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.
Have you streamed a documentary or film through UBC Library’s McIntyre Media subscription before? There are almost 200 videos that are Indigenous focused or produced on a variety of topics like art, language, education, and land use issues. Plus more! Below, we’ve rounded up 9 titles that are under 10 minutes long from on different topics.
The Gift is a film by Wanda Nanibush. Wanda Nanibush is an Anishnawbe-kwe curator, writer, and media artist. In The Gift, a young Nish mother dating a white woman receives a gift that uncovers the past of her favourite grandmother. It can help teach that often those who are closest to us are the ones we know very little about. A heart warming story of quiet acceptance and the importance of history.
Hope, a video by UBC Professor & Scotiabank Award winner Dana Claxton, examines the possibilities of reconciliation through repeated attempts to rebuild a broken bowl. Upon the first round of rebuilding, it works perfectly and then another try makes it more difficult. Her film considers geo-politics, earth democracy and cross-cultural repair.
Stolen, a film by Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, examines the fact that Aboriginal women in Canada account for an incredibly overrepresented percentage of missing persons and murder statistics. Sheena, a lost teenager, is placed in a girl’s home. Seemingly forgotten and yearning for a life of freedom, she runs away, only to be picked up by a dangerous stranger. It is a sober commentary of missing Indigenous women.
Dancing with Northern Lights is a short film (just under 3 minutes) that features traditional dances of Canada’s First Nations people and the wondrous spectacle of northern lights as the inspiration for this coloured sand stop-motion animation by one of Canada’s most gifted animators.
Savage, written & directed by Lisa Jackson, is a Cree language short film with English subtitles that begins in in the 1950s, a native girl watches the countryside go by from the backseat of a car, but when the girl arrives at her destination, she undergoes a transformation that will turn the woman’s gentle voice into a howl of anger and pain. This film is one of many narrative looks at residential schools.
Oldest Tree in The World is a love song to the oldest sugar maple in the Ontario region, living just outside of Peterborough in Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park. A grandmother tree, one of our oldest living relations, has witnessed over 500 years of history.
A Look at the Life of Morgan Green is over 10 minutes, but it’s 11 minutes and 51 seconds, so we had to include it. Follow Morgan Green, a young Tsimshian artist from Vancouver, through her daily activities as she makes her art.
Locked Doors, by Anne Bowman with support from the Vancouver Art Gallery, Nothing About Us Without Us, and Gachet Gallery, is a song poem as that reflects upon Indigenous people in North America about who is in or out of North American life.
How To Steal A Canoe is a song telling on one hand telling the story of a young Nishnaabeg woman and an old Nishnaabeg man rescuing a canoe from a museum and returning it to the lake it was meant to be with, and on a deeper level, of stealing back the precious parts of us, that were always ours in the first place. With spoken lyrics by Nishnaabeg poet Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and an original score by Cree cellist & UBC Alumni Cris Derksen.
Being able to tell your own story is powerful. Below, we have pulled out a few memoirs we have at Xwi7xwa Library and available online through UBC catalogue that illustrate the power of Indigenous People telling their own stories.
Halfbreed by Maria Campbell depicts the realities that Campbell endured and, above all, overcame. Maria was born in Northern Saskatchewan, her father the grandson of a Scottish businessman and Métis woman–a niece of Gabriel Dumont whose family fought alongside Riel and Dumont in the 1885 Rebellion; her mother the daughter of a Cree woman and French-American man. This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust.
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma.
From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way by Jesse Thistle is the winner of the 2020 Indigenous Voices-Memoir category. It is an heartwarming and heartbreaking exploration of what it means to live in a society surrounded by prejudice and racism and to be cast adrift, and in the end, about how love and support can help one find happiness despite the odds.
Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel by Lee Maracle is a gritty portrait of a turbulent home life and harrowing adventures on the road, from the mud flats of North Vancouver to the farm fields of California and the fringes of the hippie subculture in Toronto. Renowned author Lee Maracle’s groundbreaking biographical novel captures the spirit of Indigenous resistance during the Red Power movement of the 60s and 70s, chronicling a journey towards political consciousness in the movement for self-determination.
In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience by Helen Knott is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.
Creating Space: My Life and Work in Indigenous Education by Verna J. Kirkness reveals the challenges and misgivings, the burning questions, the successes and failures that have shaped the life of this extraordinary woman and the history of Indigenous education in Canada.
One Story, One Song by Richard Wagamese invites readers to accompany him on his travels. His focus is on stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four Ojibway storytelling principles: balance, harmony, knowledge and intuition.
Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl by Anahareo; edited by Sophie McCall captures Anahareo’s and her husband Grey Owl’s extensive travels through the bush and their work towards environmental and wildlife protection. This autobiography covers the daily life of an extraordinary Mohawk woman whose independence, intellect, and moral conviction had direct influence on Grey Owl’s conversion from trapper to conservationist.
Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir by Ernestine Hayes is told in layers that blend Indigenous stories and metaphor with social and spiritual journeys, this enchanting memoir traces the author’s life from her difficult childhood growing up in the Tlingit community, through her adulthood, during which she lived for some time in Seattle and San Francisco, and eventually to her return home.
With the summer comes more time for being on the land and participating in fun activities, like hiking, socially distanced picnics, trips to local campgrounds, and new readings! Xwi7xwa has found inspiration from #Skwalawenreads who celebrates local ancestral plant relationships and Squamish culture. We’ve made a few additions but hope this list of books helps you feel a connection to the nature around us!
The Standing People: Wild Medicinal Plants of British Columbia
by Kahlee Keane explores the medicinal plants in different parts of BC and how they are used through the lens of the herbalist author.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a Potawatomi woman who considers plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. She believes these teachers help us understand what it means for humans to be “the younger brothers of creation.” Throughout the book, she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world.
As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking. Indigenous resistance is a radical rejection of contemporary colonialism focused around refusing the dispossession of Indigenous bodies and land.
Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America by Nancy J. Turner is two volumes that follows Indigenous People throughout time, showing how they actively participated in their environments, managed and cultivated valued plant resources, and maintained key habitats that supported their dynamic cultures for thousands of years, as well as how knowledge was passed on from generation to generation and from one community to another.
The Water Walker written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson is the story of a determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (Water).
The Sea of Grass: a Family Tale from the American Heartland by Walter R. Echo-Hawk is a historical fiction novel inspired by real people and events that were shaped by the land, animals, and plants of the Central Plains and by the long sweep of Indigenous history in the grasslands.
Bridging Cultures: Scientific and Indigenous Ways of Knowing Nature by Glen Aikenhead & Herman Michell addresses the need for environmental science and science educators to embrace traditional Indigenous knowledge in a straight-forward and accessible manner.
Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Métis Plant Use by Christi Belcourt and Michif translations by Rita Flamand & Laura Burnouf helps readers understand and find their own awareness of the healing power of plants that is a life force generated from the strength of Mother Earth. It fuses Belcourt’s evocative artwork with Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Western Science.
Muskgege: Carol’s Traditional Medicines by Caroline Sanoffsky and illustrated by Nicole Marie Burton is written for grades K-8 students featuring descriptions and illustrations of 36 wild plants that can be used to make medicines.
Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do is Ask by Mary Siisip Geniusz is a book of Anishinaabe teachings, recipes, and botanical information told in the form of stories that brings the plants to life with narratives that explain their uses, meaning, and history.
Looking for more suggestions? Email us at email@example.com with some more information on what you’re looking for and we’ll give you suggestions!
On June 3rd, 2019, The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’s Final Report revealed that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. In honour of the women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people who continue to go missing and are murdered in Canada and the US, we have put together this list of online resources & books available either freely online or through your UBC CWL login.
The Final Report is comprised of the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers shared over two years of cross-country public hearings and evidence gathering. It delivers 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians.
Violence against Indigenous Women: Literature, Activism, Resistance by Allison Hargreaves
Indigenous communities have been organizing against violence since newcomers first arrived, but the cases of missing and murdered womenhave only recently garnered broad public attention. Violence AgainstIndigenous Women joins the conversation by analyzing the socially interventionist work of Indigenous women poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and fiction-writers. Organized as a series of case studies that pair literary interventions with recent sites of activism and policy-critique, the book puts literature in dialogue with anti-violence debate to illuminate new pathways toward action.
In a work driven by the urgency of this ongoing crisis, which extends across the country, Amber Dean offers a timely, critical analysis of the public representations, memorials, and activist strategies that brought the story of Vancouver’s disappeared women to the attention of a wider public. Remembering Vancouver’s Disappeared Women traces “what lives on” from the violent loss of so many women from the same neighbourhood.
Stolen directed by Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs
For the size of their population, Aboriginal women in Canada account for an incredibly overrepresented percentage of missing persons and murder statistics. Sheena, a lost teenager, is placed in a girl’s home. Seemingly forgotten and yearning for a life of freedom, she runs away, only to be picked up by a dangerous stranger. The directorial debut by actor Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs is a sober commentary of missing Indigenous women.
this river directed by Erika MacPherson and Katherena Vermette
This short documentary offers an Indigenous perspective on the devastating experience of searching for a loved one who has disappeared. Volunteer activist Kyle Kematch and award-winning writer Katherena Vermette have both survived this heartbreak and share their histories with each other and the audience. While their stories are different, they both exemplify the beauty, grace, resilience, and activism born out of the need to do something.
For the 2017 pow wow, 17-year-old jingle dancer Tia Wood of Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Alberta was selected as Head Young Lady Dancer. She used that position, and the spotlight it provided in a spectacular way to bring attention to the nearly 1,000 missing and murdered indigenous women from both the United States and Canada.
Did you know that UBC Library has thousands of full online copies of their most popular books? At Xwi7xwa, we have some of the most popular/circulating materials available online for students & faculty to access, as well as streaming videos through McIntyre Media.
If you need help finding resources or alternative resources to a print materials you can’t access right now, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a librarian will email you back with some options!
How to Find Online Materials through the catalog:
Through this link to the UBC Library catalogue, you can search specifically for materials that are available online. The image below is where the link will take you.
Under the “Filter by Date/Location/Format/Language,” select “Location: Online” to view items that will be available in their full format online. You can type in a specific title, keywords, authors, or subjects and see what comes up.
A way to view if a specific material that the Library owns in print is also available online by clicking on the title in the item record.
In the above example, you can see the title is printed twice. Click on the second title listed; this one is a clickable link.
Clicking on the title will lead you to a page much like the one above. There are three types of records: a record of the book at Xwi7xwa, at other UBC library locations, and the copy available online. Click on the option that says “Status, Library Location: ONLINE”
Either option will lead you to a page like the example in the below image:
Once here, select the orange “Online Access” button on the right side of the screen. This will take you to the online ebook.
Helpful Hints for Keyword Searches through Summon
- Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.
- Example: “First Nations”
- Use a question mark to truncate a term to search for words with the same stem.
- Example: Aborig? retrieves Aboriginal, Aboriginals, Aborigine, etc.
- Use “AND” in searches will allow you to limit your results even farther.
- example: “first nations” AND “residential schools” will only show you results with both those phrases in them. This works for more than just two as well
- Use “OR” to find phrases that could be interchangeable to make the search wider
- example: “first nations” OR “indigenous” OR “aboriginal”
- Combine “AND” and “OR”
- example: “first nations” OR “indigenous” OR “aboriginal” AND “residential schools”
How to Find Streaming Videos:
UBC Library uses a platform called McIntyre Media to stream videos we’ve subscribed to.
- Search the phrase “Mcintyre media” in simple search and filter the results to Online OR click this link.
- Select any of the titles on the list to see their record.
- Under Actions on the right hand side click Online to gain access to 165 titles
Check out this post from Xwi7xwa last year for some video recommendations.
Head onto the simple search of the catalogue and the page below will pop up
Under “Filter by Date/Location/Format/Language,”select “Location: ONLINE'” and put in your search term(s).
Once you are taken to your search results, you will want to add an additional filter from the left side column.
Add the filter “Format: Videorecording” to be able to view online videos. Some of these will be from McIntyre Media, but some will not. It depends on what search terms were used.
UBC Library has a research guide all about online film and media that you can access.
Looking for non-academic films to take your mind off your coursework? Check out this database UBC has access to until April 20th!
Featured Online Books & Resources:
As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (also available online) gives the reader many of the ways that Indigenous resistance has stopped natural resource extraction. From tar sands to pipelines, Indigenous resistance has pushed against colonization and the dispossession of land. This book not only examines the relationship between Indigenous peoples and natural resources, but ways to push back against settler-colonialism as a whole.
Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith explores the ways in which imperils is embedded in the disciplines of knowledge, and argues that the decolonization of research methods will help reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.
First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style by Lee Maracle is a collection of short stories provides revealing glimpses into the life experiences of an Aboriginal woman, a university professor, an activist and a single mother in the lower mainland of B.C.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer uses matter-of-fact responses to over 120 questions, both thoughtful and outrageous, modern and historical, Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist Anton Treuer gives a frank, funny, and sometimes personal tour of “what’s up with Indians, anyway?”
C̓äsna7äm, The City Before The City directed and produced by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (also available online) looks at the story of the land UBC and Vancouver sits on before it became Vancouver and UBC. This documentary specifically looks at the 200 day vigil the Musqueam people to halt a condo development that unearthed ancestral remains.
Need more help finding resources? Email us at email@example.com!