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

Black History Month at Xwi7xwa Library

February is Black History Month in Canada, the US, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. During this month, we recognize the legacy, achievements, and struggles that Black People have faced and accomplished. The bird in the above picture is the Sankofa bird, with it’s feet forward, head turned backward, it reflects on the past to build a successful future, and is the symbol of Black History Month in Canada this year. We have chosen books and other materials from our collection to celebrate this month with the rest of Canada. Be sure to check out our display in the branch! And remember, we are open normal hours during Reading Week if you are still around campus.

Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: the African Diaspora in Indian Country edited by Tiya Miles and Sharon P. Holland looks at historical studies and cultural expressions between blacks and Indigenous in Native communities to illustrates the many forms of expression that has formed through their intertwined history.

IndiVisible : African-Native American Lives in the Americas edited by Gabrielle Tayac is a collection of 27 essays that work to provide multiple viewpoints of the complex personal histories of people with dual heritage, trying to find acceptance within their own communities.

Proudly Red and Black : Stories of African and Native Americans by William Loren Katz and Paula A. Franklin, written for younger readers, is an in-depth look of six people who have both African and Indigenous heritage, including a US senator, a scuplter, and a colonial trader.

Untold Stories: Civil Rights, Libraries, and Black Librarianship edited by John Mark Tucker is composed of 15 articles that fall under three themes: Legacies of Black Librarianship, Chronicles from the Civil Rights Movement, & Resources for Library Personnel, Services and Collections.

American Red & Black: Stories of Afro-Native Identity directed by Alicia Woods is an award winning intimate look at 6 Afro-native Americans from across the U.S as their reflect on their experience as a part of two different communities of colour.

Oklahoma: Black Cherokees edited by Ty Wilson & Karen Coody Cooper looks at the ways the Cherokee assimilated into American society during the 1800s including accommodating the institutional slavery of black people and how this decision still impacts people today.

Native Land Talk: Indigenous and Arrivant Rights Theories by Yael Ben-Zvi draws on different types of texts to illustrate the ways that Indigenous and African-descended slaves explained their own views of freedom in the 18th and 19th century, and how their views drew off of the ways settlers threw off British rule in the American Colonies.  This books makes the case for how rights were constructed differently depending on if it existed in American, African, or English space, and explains the historical obstacles to solidarity between Indigenous and African American struggles.

Race and Racialization: Essential Readings edited by Tania Das Gupta, Carl E. James, Chris Andersen, Grace-Edward Galabuzi, and Roger C.A. Maaka draws a number of academic thinkers and writers to explore the themes of ethnocentrism, cultural genocide, conquest and colonization, disease and pandemics, slavery, the social construction of racism, and the failures of integration in short essays.

There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities by Ingrid R.G. Waldron examines the legacy that environmental racism has in Indigenous and Black communities in Canada, focusing primarily on Nova Scotia, and uses settler colonialism as the overarching theory to explain how environmental racism works as erasure in white-settler society.

American Cowboys written, produced and directed by Cedric Wildbill and Tania Wildbill shows the legacy of Indigenous and Black cowboys in the American West dating back to the 1900s where the cowboy winners broke the colour barrier in rodeo. This documentary includes a 1911 silent film!

Racism and Anti-Racism in Canada edited by David Este, Liza Lorenzetti, & Christa Sato is a introductory  reader that illustrates the many ways that racism and discrimination has impacted Canadian society, with writers from diverse backgrounds that reflect the people making up Canadian society.

Rumble: the Indians Who Rocked the World directed by Catherine Bainbridge is a library favourite that focuses on the Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous people who shaped music to where it is today.

Valentine’s Day at Xwi7xwa

Happy Valentine’s Day from your librarians at Xwi7xwa! We have rounded up some fun reads surrounding topics of love, care, and romance. Have you checked our our fiction section or poetry section yet? We have lots of choices for you when you want to take a step back from academic texts. Come in to the library and ask one of our librarians for some of their favourites!

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse; illustrated by Barbara Lavallee is a children’s book where the mother explains just how unconditional her love is for her child. This book features great depictions of Arctic animals and Inuit life.

#IndianLovePoems: Poems by Tenille K. Campbell dives into stories of love and lust from all across Canada, illustrating the depth of emotions that come when sex, culture, and race is mixed with love, lust, and relationships.

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time : An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology edited by Hope Nicholson is a collection of science fiction and urban fantasy stories starring First Nation and Métis folks.

Critically sovereign: Indigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies edited by Joanne Barker traces the ways that gender is intrinsically tied to Indigenous politics and colonialism.

Sacred Wilderness by Susan Power follows the lives of four women that are clan mothers from different time periods and different backgrounds that risk their hearts and lives for love of family, relationships, and life.

Islands of Decolonial Love: Stories & Songs by Leanne Simpson writes short stories of Indigenous Peoples and Communities learning to live loving and observant lives where at the same time struggling to survive the historical and ongoing injustices of colonialism.

I Love My Skin by Terry Haines is a film on how First Nation children learn to love and accept themselves in a society that can make them feel less than.

Without Reservation: Indigenous Erotica collected and edited by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is an anthology of poetry and prose by Indigenous writers from Canada, New Zealand, America, and Australia including well known authors like Maria Campbell and Sherman Alexie.

I Loved Her by Shezza Ansloos; illustrations by Kimberly McKay-Fleming is a children’s book of a young girl reflecting on the love and friendship she has with her grandmother.

Spirits, Fairies, and Merpeople: Native Stories of Other Worlds by C.J. Taylor are tales of enduring love and the struggles of life told through tales written for all ages.

Me Sexy: an Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality compiled & edited by Drew Hayden Taylor is a book filled with humorous essays was complied to show a fun and sexy side, because so much of fiction that features Indigenous Peoples end up focusing on aspects of kidnapping, rape, and assault.

First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style by Lee Maracle (available online) are short stories that offers a glimpse into the love life of a university professor, a single mom, and an activist that are tied together through their Coast Salish background.

Spotlight: Land Management and Natural Resources

Many students this term are writing papers on natural resources and natural resource development in BC and Western Canada. With reference questions coming in about natural resources like oil, water, and forests or about Indigenous rights to natural resources, we’ve curated some materials below to help answer your questions and to add some materials to your “To Be Read” or “To Watch” list.

If you’d like to do some searching about general natural resources on your own through our catalog on our website, here are some search terms to use:

  • “natural resources”
  • “natural resource management”
  • “environmental resources”
  • “environmental activism”
  • “environmentalism”
  • “energy” or “energy resources”
  • “oil”

If you’d like to look specifically at a certain event surrounding a natural resource, you could search for that event like “Standing Rock,” or if you’d like to see our books on pipelines, searching “pipelines” will give you a plethora of materials on pipelines in Canada, as well as the United States.

If you’re shelf browsing in our stacks at the library, start at the “N” call numbers and you’ll see lots of books on natural resources in Canada.

Here is a curated list of library materials on natural resources:

Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides by Mehana Blaich Vaughan shares the stories of more than 60 Hawaiian elders, fishermen, and community leaders on how they work to protect their kuleana, their rights and responsibilities to their community and to their surroundings. This book gives a combined look at natural resources, land management, Indigenous studies, and Hawaiian studies. It looks at not what people and community can get from the land, but how the spirit of reciprocity and caring for others exists in natural resource management.

Environmental Activism On The Ground: Small Green and Indigenous Organizing edited by Jonathan Clapperton and Liza Pipe (also available online) takes a in depth look to environmental activism in local communities and grass roots organization through a lens of multiple interdisciplinary studies. Stories of activism from Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups are pieced together from across Canada. It takes a step back into the history of environmental activism and lessons when moving towards the future.

Indigenous Peoples and Resource Development in Canada edited by Robert Bone and Robert Anderson (also available at Koerner Library) views natural resource management in Canada through Supreme Court and government agreements with Indigenous nations to illustrate how Indigenous peoples are now at the decision-making table when it comes to natural resource extraction in their communities.

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.

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.

Mining and Communities in Northern Canada: History, Politics, and Memory edited by Arn Keeling and John Sandlos (also available online) begins by examining how mining has historically been a forerunner of colonization to Indigenous communities, as it is the start of new and disruptive economic and settlement patterns in their home. This book views mining in Northern Canada from both a historical lens through past documents and research, as well as oral histories from community members themselves.

Sovereignty for Survival: American Energy Development and Indian Self-Determination by James Robert Allison III (also available online) illustrates the role Indigenous people in the United States played in shaping energy policy and development. By examining the role Indigenous people played in policy creation, the different viewpoints of different Indigenous groups and communities are shown, illustrating what view they took on resource extraction in their communities: harmful or necessary for their community’s growth.

Tracking the Great Bear: How Environmentalists Recreated British Columbia’s Coastal Rainforest by Justin Page (also available online) explains a detailed account of how the Great Near Rainforest was saved from logging through the conservation efforts of Indigenous communities and activists through an actor network.

Standing with Standing Rock: Voices from the #NoDAPL Movement edited by Nick Estes and Jaskiran Dhillon (also available at the Okanagan Library) teaches through essays, poems, and interviews, essential lessons from the people who were at Standing Rock and the significance they felt on the front lines of environmental activism.

The Invasion of Indian Country in the Twentieth Century: American Capitalism and Tribal Natural Resources by Donald L. Fixico (also available online) looks at the fight between business and Indigenous communities for the oil, fish, coal, water, and timber that was on reservations in the 20th century. This resource illustrates the history of natural resources in the 20th century and how what happened then influences the policies being enacted today.

A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice edited by Toban Black, Tony Weis, Stephen D’Arcy, & Joshua Kahn Russell (also available online) is a selection of essays from contributors looking at the struggle between industry and opponents over control of the future of the Alberta Tar Sands.

Aboriginal Peoples and Forest Lands in Canada edited by D.B. Tindall, Ronald L. Trosper, and Pamela Perreault (also available online) brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous views of forest use and resource management. It also focuses on the use of traditional knowledge and traditional land use in the world of forestry.

If you have a specific interest in the world of natural resources or another topic you’d like some research help with, please always feel free to email us at

Holiday Reads!

Looking for some inspiration for reading as go off to break until January 6th? We have rounded up some novels, books of poetry, and other inspiring resources you can pick up before you head off campus for the next few weeks.

Full-Metal Indigiqueer: Poems by Joshua Whitehead focuses on Zoa, a Two Spirit/ Indigiqueer Trickster who infects, invades, and reclaim canonical and popular works like Charles Dickens, Shakespeare and Peter Pan.

Red Rooms by Cherie Dimaline follows Naomi, a hotel maid in an average hotel in an average city, who creates complex and complicated stories about the patrons who stay in the rooms she cleans everyday from the things they leave behind. The five short stories are separate, but intricate and come to life through Naomi’s imagination.

Motorcycles & Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor begins when a handsome stranger rides into town on a 1953 Indian Chief motorcycle and turns Otter Lake upside down. Maggie falls head over heels for the handsome stranger, but her son doesn’t trust him and teams up with his uncle to prove it.

Song of Batoche by Maia Caron is a thoroughly researched fictional retelling of the events leading up to Louis Riel’s 1885 rebellion through a woman’s eyes: Josette Lavoie. The storylines of Josette and six other unforgettable main characters, including Riel and Dumont converge at the same time that the Dominion Army is to march on Batoche in this fast paced novel.

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott views the ongoing legacy of colonialism through metaphor and details from Elliot’s own life and experiences. She engages with topics of parenthood, race, sexual assault, mental health and others as she weaves a story of how the personal becomes political.

Kynship by Daniel Heath Justice takes place in the Everland, the home of the Eld-Folk, where it has been over a thousand years since the world of man and the world of Folk have collided. And it is about to collide again in this fantasy novel.

Ravensong by Lee Maracle follows Stacey, Raven, and Celia as they balance their family’s traditional ways in the 1950s Pacific Northwest during an urban influenza epidemic. Celia has visions from the past, while Raven sees a future catastrophe of reconcilation, and Stacey is left to find a way to bridge them together.

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice is a thriller that begins when a northern Anishinaabe community goes dark and they realize something has gone wrong in the outside world. As food becomes scarce, the community begins to break apart and they struggle to find a way to survive until a leader emerges.

My Body Is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta is an open and ruthless autobiography that illustrate her reality with mental illness, ethnic identity, sexual assault, and academia without apologies. This autobiographical storytelling is written in poem, short verse, letters, a television script, and lists.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer draws on her background as a botanist, and as a woman,  to explain the lessons nature and animals can teach us. In her lyrical reflections of the natural world, she pushes the point home that humans are in a reciprocal relationship with the rest of the natural world.

End of Term Spotlight

The end of term is here! As you are finishing up term papers, getting ready for presentations, and studying for final exams, the librarians have rounded up some things to push your assignments to the finish line. If you need help finding a copy of one of these resources, or need help finding other resources, come visit us from 11-3 Monday through Friday for reference help. Whether you’re searching for political science, natural resources, education, or something else, we love searching for you! Check out the linked resources below.

So You Want to Write About American Indians?: a Guide for Writers, Students, and Scholars by Devon Abbott Mihesuah gives an overview of both fiction and nonfiction books written about Indigenous people, and looks at challenges–many from the author’s own experience–that writers should be aware of when writing about this topic. Especially great for creative writing and English classes.

How to Critique Journal Articles in the Social Sciences by Scott R. Harris provides concise step by step tips and suggestions to reading articles written in the social science discipline, and how to spot strengths and weaknesses in research articles. A helpful read for learning to skim research articles and for suggestions on how to write up your own.

Writing Research Papers: a Complete Guide by James D. Lester & James D. Lester, Jr. is a traditional and practical book that will take you from selecting and narrowing down a research topic to formulating data to formatting your final paper. It covers a wide array of discipline and research writing styles.

Learning and Teaching Together: Weaving Indigenous Ways of Knowing Into Education by Michele T.D. Tanaka introduces teachers to an indigenist approach to education. Rather than focusing of theory and discussion, this book looks at how a group of settler teachers were able to respectfully implement Indigenous knowledge into their classrooms.

Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights by Dian Million is an easy to read and understand book analyzing the way that trauma plays into the history of Indigenous peoples in North America.

Exploring Indigenous Social Justice edited by John G. Hansen, Ph. D is sixteen chapters by nineteen different expert authors on the what, where, and how in Indigenous social justice principles and practices. This book looks at social justice issues through methodology, education, resiliency, and from an international lens.

A Deeper Sense of Place: Stories and Journeys of Indigenous-Academic Collaboration by Jay T. Johnson and Soren C. Larsen looks at the ethical, political, intellectual, and practical meanings of collaboration with Indigenous peoples through a geographical lens of place. Also available online.

Research for Social Justice: A Community-Based Approach by Adje van de Sande & Karen Schwartz is written for students who are interested in exploring community based approaches in their research and their papers, with chapters on beginning research to how to write and present your report.

Doing Respectful Research: Power, Privilege and Passion by Susan A. Tilley focuses on the role power, privilege and passion play into the decisions of what gets researched, who is positioned as a  researcher or a participant and how data are collected, analyzed represented and publicized.

Giving Back: Research and Reciprocity in Indigenous Settings edited by RDK Herman addresses the need for reciprocity in the research process.