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Indigenous Studies

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


"Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person's unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory." [1]

This guide provides OC Library and web resources related to Indigenous languages as well as search strategies on this and related topics. 

graphics and statistics on Indigenous languages in Canada

image source: Indigenous Languages in Canada (click for full size)

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the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources related to Indigenous peoples; please contact us if you'd like assistance navigating this.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


Semantics Phonology "Language nests"
Linguistics "Language reclamation" "Language revitalization"
Dialect "Sleeping language" Specific language or dialect (e.g. nsyilxcn)

Search Tips:

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (e.g. "language nest").
  • Use an asterisk to search for words with the same stem (e.g. linguist* retrieves linguist, linguists, linguistics).
  • Some Indigenous community websites will have information on language resources/revitalization efforts.
  • 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

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

  • Indigenous language
  • Indigenous language loss
  • Indigenous language revitalization
  • Indigenous language preservation
  • Inuit language -- Semantics
  • Inuit language -- Grammar

picture of search bar showing subject terms

Featured Videos

Traveling to the community of his ancestors Eli Hirtle begins his language journey across Alberta.

A documentary which focuses on revitalizing Gwich'in.

Retake follows the journey of co-directors Gwaai Edenshaw (Haida) and Helen Haig-Brown (Tsilhqot'in) as they work to produce Edge of the Knife, a feature-length film told entirely in the critically-endangered Haida language. Today, there are only 24 fluent Haida speakers left; many of the actors had to learn the language to learn their lines."

Featured Books

Featured Articles

These articles can be found in the OC Library catalogue by clicking the title links. Descriptions of the articles come from the article itself, either from the abstract or body of the text.

Featured Podcasts

Language Maps

Language Learning Apps and Websites

Other Resources

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