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.
On November 11th, 1918 at 11 in the morning, the end of the First World War was marked. This is why in Canada and in other countries, there is a moment of silence–to thank the men & women who fought. Remembrance Day in Canada spotlights Canada’s role during the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953), but it honours all who have served and continue to do so. Remembrance Day is an opportunity to honour the soldiers who returned back home and to commemorate those who were not able.
We have rounded up some books and resources from our collection telling the stories and sharing the voices of Indigenous veterans from Canada and the US. We encourage you to proudly wear a poppy and to take part in memorial services over the holiday weekend. Here are some events that are taking place on Remembrance Day around the Lower Mainland.
From the Tundra to the Trenches by Eddy Weetaltuk is his own story of joining the Canadian Armed Forces to fight in the Korean War. Inuit people at this time were not allowed to leave the North, so he changed his name & identity to begin his 15 year career with the Canadian Forces.
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko follows Tayo, a young Native American man who was a prisoner of war during World War II. When he returns home, he struggles with feelings of isolation and estrangement. When other soldiers turned to violence and alcohol, Tayo turns to culture and tradition to help fight off despair.
The Militarization of Indian Country by Winona LaDuke with Sean Aaron Cruz looks at the long political and economic relationship between Native America and the military, and the impact the military has had on Native peoples, lands, and culture.
Year in Nam: a Native American Soldier’s Story by Leroy TeCube goes into intimate detail of the day to day life of him and his platoon in Vietnam, and how his memories of his home in New Mexico and his culture were a source of strength.
For King and Kanata: Canadian Indians and the First World War by Timothy C. Winegard gives a detailed look into the relationship between the Indigenous people who served in Canadian Forces during World War I and the government they were fighting for. Covering the history of how they were first excluded and then actively recruited for the war effort, Winegard delves into coverage of both the policies and the experiences that would affect every aspect of the war experience for Canada’s Aboriginal soldiers.
Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers. Volume One edited by Arigon Starr: A graphic novel featuring seven separate stories of the many different Indigenous groups and nations that made contributions to the World War II war effort in the Pacific campaigns.
From the West Coast to the Western Front : British Columbians and the Great War by Mark Forsythe and Greg Dickson is a compilation of stories, artifacts and photos sent in by BC Almanac listeners from across the province, this book tells of submarine smuggling, bagpipes lost on the battlefield, of the ongoing struggles by soldiers who made it home, and of both battles of loss and heroism.
Two Trails Narrow: a novel by Stephen McGregor
Through our Soldiers’ Eyes : Military Memories from the Mission Valley edited by Christa Umphrey is the work of grade 11 students in rural Northwest Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation. They interviewed and recorded over 30 veterans’ oral histories of their time in the American Armed Forces.
Looking for some creepy tales and mysteries of things that go bump in the night to celebrate this Halloween time of year? We’ve rounded up some of our favorites here from our collection to help make your Halloween spooktacular!
What We Do in the Shadows written and directed by Jemaine Cement & Taika Waititi is a dark comedy that follows Vulvus, Viago, and Deacon. They are vampires: undead, immortal creatures who stalk the night and search for human blood, preferably virgins.
Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac watches Molly who has to rely on her dreams of an old Mohawk story after her After her parents disappear and she is given to a strange “great-uncle.”
Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac tells the story of Baron Braun when he calls upon the strength and wisdom of his ancestors to face both man and beast to help his classmates who are being terrorized during a school field trip in the Adirondacks.
The Ones that Got Away by Stephen Graham Jones is a collection of thirteen stories that carve down into the body of the mind, into our most base fears and certainties. Spooky alert!
Dead North: Canadian Zombie Fiction edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a collection of short stories contains a wide range of zombie fiction, from whales who return from the depths to haunt the coast of Labrador to a corpse that is turned into a flesh puppet that then takes part in a depraved sex show.
Brébeuf’s Ghost: a Tale of Horror in Three Acts by Daniel David Moses is set off of Lake Nipissing in 1649, where Christian missionaries are at war with First Nations communities. To make matters worse, Jesuit martyr Jean de Brébeuf has come back from the dead as a ghost to torment both parties.
The Red Power Murders: a DreadfulWater Mystery by Thomas King writing as Hartley GoodWeather features former cop turned photographer Thumps DreadfulWater visiting his hometown of Chinook, but murders and the past still follow him wherever he goes.
Innocent until Proven Indian: a Jesse Crowchild Mystery by Frank LaRue follows recovering alcoholic lawyer Jesse Crowchild and sidekick investigator ex-cop Mike Morningstar as they try to clear the name of Jimmy Greyeyes who is accused of murder.
Death by Dinosaur: a Sam Stellar Mystery by Jacqueline Guest has 14-year old Sam Stellar investigating who stole a dinosaur fossil, and she has a few suspects, including the young hunk of a paleontologist her sidekick and cousin is totally crushing on.
indian country noir edited by Sarah Cortez & Liz Martínez is a collection of regional short story collections that celebrates Native American crime fiction, featuring original work from Lawrence Block, Joseph Bruchac, and David Cole.
As the days fill with crisp air and gorgeous foliage, the longer nights are spent with good books–something we love to do here at the library. Whether you’re spending your fall cozied up on the couch with books or outside in nature, we’ve highlighted some great books on food, harvest and land for you to read this Autumn season.
Living on the Land: Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place edited by Nathalie Kermoal and Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez looks at how patriarchy, gender, and colonialism shape the experiences of Indigenous women as both knowledge holders and knowledge producers. Different writers explore the nature and scope of Indigenous women’s knowledge, how knowledge is rootedness in relationships both human and spiritual, and how knowledge is not inseparable from land and landscape.
Land-Based Education: Embracing the Rhythms of the Earth from an Indigenous Perspective by Herman J. Michell, PhD explores two different land-based educators insights and experiences on connecting learning to the land and environment.
Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America by Nancy J. Turner creates and explains a complex understanding of the traditions of use and management of plant resource throughout North America.
Downstream: Reimagining Water edited by Dorothy Christian and Rita Wong showcases artists, writers, scientists, scholars, environmentalists, and activists who examine the shared human need for clean water that is crucial to building peace and good relationships with each other and the planet.
Food will Win the War: the Politics, Culture, and Science of Food on Canada’s Home Front by Ian Mosby looks at the symbolic and material transforming that food and eating undertook in Canada during the 1940s and those transformations through a profound social, political, and cultural lens.
Food sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems edited by Hannah Wittman, Annette Desmarais, Nettie Wiebe explores how Canadian agricultural and food policies are contributing to the current global food crisis and community responses to those policies.
Eating the Landscape: American Indian Stories of Food, Identity, and Resilience by Enrique Salmón touches an array of indigenous farmers who uphold traditional practices in the face of modern changes to food systems in this personal narrative from the University of Arizona Press.
‘We Are Still Didene’: Stories of Hunting and History from Northern British Columbia by Thomas McIlwraith examines Iskut, BC’s transition from subsistence hunting to wage work in trapping, guiding, construction, and service job, and challenges the idealized images of Indigenous Peoples that underlie state-sponsored traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) studies
And just in time for Thanksgiving! Let us know if you make something from our cookbooks for your families this thanksgiving:
The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley is a rich cookbook with a delicious introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.
A Feast for All Seasons: Tradional Native People’s Cuisine by Andrew George Jr. and Robert Gairns features recipes with ingredients from the land, sea, and sky, and focuses on an enduring cuisine that illustrates respect for the environment and the spiritual power that food can have in our lives.
Aahksoyo’p Nootski Cookbook: Authentic Indigenous Comfort Food by Shantel Tallow & Paul Conley features Blackfeet comfort food like bannock and chili. Aahksoyo’p means “we’re going to eat” in the Blackfoot language.
First Nations Recipes: a Selection From Coast to Coast by Gregory Lepine combines traditional Native cooking with historic and currently available ingredients.
Hungry Hearts: 13 tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond is a collection of interconnected short stories that shows the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment in our lives.
September 30 is an annual day to recognize & raise awareness about the residential school system in Canada, join together in the spirit of reconciliation, and honour the experiences of Indigenous People. Share your support and orange shirt on September 30th with the hashtag #orangeshirtday on social media.
Orange Shirt Day is inspired by Phyllis Webstad’s story. On her first day of residential school, Phyllis’s grandmother gave her a brand new orange shirt . When Phyllis got to residential school, her shirt was taken from her and never returned. The colour orange has always reminded Phyllis of her traumatic experience at residential school.
If you need support during this time (or at any time of year), please consider these resources:
Drop-in counseling at the Longhouse. No appointment needed:
Tuesdays, 1 – 4 pm, with Renée
Wednesdays, 1 – 4 pm, with Michael
Thursdays, 1 – 4 pm, with Leslie
Kuu-us 24hr crisis line:
Adult/Elder Crisis Line: 250-723-4050
Child/Youth Crisis Line: 250-723-2040
Find more information about Residential Schools in our Indian Residential Schools in Canada Research Guide.
Visit the Indian Residential School and Dialogue Centre at UBC. They are open Monday to Friday from 10am-3pm.
Check out the Orange Shirt Day website to read more on the story behind this day of remembrance.
The Museum of Vancouver is offering free admission on Monday, September 30th, for visitors who wear their orange shirt from 10am-5pm. make sure to visit their “There is Truth Here: Creativity and Resilience in Children’s Art from Indian Residential and Day Schools”exhibit. The exhibit focuses on focuses on rare surviving artworks created by children who attended the Inkameep Day School (Okanagan), St Michael’s Indian Residential School (Alert Bay); the Alberni Indian Residential School (Vancouver Island) and Mackay Indian Residential School (Manitoba).
If you are looking for children’s books on residential schools, please look at our Residential Schools Children’s Books List.
Happy Pride UBC!
This year X̱wi7x̱wa Library celebrates pride at your local UBC events, with our Spotlight Series, and featuring our new Two-Spirit research guide!
Visit us on September 6th, 2019 at the Fairview Commons (outside the Earth Sciences Building) and explore queer titles in our collection.
Author of Jonny Appleseed (novel) and full-metal indigiqueer (poetry collection). Whitehead is a Two-Spirit Oji-Cree from Treaty 1 territory in Peguis First Nation, MB. For Jessica John’s interview with Whitehead in Room magazine see.
Find Joshua Whitehead titles at UBC Library!
Find Billy-Ray Belcourt titles at UBC Library!
Cherokee author Daniel Heath Justice writes Indigenous and queer fantasy, weird fiction, creative nonfiction, and researches Indigenous literary and cultural studies, animal cultural history, gender and sexuality, and speculative fiction. He is also a faculty member at UBC Vancouver.
For CBC North by Northwest interview with Justice see here (begins at 2:07:30).
For Justice’s interview with Black Coffee Poet on Queer Indigenous Literature see here.
Find Justice’s work at UBC Library!
4. Sts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li
Image retrieved from https://www.nrtf.ca/impact/2012-recipient-stories/
Sts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li (Twin-Spirited Woman or Saylesh Wesley) is both Stó:lõ and Tsimshian. In her article “Twin-Spirited Woman: Sts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li” Wesley shares her stories and process of coming into community with the assistance of her grandmother. Wesley, “wishes to revitalize the cultural roles of transgendered/two-spirit people within the Coast Salish territory and ways in which they historically contributed to their societies prior to colonization.”
In 2017 as a result of transphobia/homophobia in Chilliwack’s community, Peggy Janicki wove a shawl for Sts’iyóye smestíyexw slhá:li and held a ceremony to bring “order and grace” out of “chaos and hurt”; see page 20 of Teacher Magazine.
Shawnee is a soul, R&B, pop, and alternative Mohawk Two-Spirit artist. Her music aims to “support, heal, and empower.” Her work has been featured on Disney TV, at NYC Pride, and to support Canada’s suicide crisis.
Interested in music? Xwi7xwa has many titles on Indigenous music and artists, CD’s, and more! Here are some helpful tips for navigating our collection:
- WM = resources organized under call number WM cover topics about music
- phrase searching “audio cassette” while limiting to Xwi7xwa Library gives you music and language audio
- search by artist
6. Cris Derksen
Cris Derksen is a classically trained cellist from NorthTall Cree Reserve on her dad’s side and Mennonite on her mother’s side. Derksen’s music is a fusion of classical, traditional, and contemporary.
If you like Derksen you might also like Jeremy Dutcher!
Wiagañmiu is Inupiaq from Nome, with roots in Kiqigin (Wales, Alaska). Miller identifies as both gay and Two-Spirit and her photography supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Indigenous LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit communities.
“Continuous is my small answer to the large question: how do we as Indigenous people decolonize our sexualities, genders, and the way we treat individuals who identify outside of the standard binary of male or female? I have replied to that question with this ongoing portrait series featuring members of the Indigenous lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) community.”
Miller on instagram: @jennyirenemiller
Masculindians: Conversations about Indigenous Manhood
Between October 2010 and May 2013, Sam McKegney conducted interviews with leading Indigenous artists, critics, activists, and elders on the subject of Indigenous manhood. In offices, kitchens, and coffee shops, and once in a car driving down the 401, McKegney and his participants tackled crucial questions about masculine self-worth and how to foster balanced and empowered gender relations.
Find me at UBC Library!
Indigenous Men and Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration
Innes and Anderson bring together prominent thinkers to explore the meaning of masculinities and being a man within such traditions, further examining the colonial disruption and imposition of patriarchy on Indigenous men. Building on Indigenous knowledge systems, Indigenous feminism, and queer theory, the sixteen essays by scholars and activists from Canada, the U.S., and New Zealand open pathways for the nascent field of Indigenous masculinities. The authors explore subjects of representation through art and literature, as well as Indigenous masculinities in sport, prisons, and gangs.
For CBC Interview with Rob Innes (co-editor) see here.
Find me at UBC Library!
Kent Monkman and Miss Chief
Cree artist Kent Monkman and gender-fluid Miss Chief Eagle Testickle explore topics on colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience.
For CBC Radio interview see here.
Find resources on Monkman at Xwi7xwa Library!