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.
The multi-disciplinary Cree artist Kent Monkman is well represented in the Xwi7xwa collection with the entirety of his video work: a collection of short films that span the past two decades and multiple film genres. Highlights of the video collection include Monkman’s debut, “A Nation is Coming,” and “A Taxonomy of the European Male,” which features his alter-ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testicles, as she travels Europe, interrogating the representation of Indigenous societies in classical European art. Monkman’s newest film, “Casualties of Modernity,” continues this examination of the art world, playfully looking at the history of modern art in the 20th century. Several films, such as “Seance” and Iskootao, document live performances pieces featuring Miss Chief Eagle Testicles.
Beyond his video work, the book “Two-Spirit Acts” collects the text of three of his performance pieces, along with work by other prominent Two-Spirit writers. The library also has examples of Monkman’s visual art through the exhibition catalogue “Kent Monkman: the Rise and Fall of Civilization.” Monkman’s talents extend to the realm of children’s literature with his bright illustrations of “A Coyote Columbus Story,” written by Thomas King.
Monkman’s exhibit, “Shame and Prejudice: A story of resilience,” was recently mounted at the University of Toronto as part of the 150 anniversary of Canada’s confederation projects. The exhibit will be touring over the next few years and is expected to come to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in 2020.
Xwi7xwa Library, in collaboration with First Nations House of Learning, is moving lower used materials to one of two storage locations on campus, effective March 2017. This helps to ensure the long term preservation of these items while maintaining their accessibility for our users. It will also increase the capacity for adding new items to the current active collection.
Low use materials will be housed in the ASRS (Automated Storage & Retrieval System) Xwi7xwa collection on central campus in close proximity to students, researchers and community members, and will be available for same-day turn around. Lowest use material will move to Library PARC Xwi7xwa collection, UBC’s preservation and print repository on South Campus, with retrieval times of 48 hours or less. All Xwi7xwa materials will be continue to be listed in the catalogue, with Xwi7xwa location codes specific to the new locations, for example, XWI7XWA ASRS Storage.
Xwi7xwa Library is a centre for academic and community Indigenous scholarship. These collection shifts allow the Library to make use of additional library storage space to promote effective and efficient access to historical, as well as contemporary, published and printed material, while at the same time creating additional flexible learning areas in the library.
If you have any questions about the changes, please contact Ann Doyle, Xwi7xwa librarian: firstname.lastname@example.org; 604-822-2385.