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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 music as well as search strategies on this and related topics. Indigenous music spans across genres and so the featured resources in this guide aim to show a variety of expressions rather than focusing on one artist over another.

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the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources related to Indigenous peoples; please contact us if you'd like assistance navigating this.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


Music Musicology "Musical performance"
Songs Songwriter "Sound recording"
Musician Sound Specific genre (e.g. rap)

Search Tips:

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (e.g. "sound recording").
  • Use an asterisk to search for words with the same stem (e.g. music* retrieves music, musical, musicology, musician).
  • 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 music
  • Aboriginal music
  • Indians of North America -- Music
  • Indians of North America -- Music -- Social aspects -- Canada

picture of search bar showing subject terms

Featured Music/Videos

Arlette Alcock is an award winning Métis singer and songwriter. Her songs are "inspired by her heritage as well as the social, environmental and political climate that affects us all." Though it is being released after the confirmation of a mass grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential school, the song Midnight Mass Graves was written more than 10 years ago when a mass grave was found at St. Anne's residential school in Ontario.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids is a hip hop duo composed of Haisla rappers Darren "Young D" Metz and Quinton "Yung Trybez" Nyce [1]. The Warriors is a resistance song made specifically for the Tiny House Warriors' battle against Kinder Morgan.

"Juno nominated Cris Derksen is an Internationally respected Indigenous cellist and composer. Derksen braids the traditional and contemporary, weaving her classical background and her Indigenous ancestry together with new school electronics to create genre-defying music." [1]

PIQSIQ is an Inuit throat-singing duo comprised of sisters Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik and Kayley Inuksuk Mackay. They perform "ancient traditional songs and eerie new compositions." This song is completely improvised.

Jonathon Adams is a two-spirit, nêhiyaw michif (Cree Métis) baritone who studies and performs classical music across the world. This medley is a combination of two songs, one is Métis and is the story of a person who has lost their love and who asks the nightingale to give them news of their lost love. The second song is a Cree song written in a dialect that is no longer spoken and Adams does not know the words he is singing but thinks of it as the nightingale’s response. (From an interview with Adams on CBC's q, June 17, 2021).

Featured Books at OC

Featured Articles

Featured Podcasts

Other Resources

Related Guides

Both these guides have lists, by genre, of Indigenous musicians as well as other resources.

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