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Indigenous Studies

This guide provides resources related to the interdisciplinary field of Indigenous Studies.


This guide provides OC Library and web resources related to Indigenous Children's and Young Adult Literature as well as search strategies on this and related topics. Included are resources for educators and caregivers on the importance of accurate representation of Indigenous peoples, on ways to evaluate representation, as well as book and publisher lists.

Featured Videos

"Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald (Q'um Q'um Xiiem; Sto:lo Nation) provides a framing for Indigenous stories and storywork that might allow their pedagogical potential to emerge in educational contexts. Notably, she emphasizes the importance of metaphor, the plurality of understandings, and the open-ended process of storywork."

Finding Resources at OC Library

IMPORTANT: the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources related to Indigenous peoples; please contact us if you'd like assistance navigating this.

Combine keywords related to the concept of Indigenous identity with keywords related to your area of interest.

For example:

Indigenous Aboriginal "First Nations"
Inuit Métis "Indians of North America"
Indian Native Name of Nation or Community (e.g. Secwépemc)


"Picture books" "Board books" "Young adult fiction"
"Children's literature" "Juvenile fiction" "Young readers" or "Early literacy"
"Children's stories" "Critical literacy" Specific topic (e.g. musicians, climatic changes)
"Deakin collection" OwnVoices Specific language (e.g. Cree, Inuktitut)

Search Tips:

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (e.g. "children's books").
  • Use an asterisk to search for words with the same stem (e.g. child* retrieves child, child's, children)
  • Terminology changes over time. You many need to search for alternative spellings of a word, for example: Sto:lo, Stó:lô, Staulo, Stahlo or you may need to search for alternate words, for example: Kwakiutl/Kwakwaka'wakw or Nootka/Nuu-chah-nulth
  • The Deakin Children's Literature Collection is a special collection of thousands of children and young adult fiction and non-fiction titles held at OC Library (mainly at the Kelowna campus). Including "Deakin Collection" in your search will help find books that are part of that collection. You can also use the "location" limiter to refine your search results by selecting "Kelowna Deakin Collection" and/or "Vernon Deakin Collection."

Subject headings are a tool designed to help researchers find similar materials. These are only some examples of the many subject headings that Okanagan College Library uses. Spend a few minutes exploring them when you find a book in the catalogue that supports your research.

Search by Subject Terms

  • Picture books for children
  • Cree language -- Vocabulary -- Juvenile literature
  • Young Adult nonfiction / People & Places / Aboriginal & Indigenous
  • Gitxsan Indians -- British Columbia -- Juvenile literature
  • Inuktitut language materials -- Bilingual
  • Inuit -- Canada -- Residential Schools -- Juvenile literature

Featured Books


Children's Books about Indian Residential Schools


Children's Resources about the Indian Residential School System

Featured Articles and Books

Featured Podcasts

Literature Awards

American Indian Youth Literature Awards are awarded biennially. They identify and honour the best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Visit their website for information on previous winners.

2022 Award Winners

2020 Award Winners

CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Young Adult Literature

 A Canadian literary award and readership initiative that recognizes excellence in Indigenous-authored literature for young adults (ages 12-18). In 2019, they announced a new award in an Indigenous Language category. This award is currently on hold due to the passing of their main benefactor.

First Nation Communities READ: PMC Indigenous Literature Award

First Nation Communities READ is an annual reading program that was launched by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. The award is sponsored by Periodical Marketers of Canada and winners are chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario. Visit the website to view previous winners.


Indigenous Specific Publishers

Other Resources

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