competitive marketplace, the need to maintain a profile with the city’s galleries and private collectors.

Looking for more information on Indigenous artwork? Check out these resources below from UBC Library:

First Nations and Indigenous Art Research Guide from the Music, Art, & Architecture Library

Indigenous New Media Research Guide from Xwi7xwa Library